Sunday, April 14, 2019

Book Review: Blood Street (2018)

My Lovecraftian horror novel The Thing in the Woods was published by Digital Fiction Publishing, a small press headquartered in Canada. DFP went on a roll late last year, releasing a whole bunch of books in a relatively short amount of time. One of the most recent ones is called Blood Street, written by Carl Alves.

(In the interest of full disclosure, DFP pays its writers as shares from a common pot based on word count, so more sales from any DFP novel benefit me financially. However, this is an honest review.)

I checked the novel out via Kindle Unlimited and burned through it pretty quickly. How did I like it? Well, here's the review.



The Plot

A member of a Philadelphia crime family is killed (not just killed, but straight-up butchered) and his mob boss starts hunting for the killer in order to make them pay. There's one small problem--the killer isn't human. The killer is in fact the reckless and arrogant vampire Alexei, part of a clique of bloodsuckers who've taken up residence in Philadelphia. Soon the FBI gets involved, as do other vampires who don't want Alexei's idiocy to jeopardize their secret existence.

Shenanigans ensue (as author Mary SanGiovanni's cosmic horror podcast would put it) as blood runs in the streets and alliances are formed and broken. Who will live and who will die?

The Good

*I like the overall concept. I'm only aware of one vampire story involving the Mob--the film Innocent Blood, which I've never seen. This story, however, is much more complex, with Mafia, federal, and vampire factions all pursuing their own agendas and working with and against in each other in different combinations of alliance and betrayal.

*The book is a quick and entertaining read. I definitely enjoyed it. And there's room for more stories set in this universe if Mr. Alves chooses to go that route.

The Bad

*Since Alves holds to a tight third-person POV, other characters are well-described in terms of their appearance but the POV characters themselves are much less so. I'm not sure what a lot of them look like.

*The ruler of the vampire brood and the Mafia boss both don't seem particularly decisive in dealing with dangerous or idiotic subordinates. A lot of trouble could be avoided if they were a bit more ruthless with their underlings.

*A character makes a fairly drastic decision toward the end of the book, but it's not well-foreshadowed. And there's another character involved in said decision--their role in this decision doesn't really gel well with his characterization earlier.

*Per the above, the ending felt a little bit rushed.

The Verdict

A fun Kindle Unlimited read. Very absorbing. 9.0 out of 10. I would definitely recommend it.

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