Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: Paranormal, Adventure, Ass-kicking, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: September 2011 (expected)
Synopsis: Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths. Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?
☆: 5/5 – a fantastic new adventure with everyone’s favorite vampire thief!
Review: Cherie Priest is proving to be quite the awesome voice not only in steampunk/alternate history but also in urban fantasy. I think I loved this one even more than the first – it was really that great! That, and I nearly peed myself laughing with some of the exchanges with Raylene and the rest of the gang. If you thought the last book was fun, “Hellbent” far exceeded expectations and is definitely on my top ten list for the year.
Okay, the entire first half of the book with the baculi (cock rocks, dick sticks, etc – I can’t imagine what kind of time Priest had sitting thinking all of those euphemisms up!) was comedy gold. And Pita – I kind of want a Pita of my very own. The character change in Raylene in the interim between the first and now this second book is huge, in terms of how she’s associating with people – undead or not. She’s still the hilarious, semi-nuts, OCD-ridden vampire thief we all know and love, but it’s so nice to see her with what ends up becoming her family. Teaching us that in the end, family is not necessarily blood-only, but the ones we choose to be in our lives.
The second half of the book sets up whatever’s coming for book three (whenever it’ll be announced, but I’m confident it will be because it’d be just plain cruel to leave us hanging). Samantha is less of a major player in this half of the book, but she’s still part of the team, and an important one at that. I love how Priest resolved Adrian’s search for his sister at the end of this book — she didn’t drag it out too long, but at the same time, the problem with both Ian and Isabelle isn’t solved yet, and it sets up for the ultimate boss fight against the big bad for book three. And the fact that Raylene sets up a House (for all)! That was great. I’m kind of hoping for a war with the Houses along with the boss fight with the big bad in book three, but we’ll see what happens.
If I could give it more than five stars, I would.
In short? I loved every second of this book and it was agonizing to get to the end of the last page. I didn’t want to leave this world, and I still kind of don’t. But I know I’ll return soon. If you want some urban fantasy that’s not necessarily drenched in sex every five seconds (and hey, I have nothing against that, except for the fact that it’s starting to define the entire genre), give both ‘Hellbent” and “Bloodshot” a try. Seriously. You won’t regret it.