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YA Fantasy Review: ‘Dirty Blood’ (Dirty Blood 01) by Heather Hildenbrandt

EN GARDE!

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.

My impressions:

ENGAGEMENT
If you read the synopsis then you will know…nothing, literally nothing about this novel. What’s more, you might be tricked into thinking it is a nice YA Urban Fantasy with werewolves. It is NOT. Before I reveal the whole ugly truth about this one let me put on my protective suit and I warn you: things will become dangerous from that point. If you are queasy, just avert your eyes and leave. Yes, there will be BLOOD.

Now, protected by many charms, garlic and silver, with my faithful sword, cape and a hat, I can proceed.

FIRST SLASH:
It is not a book about werewolves. It is a book about vampires masquerading as werewolves.Have you ever heard about a series featuring sparkling, vain, teenage, bloodsuckers, one of them called Edward Cullen? Yes, we are hunting that rainbow-coloured git again. Prepare yourself for a ferocious fight. He is the cunning one but I’ve dealt with him in the past so I know my enemy. Just follow my steps and you’ll be safe.

SERIOUS FENCING TRICKS
I got the inkling we might deal with him again when I read his description: brown hair, artlessly mussed up, brown eyes with golden sparks, muscled body, but one can never be sure in my profession, right? So I waited and then, after a very short time, I struck gold. He was stalking a girl, yes, once again, and her name was Tara. He went into her house several times completely unannounced – sometimes through the door, sometimes through the window. He never bothered to knock. He was a controlling ass…thingy. I was almost sure I got the sparkling idiot again but I had to be 100% certain. And yessssssss…finally the last proof. He could read minds and manipulate memories. It’s him.

DIRTY FEINTS
So what that he claimed his name was Wes and he was a kind of werewolf this time? My word against his, right? He told that Tara girl (the main protagonist) his mind-reading abilities were on full display only during full moon but he was able to read her mind and influence it without any problems, right? I know Edward Cullen when I see him and let me repeat it once again: it WAS him. He drove a silver Aston Martin for heavens’ sake! Do you still need any other argument? YOU DO? Verry well. Right after their second or third meeting Tara asks “How old are you?” and Wes replies “Nineteen”. Tara then says “How long have you been nineteen?” Weirdly it sounds exactly like one of those Bella and Cullen sweet dialogues, don’t you think? Plus these other crappy promises: he is “protecting your virtue” honey, protecting all the time and referring to neutral ground as “switzerland”. If you need more you simply don’t qualify for this job.

COUP DE GRâCE
Having dispatched the ugly Cullen let me take care of the rest. The characters, ALL the characters were cardboard flat copies of different Twilight vampires (and let me say that those weren’t exceptionally well-rounded to begin with). Apart from that the author seemed to be rather at loss how to make this novel logic and distinguishable. The main heroine is repeatedly lied to by: her mom, her grandma, her boyfriend, her would-be boyfriend Wes. They do it to protect her, a born Hunter, against other, ‘bad’ werewolves. Yes, instead letting her train as she was supposed to they endanger her life because it’s their idea of ‘protection’. Well, last time I looked knowledge was power, not ignorance and stupidity…

At the very beginning Tara kills a werewolf girl called Lilian. Yes, the girl attacked her for no reason and yes, Tara was just defending herself but she kills her nevertheless. What’s her reaction and what other weres think ? First Wes/Cullen observes Tara as if she was a scientific experiment that backfired; Lilian’s body is just something that he must get rid of. Then he makes Tara forget the whole incident for ‘her own good’ of course, and then we are told that it was practically ok. Although Lilian was one of those ‘good’, bunnies-hugging werewolves who want world peace and social benefits for everyone, her killing wasn’t Tara’s fault because she simply couldn’t help herself. Lilian… *emphatic shrug* well…Lilian was a blonde and a traitor anyway. Or almost a traitor because nobody had any tangible proof of it at the time of her death. Well, she died so something must have been wrong with her, right? Apart from that only a baddie, Leo, mourns her, no big deal… Remember, Cullen doesn’t do blondes, one more, one less, just a cannon fodder…

The last remark. I almost died of evil laughter when Wes announced to Tara that she was his destiny. DESTINY!!! That’s what entitled him to enter her room unannounced whenever he wanted to, that’s why he was drawn to her from the very ugly beginning, even though she killed a girl in cold blood right before his eyes. She was his destiny, it explains everything. For that sentence alone Cullen deserves a slow, painful death by sunrays, werewolf or not. If you’ve heard a sillier excuse to stalk anybody do let me know. I might write a book about them one day. You see, even vampire killers retire.

BURYING THE BODY or Final verdict:

It’s time to go – I have things to do and vampires to kill. Just let me say this: the less I read such novels the more happy I am. You have been warned. One star.


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