MtSnow reviews Dark Blood (Book One In The Dark Blood Saga) Released by DSP Publications on June 28th, 2016. 294 pages.
Why MtSnow reviewed this book: it is RGR’s different genre week, where each reviewer picks a different theme within the mm genre. I thought I’d push my comfort zone a little bit, try a new author AND a new subject matter that wasn’t so heavy on the romance. With this cover, I was a little nervous what I’d find inside, but after the first few pages, I was hooked.
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Handsome, brilliant, and surrounded by good friends, twenty-three-year-old medical student Miles Fox has a secret—and it’s not that he’s gay. Though he harbors a crush on his straight best friend, Luke. Miles, like his grandmother, Anna, possesses the healing gift, an ability she’s made him swear never to use or divulge, lest horrible things befall those he loves. It happened to her when Nazis butchered her family.
But it all goes to hell when Miles heals a terminally ill man on a New Orleans cancer ward and wakes locked in the psych unit. Worse, news of the healing miracle spreads. For millennia, its carriers have been hunted by those who would steal it. Dr. Gerald Stangl and his teenage son, Calvin, know what Miles possesses. They, like their predecessors, will stop at nothing to take it, including kidnapping, torture, and murder. As the Stangls’ noose tightens, Miles and Luke are trapped in a death match with stakes higher than they could ever imagine. (less)
Wow. That was one heck of a story. I’ll admit, from the original painting on the cover, I was quite nervous of how graphic this story might be, but actually, it represented a scene from the beginning chapters VERY well. The cover artist is quite talented. I do think the greens and blacks used gave it more of a sci-fi feel rather than paranormal or fantasy/romance, and might put a couple people off that like their romances a bit more ‘prettied up’. But, I’m telling you, do NOT let the cover deter you from this gem of a story. This author is to be taken seriously. The only comparison I can think of at the moment is, it almost made me think of Rhys Ford’s ‘ghosty’ Hellsinger stories. Things to do with family history and bloodlines and all that.
This is a fantastic start to a new series. The descriptions are not too filled with technical jargon. It wasn’t dry or boring at all! In fact it grabbed my interest so much that I finished the almost 300 pages in 1-1/2 days, starting after work on a Friday. The medical terms and mix of paranormal with only a slight touch of romance worked perfectly to set up this new series. The author is very talented with character development and pacing. I kept turning pages wanting to know what was going to happen next!
As for the villains in this story, I almost felt sorry for how Dr. Stangl brainwashed his offspring, Calvin. Talk about a messed up family!! Calvin is 17 and vulnerable in that he’s never had any affection from anyone. His mother was a paid surrogate. He’s 17 yrs old, and just learning things about himself. He so needed to feel love. And he thinks he is in love. But he was so creepily able to disassociate from his actions. Eeeeew.
Luke was a faithful best friend and he didn’t really play a big part in this story til the last third of the book, but he is of paramount importance to the end result.
The story itself was like a medical drama with a touch of Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. The fantasy/paranormal part was woven throughout the story believably well. And the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps as well as the familial memories of Miles’s grandmother’s Romanian heritage was very fascinating. I’ll tell you, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to look at green eyes without wondering…
The mystical beliefs and original secondary characters of New Orleans played a vital role in the storytelling as well. And the picture of Miles painted silver with glitter and angels’ wings, playing his grandfather’s violin was a scene I’d have loved to witness in real life!
There is somewhat of an HEA of HFN, but realize this is just the beginning of a series. I am so looking forward to more from this author, and am glad I gave it a chance. Do yourself a favor. If you love mystery, medical terminology, some psychiatric head cases as well as medical drama, and a touch of paranormal in your romance, you’ll love this one.
10/10 Pots of Gold compares to 5/5 stars – 100% Recommended.
Caleb James is an author, member of the Yale volunteer faculty, practicing psychiatrist, and clinical trainer. He writes both fiction and nonfiction and has published books in multiple genres and under different names. Writing as Charles Atkins, he has been a Lambda Literary finalist. He lives in Connecticut with his partner and four cats.
Website – http://charlesatkins.com/