Bloodlands by Christine Cody
Genre: Dystopian / Paranormal
Paperback: 336 pages
Release date: July 26 2011
Series: Bloodlands #1
Source: Penguin USA
Reviewed by: Tynga
The New Badlands—a desolate area in the West forged by the terrible events that altered the entire country, where a few frightened citizens retreated underground to shelter from the brutal weather... and from a society gone deadly dangerous.
Then the vampire arrived—and they started calling it the Bloodlands.
Not because Gabriel, the so-called monster running from his true self, was searching for his lover’s murderer. Nor because Mariah, the woman who reluctantly took him in, was willing to do anything to survive in the changed world.
No, the Badlands officially became the Bloodlands the moment a gun-for-hire who’d decided to slay every monster left in the country came after Gabriel...
Set in a future where technology and white-collar villains destroyed the planet as we know it now, Mariah and a bunch of secluded folks are hiding in tunnels underneath the New Badlands, trying to escape the madness… That is, until Stamp came along, wanting to claim their territory for his own. Gabriel, as vampire looking for his runaway girlfriend, will also interfere in his quest to find her… and redemption along the way.
Try and imagine a dystopian set-up with bad guys, mutant creatures and talking dogs and add to it a healthy dose of Western atmosphere and you’ll get a good idea of what to expect in Christine Cody’s Bloodlands. I really enjoyed this dry and hostile territory where water is the most valuable resource. Monsters are roaming the earth, and Vampires aren’t the only ones out for blood. Mystery is also a thick veil over this inhospitable land and the author really keeps us in the dark until the end.
Even though the whole set-up was the star for me in this first novel of the Bloodlands series, the characters were also quite amazing. Mariah is hiding in the tunnels, afraid to go out and trying to run from a terrible, yet very mysterious, past. She was convinced by her Intel Dog (a talking mutant dog) to help Gabriel, a man who showed up at her door, bloody and dying. She has no idea of the trouble she's letting in… Her attraction to him will prove hazardous and I enjoyed their struggle in this very unlikely relationship. Both are figuratively haunted and their personal bogeyman might just catch up to them.
The bad guys are bad, yet when you compare them to the good guys… the lines gets blurry. Not everyone are what they seem in this terrible landscape and your allegiance may deceive you.
The tempo is rather slow even though it’s spiked with bursts of violence and the end is the apogee of this marathon. It will surprise you and completely challenge the perspective you had of the whole plot. Christine tied-up the story very well, no deadly cliff-hanger to speak of, yet I’m very excited for the second installment, Blood Rules, to be released on August 30th.
I would definitely recommend this book to Dystopian and Urban Fantasy fans. It’s a very original tale, not to be missed!
Oh and that cover? Down right amazing.. just sayin’.