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Bloodshot by Cherie Priest
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Bloodshot (2011)

by Cherie Priest

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Summary: Raylene Pendle is a famous thief who also happens to be a vampire. She's not the sort for friends - letting anyone too close is a good way to be uncovered as being both a criminal and non-human. So when she's approached for a potential job - at her unlisted home address - she's understandably a little wary. Her client is Ian Stott, another vampire. That's unusual enough, but Ian's case has a wrinkle that really grabs Raylene's attention: Ian is the victim of a group that's conducting experiments on vampires, and he wants Raylene to steal the documents relating to the secret project that left him blind. She's intrigued - and outraged - enough that she's willing to help, but going up against the Men in Black may prove too much for even Raylene's formidable skills.

Review: This book was fun to read, and I didn't have any major problems, but in the final analysis, urban paranormal mystery/thriller just isn't a genre that's my favorite, or even one in which I'm particularly interested. I suppose I knew that going in; detective thrillers are usually not my favorites to begin with (and even though Raylene is a thief, she's acting enough like a detective in this case to count). It turns out that making the protagonist a vampire didn't really help a lot - her vampirism takes a back seat for most of the book, usually only making her faster and stronger in a fight. So the meat of the book really is straight-up thriller: people getting into fights and shooting at each other and chasing each other and things getting blown up, etc. So that was fun, Priest keeps things moving quickly and with plenty of action, so I was certainly entertained throughout.

Priest also does a nice job with the characters. Raylene's voice is clear and distinctive, and done without relying on gimmicks or tics or catch phrases that so often substituted for real character development. I particularly liked her interactions with the two street kids she's allowing to squat in her warehouse of stolen goods, and I thought the character of Adrian, the ex-military drag queen who winds up becoming Raylene's sidekick, was done really thoughtfully.

I didn't think the mystery aspect was as well developed as it could have been. There were elements I didn't guess ahead of time, so I guess that's in the book's favor, but I was hoping for something more complicated and interesting than "shadowy government conspiracy", but that's all there was. This may be because there is at least one sequel to the book, so more of the secrets behind Project Bloodshoot may be yet to be revealed, but for this book as a standalone, I didn't find the resolution entirely satisfying. I also don't think I'm particularly likely to pick up the sequel. Again, this is a fine book, well-written, funny, lots of good action and good characterization, and I was certainly entertained the whole way through. But it's just not a genre on which I'm particularly interested in spending much of my time, even if there are vampires involved. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you like urban fantasy or mystery thrillers, this is (as far as I can tell) a fun and well-written addition to the field. If you're reading it mostly for the vampires, though, it's probably not going to entirely satisfy. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Mar 28, 2014 |
Raylene steals things for a living. And she is also a vampire. Not the sparkly kind nor the really scary kind, just a human kind with un-deadness. Its an nice relief from all the other vampire types out there. Which is to say, Raylene is powerful, but not too powerful. She is also is very human, which is a welcome change from most urban fantasy novels with vampires.

Raylene is powerful, but paranoid and alone. Its a typical set up for most heroines of this sort of story. As far as the story goes - its fairly typical of the genre. A mad scientist, interesting characters and a well written plot make this book stand out in a genre of repetition. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Mar 9, 2014 |
RATING: 1.5 stars.

I ended up finishing this because I really dislike leaving books unfinished... and I have book 2, too.

It wasn't all bad and I actually think the writing was good. But Raylene and the narrative style got on my nerves. Oh well, maybe book 2 is better?

Full review to come (maybe).

-----------------------------------------------

Cherie Priest é conhecida pela sua série de Steampunk, "The Clockwork Century". No entanto, apesar de ter também um dos livros desta série, a Fantasia Urbana é mais a minha onda... por isso tinha de experimentar os Cheshire Red Reports; afinal diz-se muito bem desta escritora e, bem é fantasia urbana, after all.

Apesar de não ter grandes expectativas (a não ser vagas, devido a todos os elogios), devo dizer que me senti desiludida. O principal problema deste livro, para mim, é que não invoca qualquer emoção no leitor. Ou pelo menos esse foi o caso comigo. As personagens e o enredo não me despertaram interesse, de tal modo que até pensei (seriamente) em desistir do livro. Mas como já tenho o número 2, decidi ler até ao fim. Mas foi com alguma dificuldade, confesso.

As personagens não são memoráveis. De todo. O seu desenvolvimento é incipiente e nenhuma delas é particularmente carismática. A protagonista, a Raylene, é bastante irritante com as suas neuroses e manias (poderia ter sido uma personagem interessante mas o facto de estas características não terem qualquer razão de ser... ou de a mesma não nos ser explicada, tornou esta faceta da personagem bastante desagradável). Os protagonistas masculinos são do mais aborrecido que se possa imaginar apesar de serem (I kid you not) um drag-queen e um vampiro cego.

Quanto ao enredo, tenho de confessar que tinha potencial apesar de ser também um bocado cliché. O Governo tinha um projecto onde fazia experiências em seres sobrenaturais. Mas o ritmo da narrativa (que se arrasta) e o pouco que se passa efectivamente em todo o livro fizeram com que não conseguisse sentir o mínimo interesse pela história. O livro pareceu-me uma longa conversa entre diversas personagens (os momentos de "info-dump") com partes em que as personagens esperam por algo e fazem coisas mundanas como beber chá ou ver televisão. Estas são as partes melhor descritas; as cenas de acção não mereceram tanta atenção.

Outro aspecto irritante: o facto de isto ser, supostamente, "fantasia urbana", mas de fantasia urbana ter muito, mas muito pouco. A Raylene é um vampiro, mas para além de nos estar sempre a lembrar deste facto não acontece assim muito de sobrenatural. É como se o facto de a heroína ser um vampiro fosse só uma curiosidade. É certo que se serve das suas "vantagens" vampíricas de vez em quando mas fora isso, pouco sabemos em relação ao seu mundo e proveniência.

No geral, um livro que tive bastante dificuldade em ler. A escrita é competente mas o desenvolvimento da história e das personagens e o ritmo lento e aborrecido da narrativa fizeram com que fosse quase uma tarefa terminar "Bloodshot". ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
GoodReads: Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist—even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files—documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the wilds of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride. ( )
  fillytilly | Sep 9, 2013 |
I didn't expect to love this. I wasn't a gigantic fan of Boneshaker, after all -- though come to think of it, I did appreciate Cherie Priest's choice of characters, and that's also a factor in my enjoyment of this. Basically, if the following sentence sells it to you, you'll see what I mean. Kickass ex-navy SEAL drag queen who is hot both in and out of drag, capable no matter what situation he's in, devoted to (the memory of?) his sister, can keep up with a century old vampire's super strength and senses and work well as a team with her.

This is not YA. Which is good, because it gives me hope that Raylene (ostensibly the main character) will get together with Adrian (the navy SEAL drag queen). After all, she thinks he's smoking hot, and they have silly grins when they see each other. I quote, "dorky delight". Heck, I'm almost willing to enter the fray of shippers here, if there are any for this book. I liked Ian okay to start with, and I wouldn't object to joining Team Threesome for this book, but Adrian is the character I fell in love with.

I'm not even so sure about the rest of the book -- Raylene's name doesn't feel right, her narration is all over the place in a way that doesn't feel natural a lot of the time, and there's probably plot holes. But I don't care, I'm in for this ride: get me a copy of Hellbent stat, and let's hope Raylene, Ian, Adrian and the kids end up as one big happy dysfunctional family.

Forgot to add -- Raylene is not a harmless vampire. She will rip your throat out if you cross her. You might not even particularly deserve it. I actually appreciated that. She's not human in some ways, and you know it.

I don't understand people who want the same book over and over, with plot-irrelevant sex-scenes. ( )
  shanaqui | May 27, 2013 |
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You wouldn't believe the weird shit people pay me to steal.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist - even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files: documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the frozen outskirts of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta. And with a psychotic, power-hungry scientist on her trail, a kick-ass drag queen on her side, and Men in Black popping up at the most inconvenient moments, the case proves to be one hell of a ride.
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When blind vampire Ian Stott hires thief Raylene Pendle to steal medical documents that may help restore his sight, Raylene learns about Bloodshot, a government-sanctioned project that involved performing cruel experiments on vampires. With the proverbial men in black closing in on her, Raylene follows the Bloodshot document trail from Seattle to Atlanta, where she teams up with a deadly drag queen whose sister was one of the project's victims.… (more)

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