Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: By Blood We Live

By Blood We Live
By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Literary horror/werewolves
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of the author, series, realistic endings
Trigger Warnings: murder, memories of child molestation and rape, killing babies, genocidal attempts

My Thoughts: First of all, I have to tell you, the hardcover copy of this book is glorious. The edge of the pages are dark brown like dried blood, and the pictures of the moon on the dust jacket are foil, so it looks shiny like fresh blood. The texture of the dust jacket is wonderful, too, sort of rough and parchment-like—all in all a very sensual delight. I almost hated to sully it by opening and reading it...

One of the reasons I hadn't liked Talulla Rising quite as much as The Last Werewolf was that I missed Jake's voice, the perspective his age gave to his thoughts and actions. Well, that's back, in a way, in the form of the ancient vampire Remshi, in whose head we are when the book opens, and whose chapters intertwine with Justine's and Talulla's (and occasionally Walker's—we have a lot of different perspectives in this book). Unlike the previous books, we are given multiple points of view, and to watch Duncan switch voices and personas like that is really quite impressive, because he really does completely change his writing style and voice for each character.

Duncan took a huge risk in this book by not wrapping up the ending into a tidy little bow, and I would imagine there will be some folks who will not like this at all. I found it to fit perfectly into the overall storyline, and to be entirely realistic, because nothing is ever truly wrapped up and tied off perfectly in life. While it is true I would have liked to have a better understanding of where things will go from here, at the same time that would probably require that Duncan just keep writing books in this series, because there just isn't any easy way to wrap this sort of thing up. Which, come to think of it, would not necessarily be a bad thing...

At any rate, if you are a fan of the author, or the series, or just like reading books that are willing to take that risk at realism, check this series out. I do recommend you read from the beginning just so you're familiar with all the the background and characters.

Series Information: The Last Werewolf/Bloodlines Trilogy
Book 1: The Last Werewolf, review linked here
Book 2: Talulla Rising, review linked here
Book 3: By Blood we Live

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: By Blood We Live is a stunningly erotic love story that gives us the final battle for survival between werewolves and vampires, and one last searing—and brilliantly ironic—look at what it means to be, or not to be, human.

The story opens: Talulla has settled into an uneasy equilibrium. With her twins safely at her side, and the devotion of her lover, Walker, she has what appears to be a normal family life—except for their monthly transformation into werewolves hungry for human flesh. But even this hard-won, tenuous peace is undermined for Talulla by nagging thoughts of Remshi, the twenty-thousand-year-old vampire who haunts her dreams. For his part, Remshi can’t escape the feeling that he knows Talulla from many (many, many) years before. Still, they have their distractions: Talulla is being pursued by a fanatical, Vatican-based Christian cult, and Remshi is following a trail of reckless feedings by a newly turned vampire bent on revenge. But, as the novel unfolds, Talulla and Remshi are inexorably drawn to each other—and toward the moment when an ancient prophecy may finally come to pass.

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