Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Blood Calling by Joshua Grover-David Patterson

Blood Calling 
by Joshua Grover-David Patterson 

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Vampires
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 10, 2011
Source: review copy from author (ebook)
Age Rating: 13+
When Lucy Leary turned eighteen, her life fell apart. She crashed her car, her best friend abandoned her, her parents divorced, and her grandfather passed away, leaving her a single possession: A vampire slaying kit with a note that said, “THEY’RE REAL. FIGHT THEM.”

Now Lucy must stop the oldest, most dangerous vampire in history, before it can kill her family. 
My Review

I hate to have to do it, but sometimes I must. This novel just warrants a negative review because it's riddled with what I perceive to be a lot of problems. If anything, it wasn't for me.

Now, this first issue isn't necessarily a problem, but that depends on the reader's preferred narrative style. This is a fictional autobiographical novel, so it reads like someone telling you their life story way back when it happened. Don't expect to be transported through time and space, feeling as though you're right there with the characters like a fly on the wall. I'm not against this style, but if every book were written this way, I know I'd get annoyed, eventually.

Story and characterization difficulties abound. There's no semblance of a plot. The characters just do one thing, then move on the next thing, kind of like real life. That can work in some fiction, like Interview with the Vampire, to name another vampire novel. But, not here. At least Louis regales an actual character in the novel with his life history. Here, we get Lucy rambling for 65,000 words to whatever reader will listen to her. And, of course, there's no depth of character, no inspired thematic elements to rescue it.

There are misplaced digressions that just don't seem to matter. The story of how Emma became a vampire is good, I'll admit. But, other than it being how she met the villain character, a bad old vampire, I didn't see any point to it. Then there's Wash's story of how he met the bad old vampire, told by Emma right before Lucy needed to go fight the guy in a one-on-one battle. Lucy even asks Emma to give her some fighting pointers before she goes to fight him, but Emma claims there's no time for that. But, there's time for a pointless story on how Wash met the bad old vampire? It makes no sense.

I also have a problem with every character sounding exactly the same. Many times they go on and on about something, for several paragraphs, which is not good, sounding exactly like the main character narrator. And, we get way too many details of every mundane thing Lucy does. She steps into the bathroom and she brushes her teeth, and then she gets into the shower, and she lathers up the shampoo—then, later she checks her phone for messages, etc., etc. This is commonplace, and doesn't add anything meaningful to the story.

I will never advise against buying a book because if you want to read something, despite my opinion of it, then you should. It's your life. Some people might find this story charming. I can see that. None of the characters are annoying, and at least Lucy's not some selfish, spoiled brat who sits around and lets everyone do everything for her. The story is not completely awful, but not particularly good. And, that's all I really can say about that.

* I received this from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

My score: 2 out of 5 stars. (Did not like.)


  1. Yikes! I am not a fan of the mundane descriptions of every day things. It really is irrelevant and kills the pacing of the story. I'm skeptical about reading another vampire book as it is so this one probably isn't going to float my boat. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. I hate having to write reviews like that, too - but you explained your reasons well, and I appreciate that. Narrative style and plot structures make a HUGE difference in how readers perceive a book, and it's completely understandable why this one didn't mesh for you.

    Hopefully the next book is a better fit! :)

  3. @Lan: Yes, this book really went too far with every little thing the MC did that meant nothing to the plot. It could have easily been summed up in a sentence or two.

    @BJ: Thanks. I'd much rather support struggling authors, but I can't support any literature that I feel isn't deserving of it. Some self-published authors publish way before they're ready to do so. It's just a matter of improving one's writing craft with practice and time.

  4. Geez, I really hate writing less-than-positive reviews. But your's is very thoughtful w/the reasoning. Better luck next time.
    Great review!

  5. @Andrea: Thank you. I feel more like I have to defend my reasons for disliking a book than when I write a positive review.


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