St Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-03795-4
Bloodshifted is the final book in the Edie Spence trilogy, aww, and I have to warn folks who have been following the whole thing – the author ends things here on an open-ended note. Okay, there is a pretty satisfying conclusion (to me, at least), but some major plot seems to be brewing up in this book itself. The author may or may not come back to this series later down the road, and she has left herself some materials for future sequels. Still, this book is nowhere near an epic conclusion of a series should be, so adjust your expectations accordingly. For readers new to the whole thing, this one can stand alone quite well, but do note that its existence is basically a big spoiler for previous books in this series. This review, in fact, contains some spoilers for previous books in this series, so do you want you need to do if you know what you want to do.
Where we left off, Edie is no longer working at Y4, but she has hooked up with Asher, who proposed in the previous book. Unfortunately, the cruise they were on turned into a plague-stricken nightmare, and Edie only survived because she received blood from the vampire Raven. Doing so, however, puts her and her unborn child under the “care” of Raven. Raven basically owns her and controls her now, and Edie is compelled to obey his orders because of the bond that was formed when she received his blood. Still, she decides to go along to ensure that her child survives, and Asher and Anna, her vampire BFF who also happens to be on the fast track to becoming the queen of all vampires, promise to get her out as soon as they are able to.
Bloodshifted, therefore, is Edie’s personal prison movie story, only without the obligatory prison shower scene. As Edie tries to navigate through the whole daytimer-vampire scene alive, she would also stumble upon a plot that, if allowed to succeed, would allow vampires to reign unchecked across the world without having to depend on human blood for survival. Humanity would be screwed, and Edie can’t let that happen. But what can she do, when Raven can compel her to do things against her will by just giving her a command? Things aren’t that dire here, don’t worry, as Edie has some allies here. The vampire world is not without its share of infighting, after all, and you know what they say about the enemy of one’s enemy.
Unlike the previous book, this one is well-paced from the get go. The story breaks no new grounds, and its story line is pretty basic – Edie wants to stay alive until Anna comes to rescue her – while the characters are mostly familiar archetypes. However, the story still manages to pack a pretty heavy punch. Edie becomes a more pragmatic and darker character here, having realized that she can’t save everyone all the time – sometimes, you have to get your hands and conscience dirty in order to protect the ones you love – and this aspect of the story is handled pretty well by the author.
However, the villains are pretty one note and the whole thing is over before I know it. While the story is still very enjoyable and I love the gentle way Edie managed the poor villain in the last few pages, I feel that this story could have been so much more if the author had expanded it a bit more in a few dozen more pages. I have no complaints about the plot or the premise, and Edie redeems herself here after the lackluster showing in the previous book. However, Bloodshifted just folds back onto itself at the end of the day, never really becoming the epic memorable tale that it could have been. It’s an underwhelming finale to a series that is, overall, a unique and enjoyable romp. Perhaps author could one day come back and give the series the proper send-off it deserves.