BLOOD TIES BOOK ONE: THE TURNING
by Jennifer Armintrout

June 2006
ISBN: 0-7783-2298-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback
Rating:



Dr. Carrie Ames is attacked by a vampire. She changes, never acknowledging what she is. Not believing and not being prepared for her new life she researches her symptoms on the internet. She finds some answers and looks further. She meets Nathan Grant and his ďsonĒ Ziggy. They confirm her fears. She is turning into a vampire and she is tied to her sire. Even worse Nathanís job is to hunt down and kill all of her sireís fledglings. Nathan is not just a fellow vampire, he is also a member of the Movement. Thus heís a good vampire fighting a war against bad vampires. However, the chemistry is strong and Nathan might just be able to tempt Carrie to the good side. Then her sire calls and bargains for Nathanís life. Carrie succumbs to their blood tie and learns that not all vampires are as civilised as Nathan.


This is the first book in a new series. It takes time to introduce the characters and yet another new set of vampire rules. Itís not an easy book to like. Carrie is the main figure, her captivating voice carries the story, but her torn character makes it difficult to care for her. Desired by a genuinely nice guy and a bad boy she makes some very uncomfortable choices. She is strong, but a victim. And yes, she does act the victim. She fights back in the end, but up until then she is not the most likable character.


The author might want to portrait her world as painted in shades of grey, instead of black and white, but she doesnít succeed. The bad guy is too gruesome and the good guy is too nice. I liked it better than most recent vampire offerings though. Jennifer Armintroutís vampires are monsters - some old some young - and when they feed they are ugly. No pretty boys only wanting the heroineís love. They have an old-school feel to them. They remind me more of Anne Rice than Christine Feehan. The violence is real and the blood flows freely. But the author (or is it the publisher?) isnít consistent and brave. The Turning isnít bloody enough for a horror novel and not romantic enough for a romance novel. It does have a love story and itís a tender one. It does have a happy ending, but it is an open one. The battle has only just began. It will be up to the author to prove that her series is worth continuing with and that the battle will be epic. Her second book has to allow for more. More blood, more fighting, more world building, more character growth. And more romance if it wants to attract the romance readers. Until then vampire fans hungering for another heroine-driven-paranormal offering should find The Turning an entertaining read.


Reviewed in May 2006 by Kris Alice.

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