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Blood Groove by Alex Bledsoe

Blood Groove

by Alex Bledsoe

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575207,436 (3.29)2



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Well, it's yet another vampire book. It's a bit gory, and a bit graphic. It's also 1975. There's a bit of a older mentor teaching the fledglings who know only what "modern" vampire culture has told them the truth. If you are feminist and are easily offended, you will probably be offended.
( )
  Schlyne | Nov 12, 2015 |
I found this book when I was browsing a small bookshop in the local mall not too long ago. I'd never heard of it before, but was itching for some funny obscure vampire book, and figured I'd found one. It was actually placed in the YA section, which surprises me a bit. After reading it, I'm not sure how many parents would be comfortable with their child -- even their teen child -- owning it.

The plot mainly involves a vampire, who was staked and paralyzed in the early 1900s, reviving in the 1970s in Memphis, and dealing with the social situation of the time. It's as much a book about race and discrimination as it is about vampires, and in many ways it deals with these themes more effectively. However, that's not to say that it's simply a metaphor or a simple parable, it's got some seriously dark, gory and violent stuff in there. It worked for me, but it may not work for everyone. Also included are some pretty graphic sex scenes. I was surprised to find it, but not put off. It worked somehow.

The main characters were very likable and intriguing, but not overly so. I was, at times, legitimately appalled by their behavior and yet attracted to them nonetheless. After a certain point, you've gotten to know them so well and are so attached to their viewpoint that they can apparently do anything, no matter how heinous, and still carry your favor. I think this is evidence of good writing and character development.

The plot itself is not contrived or cliche, and is actually quite refreshing. The vampire cliches used in the novel actually serve to accentuate just how far Bledsoe was willing to go to differentiate his tale from the other vampire books being published recently. They stood at a stark opposition to the originality, and even then they were often traditional elements that were re-imagined in some grim, non-traditional ways. There is some vampire-induced hypnotism in this book that is seriously disturbing.

Anyway, I'd recommend it to folks that are looking for something new in the genre and don't mind sex and violence, and especially those that like seeing characters that are allowed to show their dark side and yet still fill the role of the "hero". ( )
  vombatiformes | Dec 12, 2013 |
just meh. Not your traditional vampire story, but not as punk as it wants to be either. Some parts were pretty good, but it left so much hanging and the plot seemed kind of scattershot. It was hard to care about any of the characters in the book, although the ones you did like ended up having horrible things happen to them. Just meh, I would skip it. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jun 21, 2013 |
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/07/review-blood-groove-by-alex-bledsoe.html

Blood Groove was such a blast! This was my first Alex Bledsoe book, and it's definitely made me a fan. Blood Groove takes place in 1975 Memphis, amidst racial tension, groovy tunes, and hot, sticky, southern grit. Baron Rudolfo Zginski finds himself in a Memphis morgue after the (very unlucky) pathologist yanks the cross out that’s been stuck in his heart for 60 years. After a nice meal, he heads out into the Memphis night. Meanwhile, we get to know a group of rather ill kempt “young” vamps that are living in a rundown warehouse in the sticks. The standout in the group is Fauvette, perpetually 14, turned when she was a virgin, what seems like a lifetime ago. The details of her death and subsequent turning are heartwrenching, to say the least, and Fauvette longs for true death, even if she can’t bring herself to meet the sun. She hates what she’s become and the habits of her housemates horrify her more and more every day. I’ll be honest, they’re a rather gross bunch, and if you have a sensitive stomach, you may find yourself covering your eyes (you’ll be peeking though, I promise). Weaned on movies like Blacula, and vamp lore, these young vamps live in ignorance of their true natures, and what they can become. That’s where Baron Zginski comes in. He discovers Fauvette in an alley after she’s forced herself to feed, and is inexplicably drawn to her, and you will be too, because the real star of this novel is Fauvette. She gets a rough start, but as Zginski brings her out of her shell, and shows her the truth of her kind, her inner beauty begins to shine through, and acceptance with what she is, and who she is, is inevitable and wonderful to witness. Fauvette begins to rub off on the arrogant Zginski, and he begins to realize that he’s lost some of his humanity and empathy. The Baron is not charming, he doesn’t sparkle, and he’s horrified at the fact that woman and non-whites have the same rights as everyone else does. He’s most definitely an anti-hero, and frankly, at times I wanted to smack him, but then again, he came to maturity at a time when things were very, very different, so you can see how he might be puzzled at the new state of things, even if you don’t condone it.
Blood Groove is not for the faint of heart. The focus is on Fauvette’s group, but it also follows the coroner as she tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious death of one of the vamp gang. Zginski is hot on the trail of this new drug too, since it could threaten his kind’s very existence. There are some truly horrifying and tragic moments, as well as plenty of sex, blood, and violence. This is horror at its best, and it’s unflinching, but never gratuitous. If you enjoy quality horror, with writing that crackles off the page and doesn’t let up, you’re gonna love Blood Groove. ( )
  MyBookishWays | Jul 12, 2011 |
Blood Groove
by Alex Bledsoe. Tor, April 2009.

Baron Rudolfo Zginski awakes after 50 years in a coffin with a gold crucifix wedged into his heart. He has been transported from a small town in Wales, where he had been judged to be a vampire, to a University medical morgue in Memphis TN. The year is now 1975. Zginski is a quick study, but he finds the modern world quite perplexing. Much of the humor found in this vampire horror story comes from his quaint way of describing contemporary conveniences like the automobile as well as from his fascination with such things as movies. He is enthralled by Blackula.

The Baron has a strict set of priorities - what he needs and wants comes first. Concern for others comes second if at all. His fortunate discovery of a group of naive, young vampires (their knowledge of their undead status coming mostly from movies) helps him navigate this bizarre new world. In turn he shares his knowledge of vampire characteristics such as being able to walk in daylight. Yes, they can! As long as their needs don't interfere with his own he is willing to show them the way. But if things get sticky, and they will, he plans to take off. The biggest danger facing all of the vampires is a mysterious gray powder which has already caused one true death.

Couple that with a single-minded, ruthless medical examiner and you have an intoxicating brew of mystery, humor, and horror. For readers with a weak constitution there are a few gory scenes but only a few and sexual seduction, because it is one of a vampires primary powers, is often employed. All in all this is an edgy, enthralling, entertaining story.

Originally written for Patricia's Vampire Notes
  paltner-new | Apr 18, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765361612, Mass Market Paperback)

When centuries-old vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginski was staked in Wales in 1915, the last thing he expected was to reawaken in Memphis, Tennessee, sixty years later. Reborn into a new world of simmering racial tensions, the cunning nosferatu realizes he must adapt quickly if he is to survive.

Hoping to learn how his kind copes with this bizarre new era, Zginski tracks down a nest of teenage vampires who have little knowledge of their true nature. Forming an uneasy alliance, Zginski begins to reach them the truth about their powers. They must learn quickly, for there’s a new drug on the street—a drug created to specifically target and destroy vampires. As Zginski and his allies track the drug to its source, they risk triggering a fifty-year-old trap that can destroy them all. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When centuries-old vampire Baron Rudolfo Zginski was staked in Wales in 1915, the last thing he expected was to reawaken in Memphis, Tennessee, sixty years later. Reborn into a new world of simmering racial tensions, the cunning nosferatu realizes he must adapt quickly if he is to survive. Forming an uneasy alliance with the young vampires, Zginski begins to teach them the truth about their powers. They must learn quickly, for there's a new drug on the street, created to specifically target and destroy vampires. As Zginski and his allies track the drug to its source, they may unwittingly be stepping into a fifty-year-old trap that can destroy them all.… (more)

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