Blood Rock by Anthony Francis
BelleBooks (July 2011)
Trade: $15.95; ebook: $12.95
Favorite Lines: “”I’m so sorry, Miss Frost,” Isaacson said. “I think your daughter has Tourette’s.”” (p. 143, egalley)
Book Two in the Skindancer series.
Dakota Frost is back, and the ink is about to hit the fan-again.
Graffiti comes to life in the dark heart of Atlanta’s oldest cemetery, slaying one of the city’s best loved vampires before the eyes of his friend Dakota Frost. Deadly magick is at work on the city’s walls, challenging even the amazing power of Dakota’s tattoos to contain it. The hungry, graffiti magick loves to kill, and the Edgeworld is no longer safe from its own kind.
Dakota begins a harrowing journey to save those she loves and to discover the truth behind the spreading graffiti-even if that truth offends the vampires, alienates the werekin and creates police suspicion of her every action.
Saving Atlanta may cost her everything, including custody of her “adopted” weretiger daughter, Cinnamon. But failure is not an option. If the graffiti isn’t stopped, Cinnamon could be the next victim.
The Skindancer urban fantasy series revolves around magical tattooist Dakota Frost. The marks she tattoos come to life. I recommend you read book one, Frost Moon, before attempting to read Blood Rock, the latest installment in the series.
The story picks up a few weeks after the events of Frost Moon. Dakota is trying to get her soon-to-be adopted daughter enrolled in school, but since the girl is obviously werekin, she is having trouble. One of the things I like about the series is how Francis makes it clear that family is much more than blood. In Blood Rock, Dakota’s family is Cinnamon. She would do anything for her and is forced to go to major extremes for her. That isn’t to say Dakota doesn’t have blood relatives. Her father makes an appearance–I didn’t like him.
Blood Rock is an action packed, non-stop book. I mean as soon as things start popping off, there is no break from the action. I hate to say it–but too much happens. So many things are crammed into the pages that I wanted the author to slow down and investigate a little bit. For example, Dakota’s love life is a hot mess. We all know she’s bisexual. However in this book, she’s kinda in relationships with two different men and her past relationship with the queen of the vampires is a minor secondary plot. But nothing is really explored in-depth. The author explains that Dakota never sees her boyfriend SPOILER, so they break up. END SPOILER I want to tell you more, but it would ruin the shock of your life.
I guess what I want you to know is that the story will RUN you from place to place until you’re exhausted. It’s fun. It’s intriguing. But it’s superficial. There is no time to find the meaning in the events or to pick up on the foreshadowing. That is a minor complaint when compared to the concept of graffiti that eats people. Yep, I said it. Man eating graffiti. I could visualize it consuming vampires, which is positive. I like being able to see events in books take place. Francis gave that to me…in fast forward.
In the end, the book was okay. Had it been a little slower paced, I might have felt different because the book would have had meaning while being entertaining. The one time I found something to connect to emotionally, Francis ripped it away. While I read the book, I thought about how fast things happened, but it really didn’t bother me until later when I thought back on the story.