May 16th, 2005

Book Review: Blood Games

Today's book review is Blood Games by Lee Killough.

This is the third book in the Gareth Mikaelian vampire series.  Readers should probably start with Blood Hunt (which is available as an omnibus with book 2, Bloodlinks, from Meisha Merlin as Bloodwalk), but this book stands on its own well enough that it would not be a serious mistake to just pick this one up.

This book is more or less a police procedural, except that things change a little bit when the cop is a vampire, and become even more interesting when it starts to look like the criminal is a vampire too.  Vampires have powers that don't quite fit in with the normal rules of policework, and that's all I can say without spoilers.  The story is a fairly lively cop-chases-wily-criminal story, but what makes it really interesting is how the hero has to wrestle with his existence as a vampire and what his struggle has to say about personal responsibility.

Every author who writes vampire stories for a modern audience has to come to his own accommodation with the vampire legends and his own explanation of how vampirism works and what the powers and weaknesses of vampires in his world are.  To be intersted in reading vampire books, I think you have to be interested in how different authors approach this problem.  Killough's solution isn't highly original, but it has a a couple of variations that are different, and on the whole, while it has some parts that are a little hard to swallow if you really dwell on them, her vampires are certainly believable enough to read about.

A solid book, well written, not stunningly orignal but not horrible clichéd.  8 out of 10.