Monday, January 5, 2015

Amanda Carlson: Red Blooded

As this is the fourth book in Amanda Carlson's Jessica McClain series you are going to want to read the first three books in this series first; Full Blooded, Hot Blooded and Cold Blooded.

Jessica McClain's life is about to go to Hell, literally. Her brother has been kidnapped by the Prince of Hell and has told Jessica that the only way to get him back is to come get him herself. Hell has it's own creatures, rules and landscapes that Jessica is going to have to transverse in order to save her brother and this time she is on her own with who knows when help will come. Jessica may just find out what it is like to live eternally in Hell.

There are times in every series where you start to question if you are going to continue on in them or not. Book two Hot Blooded was my favourite book and the books since then have only been just okay for me. Now we are in the fourth book in the series and I wonder how I got here and how much Jessica changed as a character. I may be the minority here but I preferred the first half of this book when Jessica is travelling through Hell on her own. I find when Rourke is in the picture he is way to over protective and Jessica is basically forced to take a back seat to him. I understand that she is his mate but times it seems like all he sees her as is good for sex. Wen Jessica is by herself or in this case with Lily she is forced to make her own decisions and fight which I found missing in the latter half of the book. Rourke for me takes the spark out of Jessica as a character, one which I really loved in the beginning of this series.
When you have your character enter Hell I guess as an author you get to decide which way you are going to take it; the conventional Hell of dark doom and gloom or do you try to redefine Hell. I'm not a 100% sure which way Carlson was trying to go. The Hell landscape and description she created was creepy but never scary (as in I never want to visit there) but the demons who reside there are forced to glamour themselves to look human, not so scary if you ask me and possible a lack of imagination on that front. What I found interesting about the Hell that Carlson created was the caste system and the business like ventures that the demons enter into, but still not scary. As well as the preferred eating choice of the demons, some piglet type thing be alive when they eat it; still creepy and kind of gross but not scary. I personally want Hell described to me as the most desolate place you could ever go to and have the hair on the back of my neck stand up as the scariness and horror of the place freaks me out. Maybe the UF genre is not the place for this type of Hell, but I think if you are going to bring your characters to Hell maybe you are transporting out of that genres in a way.

One character that I really want to know more about and his transformation is Ray. He seems like a completely different character from the first book in this series in more than one sense. I like the way he has changed and I am interested in knowing more about his power as a reaper.

This is not my favorite book in the series, and like I said above I prefer when Jessica is out of reach of Rourke as I find he hinders Jessica as a character. I know there is another book in this series, and I debate whether I will continue on or not. I've come to the point where I hope that Carlson can recapture what she had in the first and second book, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

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