Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Red Blooded + Giveaway

Red Blooded (Jessica McClain, #4)Author: Amanda Carlson
Series: Jessica McClain, #4
Released: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Lenght: 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

After Jessica's brother is kidnapped and taken to the Underworld, she will stop at nothing to get him back. But before her grueling training is finished, Jessica's power mixes unexpectedly with the circle and she's dropped into the Underworld without protection or her escorts.

Well, it’s official: when it comes to urban fantasy, Amanda Carlson can do no wrong. Her fourth book in the Jessica McClain series is her fourth success in a row, which is no small feat. Admittedly, it might be my least favorite of the four, but that’s only because the competition is so strong. All things considered, this is one of the strongest, most consistent urban fantasy series still being published.

Red Blooded takes Jessica McClain to the demon realm in search of her twin Tyler, who was taken from her at the very end of the previous book. Instead of going with a group of paranormals and friends, Jessica ends up there alone through a series of unfortunate events, and she wanders around quite a bit before reuniting with the others. Instead of bringing a new freshness to the series as I’m sure it was supposed to, the complete change of setting succeeded in alienating us from the secondary characters we’ve grown to love. In addition, the entire demon realm adventure seemed directionless and it was difficult to understand why Carlson chose to make such a move.

On the other hand, the demon realm itself was a very vivid and imaginative setting. I loved She’ol, the demon capital, and all the different kinds of demons there. Their social structure was described fairly well and untangling the rules of their society provided a lot of entertainment. That’s the sort of thing urban fantasy readers usually enjoy, and here it was done very well.

As always, I found Jessica’s relationship with her wolf and their rather odd dynamic quite fascinating. She’s not a regular shapeshifter like the ones we’re used to. Jessica and her wolf are two completely separate entities that share a body, and they communicate directly, especially when in danger. On the down side, Jessica is slowly turning into one of those all-powerful urban fantasy heroines, the ones that have no limits whatsoever, and it’s slowly becoming too much. The line isn’t far, though, and Carlson’s going to have to be very careful not to cross it.

Right now, however, this is a very strong, very reliable series and I hope it stays that way. With all the cross-genre novels that are currently being published, true urban fantasy books are increasingly difficult to find, and Jessica McClain series is UF in its purest form. That fact alone makes it special and worth your time.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

I accidentally ended up with an extra copy of Red Blooded (love you too, Orbit), so we agreed to send it out to one of you guys. This giveaway is international, I'll send this out anywhere with a zip code. I've also made entering as easy as possible. Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. If anyone can appreciate Urban Fantasy in its purest form, it is you, my dear. I just hope it gets better for you, though.

    Great review! and Giveaway. :)

  2. Oooh, this sounds so interesting. I've never read Carlson, but she's just made it high up on my TBR --- sounds like this is right up my alley. Thanks for the review! (Oh, and the giveaway too ;) )

  3. I liked this one and at the same time I had some issues with it. I was a little sad I confess but I'm curiious what we'll have in the following books.

  4. I shall start this one before you come running for me, right? I really love the sound of it and that world seems so vivid and that's my fave kind. Also their relationship seems like something I need to see. Well I will get to it and in the meantime I truly hope that the next sequel will get better ;) Great review, Maja :)

  5. This is definitely a series I need to read Maja! Even though this wasn't the strongest installment, it still sounds like it was a solid read, and I really can't wait to meet Jessica. I like that she and her wolf are separate entities entirely, that sounds like a rather fascinating dynamic:)

  6. I loved the first two books and the 3rd one was a bit disappointing and it looks like this one is too. But it is still good UF so I will read it.

  7. I do want to read this series but I think this will be one of those I wait until all the books are out before starting it.
    Glad this overall was a good read for you Maja!

  8. You are the queen of Urban Fantasy books, Maja! I love how passionate you are about this genre and how you are constantly sharing your love for books! :)
    This does sound like an interesting series. I usually like books that are about wolves. I find it interesting that she and the wolf are separate and have a quirky relationship. I'll be adding this to my tbr!
    Great review!

  9. Okay, this sounds like a series I definitely need to read! And only 4 books out makes it not quite so overwhelming!

  10. I have the first two that need to be read, but no one seems to be overly thrilled with this one, which is too bad. I hope things get back on track with the next one.

  11. I've never heard of this series, but I'm impressed that it is reliable and enjoyable with 4 books in the series. I've been really sad when the CV series didn't seem as fun as the first few books. I like the sound of a detailed demon world and the fact that Jessica and her wolf are two separate entities. I'll add it to my list. Thanks!

  12. Yea, this one wasn't my fave either, but the characters are what has me wanting to continue the series. Hopefully she will get back on track with the next installment.

  13. I am hearing some bad things about a shower scene, but I want to give it a go. I was a bit disappointed with book 3 but I do want to give it one more chance

  14. You have a lot of experience with urban fantasy so so many compliments are quite something^^ i'm glad to learn teh series is consistent it's not that easy to accomplish

    thank you also for teh generous giveaway

  15. I've been meaning to get a start on this series for awhile but somehow just haven't. But at this point, I really have no excuse. I trust your judgement on UF completely and am thrilled to hear that this is a solid, trustworthy series--I need one of those now that there aren't any more Kate or Mercy books for me to devour. Fantastic review, Maja, as always. :)

  16. I was afraid of this, which is why I think I've put off reading this one. I've really enjoyed the series and hoped that we'd get back to the wolfy world but, instead, we're in the demon realm. Of course, this doesn't mean I won't read it!! :)

  17. I need to get back to this series! I read and really enjoyed the first one. Nice to see the series is still going strong at book four even if this wasn't your favorite. I'm wondering how the romance is going, but I'm kind of glad you didn't mention it since I'm behind in the series. Wonderful review, Maja! :)

  18. Thanks for the chance! This sounds like my type of book, I love stories about a kidnapped brother or sister and then the other sibling does everything to save him/her.

    Carla C. *jen7waters*


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