Monday, 1 December 2008

Possession by Jennifer Armintrout


Have you ever bought a book, wondered why on Earth you bought it, put it on your TBR pile, forgotten about it, then finally read it and wondered why on Earth you'd waited so long to read it?

Or does that just happen to me?

Don't get me wrong I really liked the first book in the Blood Ties series. I think one of the things I liked most about it, was that Jennifer Armintrout's vampires are predators. Too often it seems that vampires end up being watered down to the point of being completely unscary.

I like the second book even more. Mainly because parts of it were very funny - usually the parts involving Max, who I think is now my favourite character. But there's a balance here, terrible things are still happening, there's angst and heartbreak, but there are also moments of joy and happiness in the sorrow. A little slow in the beginning, so probably why I kept picking it up and putting it down, by the time you get to the middle the story is fairly racing along.

Possession picks up not long after the end of The Turning. Just as things seem to be returning to normal, things go to hell - as they often seem to in UF. Carrie's second sire Nathan is possessed (hence the title) and he kills an innocent human being. A big no-no for the Voluntary Vampire Execution Movement, who promptly send out an assassin to kill him. But Nathan is being tormented by the Soul Eater who it seems has plans to become a God. Carrie has got an awful lot to do, if she intends to sort this mess out and stay alive (undead) whilst doing it.

Okay, up til now it's been spoiler free. So you can still turn away at this point.

Still here? Don't say you weren't warned.

Cyrus is back. Now this isn't really too big a spoiler as such, because he's back by page 8, possibly as far as you'd get if you browsed in a book store. I mention it now, because I don't think I can get through the whole review without letting it slip, one way or another. (Just want to say that he now reminds me slightly of Sylar in Heroes Season 3). He is somewhat redeemed here, for his actions in the previous book. Or at least you appreciate, that in different circumstances, he would have been a different man.

Will quickly mention here the character of the Oracle, I thought she was a great character (slightly reminiscent of the precogs in Minority Report only a lot older, a lot scarier and with a lot more blood) and even though she only made a brief appearance, it was a powerful one.

There are initially two stories here - the resurrection of Cyrus and the possession of Nathan and what Carrie intends to do about it. Later on we have a third subplot added where Max gets a point of view. All these story threads eventually intersect, as our good guys do their best to save Nathan.

Carrie is not a perfect heroine. She makes mistakes. Some of her mistakes end in tragedy. She also has the UF heroine flaw of thinking she knows what's best/what's right/what needs to be done. But her intentions are usually in the right place. She's reliant on herself for a lot of this book. Nathan has gone awol, the VVEM is baying for blood and if her instincts get her into unusual situations, she's usually able to get herself out of them. The scene in the brothel is one of my favourites.
"...I've been doing some research," I explained, feeling like a hopeless dork. Then I wondered why I cared if some random male prostitute thought I was a nerd.
My favourite plot of the book without doubt though, is the developing relationship between Max the vampire, and Bella the werewolf. It provides a lot of the humor in the book as we get to see Max going from a werewolf despising vampire to one who thinks this particular werewolf is pretty okay. What makes it even better is that we get to hear his internal monologue, as what he says to Bella and what he thinks (as he gets to know her) bears little resemblance.
Shaking his head, Max groaned. She was not beautiful. He was just horny. He'd find a way to make that her fault - not in the obvious way, because bestiality wasn't his thing - later.
Anyone who dislikes Bella as much as Max does, has to be a little attracted too. It's like he has to continually reinforce why he doesn't like her, otherwise he just might succumb to her werewolfy charms. I could quote and quote his dialogue and fill up the review. He probably has most of the best lines, and he's not afraid to say what he thinks.

So I have to get the next books in the series now. Though my fingers are triple crossed (not really, that's just an expression) that Max makes a big appearance in the upcoming books. He made this book for me and while I want to know what's going to happen next with Carrie and how she intends to ultimately sort out the situation with Nathan and the Soul Eater. I want to know what's going to happen with Max as well.

The Turning - Book 1
Ashes to Ashes - Book 3
All Souls' Night - Book 4


Nicole said...

It's not just you. I get books, put them on the shelf to read, and then can't remember what they're doing there, too. :)

LesleyW said...

LOL - glad it's not just me.