Monday, July 11, 2011

Dirty Blood

Dirty Blood
By: Heather Hildenbrand
ISBN:  9781461065715
Published April 28, 2011 by Accendo Press
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

After an impulsive breakup with her boyfriend at her favorite pool hall, Tara is stranded without a ride back home. Taking a shortcut through a dark alley (hello?!?), she has a run-in with a girl who seems to hate her for no reason whatsoever. When the girl shifts into a huge wolf right before Tara’s eyes, some hidden instinct kicks in and Tara manages to kill the wolf-girl, sustaining some minor injuries. Insert hot, mysterious guy who helps Tara clean up the mess and temporarily forget the evening even happened. When he shows up in her bedroom the following day, Tara is suddenly thrust into a world she never imagined existed and learns she is a born and bred Werewolf Hunter.

There is some inexplicable magnetism between Tara and her new pal Wes, but more than that, it seems it is Tara’s destiny to be the powerful new leader of The Cause – a society of werewolves and Hunters that are working together to bring peace between all such beings around the world. The opposition has other ideas about the relationship between the shifters and those that wish them dead, and Tara is soon to be caught right smack in the middle. 

Overall, I liked Dirty Blood. I liked the storyline. I liked the characters. I liked the secrets. I liked the action. I did have a moment, when Tara meets Wes, where I thought, Oh Lord, here we go again. She’s falling for this guy she knows nothing about. And, here we have another less-than-self-sufficient heroine on our hands. Granted, Tara doesn’t know that she is a Hunter, and she has obviously never trained before, but I am almost sick of seeing the damsel-in-distress protagonists that all these female authors keep throwing at us! It used to bother me less. Heck, I’ve even written one myself. But the more I read and the more I discuss books with other people, the more it irks me. Tara does toughen up and fight for herself as the plot moves on, but it still bothers me that she doesn’t put up more of a fight for all the decisions everyone else is making for her. If she is supposed to be a leader, shouldn’t she be standing up for herself in a big way?

That really is a minor complaint, however. I can totally live with love at first sight and weak girls. If I turn off my critical side, I absolutely get the attraction she has to Wes. I can see how she can so easily trust the other members of The Cause. I even understand why she can’t quite let poor ol’ George go. Lord knows the last thing on my mind when I was her age was being able to kick werewolf butt, much less thinking rationally about who I was and was not attracted to.

If you like YA fantasy/paranormal, especially werewolves, you’ll definitely like Dirty Blood.  I’m looking forward to checking out Heather’s other books and the next in the Dirty Blood series, Cold Blood!