Jeanne C. Stein
Published 2007 297 pages
Anna Strong was a tough-as-nails bounty hunter, until the night she was attacked – and changed forever…
Now that she’s a vampire, Anna has superhuman strength and near invincibility. But that doesn’t make her life any easier. She’s struggling to find her place in the world of the undead as she clings to her connections with the living.
Anna’s situation becomes even more complicated when she discovers that her long-dead brother may have had a daughter – and the girl’s in serious trouble. There are some very dangerous people after her, but they didn’t count on Anna stepping into the fray. Now they’re about to learn that to a bounty hunter with an unnatural thirst for blood, even the deadliest human predators are easy prey…
Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein is the second part of the Anna Strong Chronicles and continues with Anna’s story from The Becoming left off. Like The Becoming, Blood Drive was originally published by Imajinn Books and has just been released for July 2007 by publisher Ace with a new cover (so if you think that this sounds familiar it may be because you have already read the book in its previous incarnation…)
I remember having mixed feelings towards The Becoming, the first Anna Strong novel. At first I didn’t like it - and then I did - but ultimately I wasn’t really sure whether I had liked it more than I didn’t like it, which kind of balanced it out to average. However, I was intrigued by the story and wondered where the author was going with Anna’s character plus I felt that the series had potential, so when Blood Drive finally arrived I was eager to find out where the story was going to take me and – wow - was I surprised!
I loved this book! The pages flew by and I just didn’t want to put the book down. I ended up devouring it in a couple of sittings.
Blood Drive follows Anna’s struggle to match her human life with the realities of her supernatural existence. She starts to think about her long-term future and what it will mean to her family when she has to leave them (before they notice that she’s not getting older.) She is dragged into investigating the seedy world of child pornography whilst looking for a young girl who may be her brother’s child - but niece or not, the girl certainly is in need of Anna’s help and protection.
Strangely, it is as Anna is investigating the human monsters responsible for the child porn that she is pulled further into the supernatural world. She is forced to ally herself with Police Chief Williams, a vampire that she bested in The Becoming, in order to protect her niece. She learns that there is more to the supernatural world than just vampires. In fact there is a whole secret supernatural organisation made up of vampires, shapeshifters, witches and human psychics. She also finds that they seem to have plans for her but no one will say what those plans are.
Blood Drive is a hugely enjoyable urban fantasy novel. Its multiple plot lines – finding the missing teenager, stopping the child pornographers and Anna’s development as a vampire, even as she is trying to hold on to the last of her humanity - are enough to hold the attention of even the most demanding reader. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, Blood Drive is an exciting read and everything any vampire fiction or urban fantasy fan could hope for.
Blood Drive is highly recommended reading.
LoveVampires Review Rating: