Favorite Line: ‘How’d it go with the horny bastard then?’ (p.68) Read a chapter at the author’s website.
Genevieve Taylor is the only sidhe living in London. She’s also a member of Spellcrackers.com, a witch owned business which solves magical problems by neutralizing them. However, living under the protection of witches comes with a price: no contact with vampires. Not really a big deal when you don’t want to deal with the blood sucking undead, but a huge problem when Genny is roped into helping prove a vampire didn’t kill his girlfriend.
Suzanne McLeod has a wonderful imagination as most people who have read her Spellcrackers.com series will verify. She brings new life to vampires, fae, sidhe, goblins and trolls; she makes magic. . .well, magical. I discovered this when I read her introductory book, The Sweet Scent of Blood, which proves not all urban fantasy novels are equal.
Not unlike other series (think Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series), vampires are ruled by different houses all of which seem to have a secret agenda. Vampires are sneaky, so what they want and when they will let the rest of us know could happen at any point in time. McLeod does introduce the idea of vampire venom being similar to crack. Basically at the same time a vampire sucks blood, it is injecting an addictive venom into its victim’s blood. The venom, V1, increases red blood cell production and kills off disease. It also makes a person reliant on being bitten.
But what truly makes this urban fantasy stand out are the descriptive introductions of paranormal creatures and the world in which all the creatures cohabitate. With descriptions like “muscle bound child”… with a “liver spotted face,” McLeod ensures her readers have clear picture of the paranormal city of London.
Despite the great world building and quick pace, I had one issue with the story. I kept feeling like I was missing something. Kind of like a ghost hovering out of eyesight, the niggling feeling that I wasn’t getting an important part of the storyline about drove me crazy. In the end, I think McLeod did this on purpose to interest her readers in the next Spellcrackers.com book where several story lines will need to be addressed.
If you are a rabid reader like I am, you might find the setting to be a convenient part of The Sweet Scent of Blood; I did. Simply because the books are originally released in the UK before being exported to North America. What does this mean? Well you can purchase The Sweet Scent of Blood at Borders, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but you can’t get book 2, The Cold Scent of Death in North America until May 2011, and book 3, The Bitter Seed of Magic until May 2012. Which is why I bought book 2 from The Book Depository and will pick up book 3 in November 2010 from there as well. (Can you say free international shipping? You can buy a book for $2 and get it shipped to you for free.)
If you buy the UK version keep in mind word spellings will be different.
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And check out Marta’s interview with Suzanne at Vampire Wire.