Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Hellbent by Cherie Priest

Hellbent by Cherie Priest
Spectra, September 6, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy

From the back of the book:
Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths. Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?

My Thoughts:
Hellbent turned out to be a fun, well paced romp throughout the country.  It’s hard to go wrong when the traveling companions are a paranoid vampire thief and an ex-Navy SEAL drag queen.  Hellbent delivers exactly what was promised: action, adventure, vampire political maneuvering and a chapter-long penis joke.
It was interesting to see more about the House structures in the vampire filled world that Cherie Priest has created.  I enjoyed the political posturing that ensued. 

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed Hellbent, it still had a few things that didn’t quite work for me.  Voice-wise, I still don’t get the feel of a century old vampire from the narrator.  It holds up better than Bloodshot did but it still isn’t there yet.  I also felt there could have been more development of the plot investigating Project Bloodshot.  The addition of a certain character to the team is the only move forward toward Bloodshot which was interesting and exciting but it didn’t represent the forward motion that I would have liked to see.  

Hellbent added a lot of world-building and represents a considerable marshalling of the troops for a forward push.  There is enough action to satisfy and I both enjoyed and recommend reading Hellbent.  This series keeps improving as it goes on and I would certainly like to see another Cheshire Red novel in the future. 

Written as Part of the Speculative Fiction Challenge

Other September Reviews from the Speculative Fiction Challenge

More from Cherie Priest:

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