Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that begin plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki, in an attempt to stop these forces of dark magic, is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci - along with another, unexpected ally….Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans; how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world - but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeited.
©1991 Tanya Huff (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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"Off to a Good Start"
It surprised me to discover that this novel was originally written in 1991. It has survived the passage of time remarkably well. It's the first novel in a series of five books by Tanya Huff which involve a former police officer-turned private investigator and the vampire son of Henry VIII who solve supernatural crimes together.
It's not a johnny-come-lately on the vampire novel scene; it was one of the earlier prototypes and works well. The private investigator, her former ex-boyfriend police officer, and the vampire who writes bodice rippers team up to solve a string of violent crimes which have been plaguing Toronto.
As a Canadian, I'm pleased to see/hear a series set in Toronto, and though I'm not from Toronto, the depiction is well done.
A series of what appear to be murders by a vampire takes roots in the city, and as the story hums along, it becomes clear that it's actually a demon who's terrorizing the city, and not a vampire. The book is as long as it needs to be.
The story is well written and engaging. It does't feel particularly dated, although the references to a Hibachi and the lack of cell phones make more sense now that I know it was written in 1991.
The narrator is okay but not great. Her attempt to depict male voices often comes off with an odd accent or intonation. She's a breathy narrator, and her vocal intonations are a little irritating. As with many narrators, she pauses in the wrong places and ends up fragmenting the narration. She can probably be forgiven for mispronouncing Manulife, but not for some of the other words she butchers. With a different narrator, this would be an even better book, but it's not bad. To the narrator's credit, she does a very good job depicting the empty-headed university students in the book.
It's certainly well enough done that I have purchased books 2 and 3 in the series. If the other books in the series are as good as this one, it should have a strong following. The ideas are original and inventive, and the dialogue and descriptions are well done.
This is a good book for fans of the supernatural series; it's lighter on romance than some, but that's not a bad thing. It's worth the credit.
"Great Story, Terrible Narrator"
I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, and the seamless melding of a fantasy world with the one I know is a rich and wonderful thing.
I love the story, and I love that the heroine is someone I can identify with. She's someone with real strengths and real vulnerabilities. She's had some heartache and some romance, but her life goes on into new and stranger things.
In my mind, when I've read the books, I've heard a strong and steady voice for Vicki, a deep and manly baritone for Celucci, and a lighter, more amused tone from Henry. Ms. Eyre's performance is spectacularly bad, almost whiny, and she frequently adds a quaver when any of the characters gets excited. Perhaps she's nervous? I think it speaks to the excellence of the story that not even this terrible narration can totally break the whole production... but it was close.
"Good story, not so good reader"
Yes. The story is good and if you can deal with the reader, it is fun to hear. I read the series in paperback several years ago and got hooked. If this had been my 1st exposure, not so sure I would have stuck with it.
Unusual composition for the main actors.
Strange sound to her voice. Definition of character voices varies -- same character, but sound is not always the same. Also, and maybe since I'm American, so many Scottish-sounding accents when the story is in Toronto, Canada is weird.
I enjoy the story twists and the interpersonal relationships.
"Blood over the city."
Yeah the narrator.
I would recommend the books to read, because the narrator didn't know what she was doing.
Justine doesn't have a clue about narrating books.
Yes because I like the series on books.
Change the Narrator and you'd have a good series.
"Awesome author and story; Awful narrator."
Carefully crafted story and characters. Very believable story line - almost makes you believe in vampires. Tanya Huff is a master at character definition, dialogue and pacing. It makes for an intriguing story that is hard to put down.
The blending of true history and modern fiction.
Her pacing and accents were dreadful. She over-emoted virtually every scene. She gets the award for the best William Shatner scene chewing performance - ever.
I was so overjoyed to see the Blood Books in audio that I bought every one on the same day. I'm hoping I can overlook the dreadful narrator to enjoy these books the way I did when I read them, and not come to rue the economic outlay.
"Superior story--all six books."
characters adventures imagination
Lead character "Victory" Vicki Nelson
This series is wonderful. Tanya Huff nailed a fun and entertaining six book series. Yes, the narrator takes half the first book to hit her stride. But from there on, she differentiated the characters and delivered a solid performance. I listened to each book, one after another, through the entire string. I immediately missed the characters when I finished---I was right there with them through all the adventures.
"A fun read"
Am not given to vampire stories, although I have found a few exceptions, including this one. Henry FitzRoy is not exactly your everyday vampire, after all, having been in his short lifetime the illegitimate son of an all too (in)famous king. He's managed to survive for four hundred fifty or so years as a vampire, and he doesn't intend to know destruction now that a variety of victims are being found strewn about Toronto in a pattern apparently intended to free a major demon lord into the world of the living. But without the help of a former homicide detective who is now turned private detective, there's a strong chance that he or a fellow vampire will be blamed for the gruesome deaths.
A fun, light read, and the description of the detective's retinitis pigmentosa is, for a refreshing change, spot on. So many writers trying to describe what visually disabled individuals experience haven't a clue as to what they'd really perceive!
The narrator's reading is a bit throaty for my taste, but works okay.
"Loved the Story hate the narrater."
The story line was very good, but then I read the book years ago. As I did with the one to follow.
Yes, her voice did not do good thing for the story.
No, I will just reread my books, so I can keep the joy of the story.
I saw the TV show that they made from this book and I really loved it so I decided to try the book. The book is very different, but in a good way. I like all the different relationships vicci has and how it seems more realistic. Especially when it comes to how the police react to things.
"The print books are amazing."
Vampires are misunderstood.
This is a hard question. There's nothing quite like this series. It's VERY gritty. The bad guys are awful. The good guys are good, and in some cases unexpected. I learned stuff. Very Canadian.
She wasn't awful. But. I stopped listening after about 2 chapters because I just couldn't listen to her any longer. Mispronounciations. Irritating "voices". Whiney. I didn't throw it across the room, but it just wasn't worth listening any longer.
This is NOT the TV show! It's actually good!
Read the books! All of them! And the spin-offs! (worth every moment.)
"A good start to an excellent series."
A really good, exciting listen with some interesting characters. I just love the idea of Henry VIII's illegitimate son being a vampire!
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