Flora Reviews… Deadline (Blood Trails #1) by Jennifer Blackstream
Read: 8th – 15th January 2018
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s Deadline about?
Deadline is the first book (approx 339 pages) in Ms Blackstream’s new series Blood Trails. An urban fantasy series set in America about a village witch, Shade Renard, turned private investigator. Deadline features many supernatural beings found in mythology, including; witches, vampires, wizards, sorceress, pixies and various species of fae and is a crime/ murder mystery story.
Fans of Ms Blackstream’s Blood Prince series and Blood Realm series will be familiar with the creation myth found in Deadline and may recognise some of the characters found within these pages, however, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read these other paranormal romance series to enjoy this book.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
As a witch with a dark past, Shade Renard knows the Otherworld isn’t always successful at policing itself. Humans don’t believe in magic anymore, and their ignorance renders them easy prey. So when an FBI contact hires her to consult on a possible haunting in a missing persons case, Shade seizes the opportunity to see justice done.
Her case takes an unexpected turn when an undead crime lord shows up on her doorstep. A bold thief stole the vampire’s little black book of secrets—and he’ll pay a lot more than an FBI consulting fee to get it back. To collect, Shade will have to confront a rogue sorceress, a vengeful wizard, and a lethally seductive fey, with only her wits, her growing magic, and a sarcastic pixie familiar.
Success means bringing a killer to justice and taking the first step to redemption. Failure means a war between humans and the Otherworld.
I was given an unedited digital version of this book (eARC) for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence or affect this review. This is my candid opinion about the writing style and story.
So, what did I like about Deadline?
I have read, and enjoyed Ms Blackstream’s short story “The Final Straw” (found in the anthology, Once Upon A Curse) and Before Midnight (the first novel in her Blood Prince series). I find her writing style intelligent and easy to read, her plot lines gripping and her characters captivating and believable. Deadline did not let me down.
We hit the ground running with an action packed first chapter. I liked the mix of tension and humour as we are introduced to our heroine, Shade and her familiar, the unforgettable pixie, Peasblossom and what it actually means to be a village witch.
I really liked our heroine, Shade; she’s intelligent, witty and has loads of gumption (I thought she may have bitten off more than she could chew at times during this book). I also loved the fact that the secondary characters that Ms Blackstream created to populate her world felt just as real as our leads – they weren’t just filling the page – they all had the complexities that we’d see in those around us, they had a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real.
Deadline kept me guessing.
There are a few mysteries for our heroine, Shade, to solve within these pages, but fear not dear reader no cliffhangers here. (Woohoo!) There are lots of twists and turns during Shade’s investigation to satisfy my Sherlock-Holmes-tendencies and it’s not all easy sailing either, there is danger, tension and some scary moments in this book.
I loved the fact that Deadline had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath, wiping a tear from my cheek, chuckling out loud and tingling with titillation.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
I just wanted to say that, as this is the first book in a new series there are questions left to answer about Shade’s past and what her future may hold. In my opinions this is a good thing – it leaves background story arcs to continue to the next book and beyond.
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I really loved Deadline!
Deadline has got everything that I look for in a 5 star read; great action to get the adrenaline pumping, an intelligent mystery to get the little grey cells whirling, nail biting tension and well written humour (there may even be a bit of romance on the horizon).
So, has my review of DEADLINE (BLOOD TRAILS #1) encouraged you to find out more? Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep Reading to find out more about the author and this series.
Blood Trails Series
An urban fantasy series set in America about a village witch, Shade Renard, turned private investigator. Every book has a different crime or murder mystery for Shade to investigate, which she solves by the end of each book.
Click below to read my review or check out the books yourself.
- Deadline (Blood Trails #1) (2018)
- Monster (Blood Trails #2) (2018)
- Taken (Blood Trails #3) (2018)
- Corruption (Blood Trails #4) (2019)
- Mercenary (Blood Trails #5) (2019)
- Caged (Blood Trails #6) (2019)
- Betrayal (Blood Trails #7) (2020)
Buy any of the stories in Blood Trails series in print and ebook formats through the usual sources, including:
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Click HERE to read my full disclosure statement.
Jennifer Blackstream is a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She is amazed and grateful to have made a writing career out of a Master’s degree in Psychology, hours of couch-detecting watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and endless research into mythology and fairy tales. She firmly believes that whether it’s a village witch deciding she wants to be a private investigator, or a single mother having a go at being a full time writer, it’s never too late for a new adventure.
A fervent devotee of cooperative board games, Jennifer sets aside at least two nights a week for team-based adventures such as Mice & Mystics, Sentinels of the Multiverse, or Harry Potter: Battle at Hogwarts. She uses games with dice-based mechanics to lure in her ridiculously lucky-rolling son and daughter in the hope that they too will develop a passion for cooperative escapism.
Jennifer’s Blood Prince series is a paranormal romance retelling of favourite fairy tales. The Blood Realm spin-off series is the expansion of that world. While her Blood Trails series is a new urban fantasy built on her previous Blood world foundations.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. I really appreciate it. Jennifer Blackstream is one of my favourite authors. Click HERE to see my other favourite writers.