Blood Rules, the terrific second installment in the fabulous Bloodlands series, pulls the reader into its engrossing world on the first page and keeps them there for the duration of the novel. Beginning at a point shortly after where its predecessor left off, werewolf Mariah and vampire Gabriel are seeking to come to terms with the revelations and events of book one. Gabriel now experiences conflicting feelings regarding Mariah since discovering that she had killed Abby, the woman he had gone to the Badlands looking for, who, unbeknownst to him, was a werewolf herself. Mariah tries to adjust to the changes in Gabriel while also attempting to tame the beast inside of her, which becomes even more difficult after she comes across some papers and belongings of her dead father.
After an emotional reaction to this discovery that leads to somewhat of an irrational response, Mariah once again worries that her actions will endanger her friends and give away their new location. Chaplin, Mariah’s Intel dog, states that there may indeed be a cure for the preternatural state. Once Chaplin mentions this possibility, Mariah cannot let the thought go and determines to head out to one of the city hubs to find out what she can. Since he feels responsible for her and because he would also like to investigate the chance of a cure, Gabriel decides to go along with Mariah.
Meanwhile, as Mariah and Gabriel begin their journey, former Shredder (monster-killer) Stamp and his partner, Mags, begin to once again track the group of Badlander shifters (and Gabriel) that caused them so much grief, with an initial shocking result. Mariah and Gabriel first arrive in an outpost camp of those who have fled the hubs but have not yet made the commitment to head further afield, where they meet a psychic, an older man who provides them with the name of a woman they can likely find in the nearest necropolis. Hoping to find answers regarding a cure and trying to avoid detection, the two travelers continue a quest that proves both dangerous and rewarding.
Cody does not disappoint with this stellar follow-up to the impressive Bloodlands. The terrific Blood Rules provides readers with everything that makes for an all-inclusive submersion into an engrossing urban fantasy: a world constructed with tactile imagery often horrifyingly real, characters that grow and adapt to an environment that constantly remains in flux despite their best efforts, and a pace that never flags. Without giving too much away, one of the strengths of this outing revolves around the tables turning for the two main characters and their cohorts—and what they all learn about themselves as a result. This reviewer anxiously awaits the conclusion of this fascinating trilogy with In Blood We Trust and will most assuredly be first in line for whatever the author produces next.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ace (August 30, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441020763
- ISBN-13: 978-0441020768