Book blogger, audiobook lover and shamelessly honest reviewer. Mostly read fantasy, mystery, romance, UF and YA but all genres welcome.
Full Blooded had an interesting premise but the author needs to do some serious work on her world building, characterization and plot development. The ending was good - thus the 3 star rating - but the first half had the most horrid info dumps I've ever read. EVERY CHARACTER talked in long paragraphs of 3+ sentences - in chapter 2, I counted 12 examples of such paragraphs. Don't know what I mean? Here's one an example:
"Listen, Ray. I realize you think I had something to do with this whole mess.” I jabbed my elbow into door, gesturing to my apartment. “And you think I’m hiding a big, juicy secret from the world. Possibly hidden somewhere inside there. In fact, you’ve been dogging me for a very long time trying to find out just exactly what it is, making my life hard and miserable along the way, but here’s the truth—are you ready? I’m not hiding anything.” Well, other than the fact I just turned into a scary werewolf. “I’m not on drugs, I don’t deal them. I don’t have ties to the Colombians, and more importantly, I haven’t broken any laws. The truth is, my boyfriend and I decided to go camping at the last minute simply because the weather was beautiful.” Thank goodness it wasn’t tornado season. “It was just one of those happy, carefree decisions people make. He took care of bringing the keys, and I forgot to get them back. And while we were gone, someone trashed my place. That’s the end of the juicy story.”
I kept imagining Jessica as Joe Friday in one of his infamous speeches.
Everybody talked in the same way: Jessica, her brother, the neighbor, the Pack's second and even her father. There was no distinction accounting for personality or temperament as if everybody goes around the world speaking in speeches.
Besides the crazy info dumps, there wasn't a clear explanation of the premise. Why aren't there any female werewolves? The author didn't delve very deeply into this - it just doesn't seem evolutionary efficient for a race to rely in other females for reproduction. There was some mention of the "shifter gene being coded into the second x chromosome" but then, how is Jessica a werewolf? My husband's explanation: she's a hermaphrodite.
One of the worst issues with the characterization is that we have very little knowledge as to what Jessica is feeling. She's confronted with a lot of new situations but with a few exceptions, we almost never get to know her feelings. Is she scared? Happy? Sad? Envious? Grumpy? We know when her wolf is lusty (which happens quite often) or when she wants to fight but that's pretty much it. What is the point of writing a book in the first person if the reader has to guess the character's feelings?
It was difficult for me to take Jessica seriously when she was so boastful during fights. At one point, a dangerous character is disabled and instead of finishing her off, she decides to have a drawn out fight with an enemy she could have dispatched quickly while having boastful speeches of the 'You're going to die!!' variety. At the same time, the dangerous character took the opportunity to recuperate and wreak further havoc down the road. WHERE'S YOUR BRAIN, WOMAN?
Full Blooded have some really good male characters - Rourke, Callum and James were particularly yummy - and they only reason I'm reading book #2. I really hope the author has curbed her tendency towards info dumping in future books because otherwise, I don't think I'll be able to read further.