Reality: Only interesting when vampires and smartphones are involved (wait, what?), or, a review of Blood Calling

Blood Calling

It’s very hard to find a character with interests similar to mine, but this has changed. I am happy to report that I am represented in YA fiction–I have finally found a character who loves surfing the web and buying books on her smartphone as much as I do. At last I am validated. I can’t cast spells like Harry. I can’t shoot arrows like Katniss. But wasting time online? That’s something I can do, and I’ve never been prouder to do it.

I randomly discovered this book in my Kindle. I didn’t remember downloading it, I didn’t remember how much it cost, and I didn’t remember the barest outline of the summary. I was trawling my carousel for books to read, and the cover + the vampy title lured a click out of me. Going in, I had no idea what to expect, but I found myself pleasantly surprised.

The first element that jumped out at me was the narrative. As in many young adult novels, the heroine, Lucy, faces problems common to most highschoolers–but she deals with them realistically. Time and events pass in seemingly non-connected ways, but they all lead her to a homeless shelter run by a man who goes by the name of Wash (short for Washington). Vampires ensue. Yay!

First person narratives have become common in YA. I’ve never minded them all that much, but I have noticed that authors don’t always use them to full effect. I’m happy to report that Patterson makes use of their full potential here. Lucy is sharp, dry, and possesses just enough cynicism to warm my icy little heart. Her narration is why the supporting characters work so well–characterization is spare, but we know only what Lucy knows. When I was reading it, I could easily believe that they all had lives beyond Lucy’s knowledge. Other reviewers have stated that Blood Calling could have had a better villain, and looking back, I agree. The other characters got such lovely backstories, but not our resident bad guy–and if anyone needs a good backstory, it’s the bad guys. Typos were another flaw, but since they seemed like innocent mistakes, not systematic bad grammar, I forgave them.

Despite the typos, however, Blood Calling is representative of what’s good about the self-publishing industry. This book could have been traditionally published, but it’s unlikely. For one thing, this is the first book I’ve read in which a major character who is a black vampire does not die. (I actually stopped watching Vampire Diaries when I realized that they had decided to kill off every interesting non-white vampire in Season 1. Among other reasons.)

All in all, excellent book, definitely recommend reading, and I hear there’s a sequel. BRB, ordering right now.

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2 thoughts on “Reality: Only interesting when vampires and smartphones are involved (wait, what?), or, a review of Blood Calling

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