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Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ace Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441015092
Date: 26 June 2007 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Carolyn Delaney was the girlfriend of Steve Strong just before his death fourteen years ago. Carolyn has contacted Anna and her parents, claiming her daughter is missing and she needs their help because Trish is also Steve's daughter. It turns out that Trish is a new student at the school where Anna's mother is principal. Not only is Trish missing but her best friend Barbara Fanco is also missing. Soon the FBI is involved and Anna learns that there's a lot she doesn't know about her new world and the other creatures that inhabit it unknown to humans. But one thing she does know is just how vile and corrupt humans can be and she wants Trish safe no matter whose daughter she is -- but finding her and keeping her safe may cost Anna her family and maybe her new life.

It's been two months since the events in The Becoming. Anna Strong is learning to cope with her new dietary requirements by seeking donors chosen by Culebra. Chief Williams has been trying to reach her, but she refuses to make contact, preferring to keep her life as normal as possible. But as she searches for Trish Delaney, Anna finds that ignorance is not bliss at all, it can kill you and it can kill those you love.

I was dissatisfied with Anna behavior in The Becoming. She believed everything she was told by Avery -- even after she learned he lied. Then she cut herself off from the vampire world to go her own way. Now at last, Anna realizes that she can't go on -- that she must connect with others who have powers and learn about her new powers, how to control her hunger, and how the shadow world of other mythical but real beings works. While the mystery and its twisty trail of clues, deaths, and greed is satisfying, I think knowing that Anna has now faced her new status squarely and will be learning to live with her changed nature is encouraging for the continuation of the series.

I do have to warn readers that this is a dark book, not for the vampirism but for the crimes against children. It's a difficult book to read but these crimes do happen -- the details are minimal describing the horror of the realization that this is happening rather than giving graphic details of the actions the characters are viewing. Not off screen enough to approach cozy status but definitely, enough to take the edge off the nausea.

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