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Blood Ties by Jennifer Armintrout

Complete with 4 novels.
Genres: urban fantasy

Blurb:

Carrie Ames is an ER doctor. One night she was attacked by something in the morgue and ends up a vampire. She ends up in the care of Nathan Grant with a blood tie to her sire, Cyrus. A blood tie that complicates things as Cyrus’ father is trying to take over the world.

Reading Order:

1. The Turning
2. Possession
3. Ashes to Ashes
4. All Souls’ Night

Series Review:

The Turning is the start to a vampire series with evil villains and do-gooders who hate who they are. I really think that this series was supposed to be a standalone that was asked to be turned into a series. I feel like The Turning was a strangely complete story on its own. Possession just felt like it was adding onto a story that wasn’t expected to be added onto. While the series does get better after the first book, I still can’t say I like it.

The main character is Carrie Ames. She is a doctor and a professional whiner. There just really wasn’t anything good or likable about her. She is selfish and she doesn’t care about anyone else. Worst of all, she is just completely devoid of a brain or common sense. She doesn’t use her head at all to think about what the hell she is doing. She causes almost every single one of her problems just by being an idiot who refuses to think more than 5 seconds ahead.

Then there is Nathan Grant, who is a vampire and is supposed to serve as Carrie’s introduction into the vampire world and love interest. Nathan tries to keep Carrie protected “for her own good”, even when her life is going up in flames and she is scared and determined to do something, anything in order to get some semblance of sanity back. He deliberately keeps Carrie in the dark about everything. He causes the rest of the problems, simply by not listening to her. He enrages me, quite frankly.

Then there is Carrie’s sire, Cyrus. He is big and bad and evil. Cyrus accidentally turned Carrie when she bit him because he was trying to kill her as she worked on him in the ER. He also doesn’t really care that he turned her and let her loose, but he wants her for some inexplicable reason, because he is evil. We’re supposed to feel sorry for him because his daddy is even more evil and has told Cyrus what to do every step of the way and Cyrus has no ability to go against his father’s commandments. In the first book this is true and it was comically done, but over the course of the series I really felt for him after everything he went through. The most interesting arc was the redemption of Cyrus.

There is also Max, who is one of Nathan’s friends and coworkers. He is fun and lighthearted and a total playboy. There is also Bella who is a werewolf

I hate pretty much all of these people and their stupid romances, though. Definitely my least favourite part of the series are the people in it. On the one side we have Carrie, Nathan, and Cyrus. Carrie “loves” Nathan, who is still hung up on his wife who died because of him decades ago, which is complicated by the fact that technically Nathan has sired Carrie due to a blood fluke in the first book. Carrie also “loves” Cyrus because of the weird fact that she sired Cyrus after he had been resurrected into being a human again, after Cyrus was Carries original sire. The jealousy, pain, and sheer exertion of this love triangle that is being fucked up because of the soul mate bonds is just exhausting.

On the other side is Max, and Max’s weird werewolf lover, Bella. Max is basically a playboy who decides because he met the right woman it is time to settle down, but doesn’t really have much else going for him except being the “fun” one. Bella is weird and refuses to be with Max but he has finally worn her down. These characters are better than the trio from hell above, but they just aren’t as fully realised as characters and I kind of resent their addition because it takes time away from other important things.

The world makes me unreasonably annoyed. It isn’t just the fact that these vampires don’t seem to fit in the world as we know it. It isn’t just that the power levels between vampires doesn’t make any real sense. It isn’t that the siring process and bond are just confusing at best, deliberately unexplored at worst. It is the fact that the majority of vampires are determined to voluntarily extinct their own species. They call themselves the “Movement of Voluntary Extinction”. Seriously. They stipulate you cannot do anything to save another vampire. You have to kill all new fledglings unless they join the cause. Rule breakers are killed if the Movement can catch up to them. It just seems so…unnecessary. So ridiculous. So entirely not possible in the least. I just really do not like it.

Possession starts the story of Cyrus’ dad trying to take over everything. Carrie and the “good guys” go to ask the Voluntary Movement of Idiotic Vampires for help, and of course they turn them down, because they don’t care about preserving vampire life. It introduces a lot of gogogo into the story to try and stop him, with a lot of bad things happening along the way. Interesting in its own way.

In a lot of ways, the end really just felt too easy. There was all this planning, all these loopholes and sidesteps and drawing things out. And then it just ends. Just like that. I just really don’t believe Armintrout knew how to end this series. I feel like she wrote a standalone, and the author pushed her to make it into a series because that would be the only way they would publish it. So she had to come up with something, and then drew out the story further and further….and just didn’t really know how to end it. She had a general idea of the way she wanted things to go, but the execution fell flat.

 

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