Calabi Chronicles: Bloodstone
by Ann Vremont, paranormal (2004)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 1-4199-0033-1

Calabi Chronicles: Bloodstone is an expanded and revised edition of the work previously published by Yoni Books in 2003 as three short books in the series called The Bloodstone Chronicles. The current incarnation of the story is all three previously published books combined. Or so I gather from the details on the Ellora's Cave website and the ever-handy Google - if I'm wrong, I hope someone will correct me on this.

The reason I go and look for information on this book is because I find myself befuddled after finishing this book and am hoping to find some reviews of the older versions of the book that may provide some information to fill in the gaps of my knowledge. For example, I find myself wondering what exactly the Bloodstone is and what it can do, why people are fighting each other for it, and what makes the heroine qualified to be the Mistress of the Bloodstone. A lot of details seem to be missing from the current incarnation of the book, making me wonder whether the author has actually decompressed her books and left out some background details in her squashing of three books into one.

From what I can gather, our heroine Aideen Godwin may open a store catering to people with superficial interests in Wiccanism (think: fad-following people who think it is currently fashionable to be a Wiccan as opposed to genuine practitioners) but she is a genuine Wiccan. Her latest possession is an old tome belonging to a druid named Cenn Cruach. Reading it results in her being sent back in time to meet Cenn, where she learns that the fates of he, she, and this Bloodstone are intertwined. Later, after some adventures in and out of the bedroom, she wakes up in present day and wonders whether she has dreamed her time with Cenn. Lo, who comes knocking on her door but Kean Toland, a descendant of Cenn, who warns her that she, Cenn's tome, and the Bloodstone are targetted by villains and those two end up on the run.

The vague canon that results in the author's premise not coming off as fully actualized aside, I also have some problems with the relationship of the characters. Too much of this relationship between Kean and Aideen is based on past relationships, destiny, shared powers, yadda yadda yadda. The nature of the attraction seems to be more about sex than genuine emotional bonds forming between the two characters. Still, I'd be fine with this book if there are some good action-driven scenes to make up for the underdeveloped romance. But too much about the Bloodstone, the nature of the characters' powers, and the villains' motivations are underdeveloped as well. I finish this book feeling as if I am missing some vital information that would have helped me understand this story better and therefore most unsatisfied because it's as if I've just finished a part of a book.

Rating: 68

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