Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas
Released: January 27, 2009
Format: Mass market paperback
Series: Skinners #1
Welcome to the nightmare . . .
There is a world you don’t know about, inhabited by supernatural creatures of darkness—vampires, werewolves, and all manner of savage, impossible beasts that live for terror and slaughter and blood. They are all around us but you cannot see them, for knowledge of their presence—so close and so hungry—would surely drive any ordinary human insane.
But for centuries a special breed of hunter has kept the monsters at bay, preventing them from breaking through the increasingly fragile barriers protecting our mortal realm.
These guardians are called skinners.
But beware . . . for there are very few of them left.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I borrowed Blood Blade from the library so that I could get started on my personal reading challenge for the year. I didn’t want to jump to the fifth Skinners book without reading the previous books in the series and the local library just so happens to have the first few books in the series. I figured it was a sign.
I had some problems settling into Blood Blade. The blurb on the back of the book doesn’t really tell you anything about the characters and so it felt like I was walking in cold turkey. Normally, I don’t mind, but it was a little confusing this time around because the opening chapter deals with the baddy and then the we jump to the main guy in the book, Cole, a videogame programmer whose eyes are rudely awakened when he’s on vacation. This one encounter sets him on a new path, filled with some very scary folks.
Marcus Pelegrimas has created a frightening world. Supernatural creatures do a lot more than go bump in the night and there’s nothing pretty about them, unlike the ones you see in paranormal romance or urban fantasy. The mythology is different — and darker — than what I usually read but it was a lot of fun. There are vampires and weres, but they definitely don’t sparkle. Vampires, or Nymars, exist because of spores that leech everything out of the body and the Nymars need human blood to sustain the spores. Weres aren’t quite as different, though they come in different flavours. Weres and Nymars are at odds and tend to avoid each other, and the Skinners do their best to fight both species, even though they’re severely outmatched and outnumbered. And Cole has to learn about this on the fly.
The story was quite engaging, once I got over my disorientation over who the main characters were. (I think this was partially because it was written in third person, not first, which I am more accustomed to from reading all that urban fantasy.) I didn’t love the book but I found Cole and Paige to be interesting characters and am curious to see what happens to them next.