Book: A Perfect Blood
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: Feb, 2012
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At the end of Pale Demon, Trent sagely outlines to Rachel the danger of rendering herself helpless in the midst of so many enemies. Brought back from the brink of death after kicking Ku’Sox’s butt, and nearly losing her aura by unwittingly carving out a new ley line that has devastating effects in the everafter, Rachel has some tough choices to make. Will she try to live her life without her demon enhanced abilities? Can she? Can she even go back to being an earth witch?
Harrison smartly leads with this thought in A Perfect Blood where Rachel will reap the consequences of her all decisions…good and bad, to finally realize that with great power, comes great responsibility. With one charmed Elven bracelet, Rachel chooses to effectively cut herself off from the scrutiny of the demon collective, ley lines…even Al thinks she’s dead. After the fracas in San Francisco, even the Inderlander government has her declared dead. But has she chosen wisely?
When a deep-seated cell of HAPA (Humans Against Paranormals Association) embarks on a sinister quest to tinker with witch blood carrying the Rosewood syndrome and develop an unearthly weapon against all Inderlander species, Rachel and the gang are up against a foe that will stop at nothing to bring humans back on top of the food chain. While Rachel’s past incursions have mostly been personal, HAPA’s threat spells doom for all Inderlanders and if they succeed it would make the Elf/Demon war look like a walk in the park compared to the death and destruction that would reign down in the Hollows and everywhere else.
This pronounced intensity rages throughout A Perfect Blood, honing the point home that everything is at risk, and Rachel’s final decision about her destiny will be the ultimate game changer. Even the schisms between the I.S. and F.I.B. have to be put to rights-inter-agency cooperation is absolutely essential in combating HAPA.
In order to make this happen, Harrison has introduced a few peripheral characters and situations that makes the mix more interesting, the mysterious vamp Felix (head of the IS) who creatively “borrows” Nina’s body (reminiscent of Ghastek in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series) and Wayde, Rachel’s new were bodyguard makes an appearance, bringing the were contingent into battle by proxy. Even Glenn has a hidden agenda but is playing nice. And there is also the suspicion that HAPA might already be entrenched in either the I.S. or F.I.B…or both.
A Perfect Blood is also about integrating normality into Rachel’s rather abnormal life. Harrison sets a few homey scenes in between battles that relieve some of the tension, and we get a few appearances of Ceri, her new daughter Ray, and Trent’s daughter Lucy, billiard scene with Wayde. Ivy and Jenks have even seemed to move out of their transitional phase…Ivy now in a relationship, and Jenks interestingly enough could be enamored by Belle (Sidereal’s daughter, the fairy, from Black Magic Sanction). This only puts the focus more on Rachel as she tries to suss out her romantic life and its uncertain future.
Though fans might have been expecting a love connection with one particular character (Trent), instead we find a true burgeoning friendship developing between them that doesn’t disappoint. To what end…we shall see. Rather, it more than whetted my appetite. Harrison is smokingly seductive, as she taunts us page after page with their interactions.
First Trent and Rachel must learn to be friends, learn to trust before anything else can happen and that means that Rachel has to forgive Trent and drop the animosity she has for him.
The newfound playfulness between Rachel and Trent is refreshing and intensely appealing. Rachel finds herself musing more and more about Trent (and his hair!), unable (or unwilling) to recognize what those feelings really mean. He continues to prove himself yet again as he protects her from Al, HAPA, and even herself. He is instrumental-absolutely key in helping Rachel grow into who she is (he admits it to her and Al). He even alludes that he is her S’han. Come on…he made her a ley line pinky ring…there is obviously more there than meets the eye, but Harrison is playing it close to the vest.
Besides Trent being absolutely fantastic in A Perfect Blood…sexy…single-minded, and just plain delicious-I honestly don’t think Harrison is going to abandon this yummy loose end. There’s too much invested in it and it seems pretty clear that Harrison is building a foundation…will Rachel end up taking the plunge? I would have definitely liked to have seen a repeat of that smoldering kiss in Pale Demon, but still readers will raise eyebrows over and over again at the delicious hints that Harrisons scatters throughout the book. It’s simply tantalizing, but looks like we’ll have to wait to see what happens in Book #11.
Once again, Kim Harrison stole my sleep because I simply could not put it down. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Harrison never disappoints and the quality of A Perfect Blood was consistent with all her previous novels, energetic and romantically charged. Hands down…I loved it.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review