The Isis Collar (Blood Singer)
by Cat Adams
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765328731
Date: 13 March 2012 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The fourth of the Blood Singer series, The Isis Collar, continues the story of Celia Graves, part siren and part vampire. Her unique abilities are taxed when an unknown witch engineers attacks on schools. At first, the full effects of the attacks are not anticipated until a zombie plague shows up in adults and children at the first school. Stopping the disease and the witch responsible pushes the combined resources of Celia, her friends, and the FBI to their limit and may end by killing them all.
Celia's siren heritage gives her the ability to influence others, especially men, while the vampire portion bestows strength and rapid healing, but also makes her hungry for human blood. She controls that by a liquid diet of meat broth, energy shakes, and vitamins. She fears if she tastes blood, she might become a full vampire.
When a clairvoyant warns her of an attack on an elementary school, Celia rushes to the rescue. With some difficulty she finds the bomb and alerts the authorities, but they are unable to stop it exploding. In her haste to escape, she grabs a child and dives through a window suffering various cuts, scrapes, bruises, and a bite from the child. Later, she develops headaches that stay and a bruise that grows worse.
No doctor or mage is able to help her. Two mages, former lovers or would-be lovers, surface and try to assist her. Eventually, she learns she has an infection that will turn her into a zombie with the sole goal of spreading the disease to others. Fortunately, the disease is a known but rare phenomenon, and a vaccine is available although in short supply. There are small inconsistencies regarding how the plague was distributed via the magical bombs, i.e., just what the mechanism of transmission was and the time frame for the bite that infects her.
She must also cope with the interference of her sister's ghost and an unnamed manifestation that offers help. To add to all her other difficulties, her mother, an alcoholic siren who hates Celia, escapes detention and must be recaptured before she hurts others or herself. She blames Celia for the death of her sister.
The romance is tantalizing, but nothing really happens and Celia stays caught between two men with no clear preference between them. The novel ends with an exciting climax and a hook to the next one, The Eldritch Conspiracy.
Cat Adams is the pen name of the prolific writing duo of C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. They have several successful paranormal romance series including The Sazi and The Thrall. Reaction to the Blood Singer series has been mixed. Some readers love it while others find it less satisfying, particularly as regards the romance aspect.