Review: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson
It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain.
Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge — but Jessica is playing for keeps.
Because she’s the only female werewolf in town…it comes with its own set of rules…and powers.
Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.
All in a day’s work for a girl.
The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties…
I received an e-book ARC of Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson in exchange for an honest review. Hot Blooded is set to release on April 23, 2013.
The Jessica McClain series has a special place in my bloggy heart as the first book in the series, Full Blooded, was one of the first books I ever reviewed on the blog. I loved Full Blooded and gave it an exuberant five Frodo review so I was understandably quite anxious and excited for the second installment in the series, Hot Blooded.
The story continues from the point of view of the main character, Jessica, as she prepares to battle some familiar foes and a seemingly never ending barrage of new ones. The definite strength of Hot Blooded, Jessica and the rest of the cast of characters continue to shine as each has quite the personality and Carlson’s blatant refusal to allow even a small role to become cookie cutter, something I greatly admire her for pulling off. Jessica has a sharp sense of humor and a kick-butt attitude that makes for a killer heroine combination. She’s surrounded by other strong characters, some new (that I won’t reveal because *in my River Song voice* Spoilers!) and plenty of familiar ones such as Ray (think asshole detective, general pain in the rear), her brother Tyler and the ever hilarious Danny.
Another strong point of Hot Blooded was expanding the list of supernaturals to include a plethora of new ones. While werewolves still are the main featured type, vampires and goddesses, as well as a few surprise “supes” make appearances. There are underworld beings that are filled with just as much power as creepiness, low level smelly beings that make their presence felt from the onset, and a variety of others.
However, unlike with Full Blooded I felt that Hot Blooded suffered from a very slow buildup. There were a couple of supposedly suspenseful scenes, but really through the first 100 or so pages it was just a painstakingly long journey sequence. Information is shared with the reader that is necessary, but I wonder if the story needed to go on for that long in order to present it all, I have to think that there was a more efficient way, oh well. The info dumps that seemed designed to only catch up new readers were more frequent and farther into the book than I am used to and between those and the repetition of the desire for Jessica to reunite and free her mate I was left feeling disconnected and distant from the storyline on multiple occasions. I wanted to become engrossed in Hot Blooded, but it was roughly halfway through the book before the real action started and the excitement level not only took longer to develop than in Full Blooded but it wasn’t as strong when it did occur. There were good battles that are definitely worth being patient to get to, but Hot Blooded is definitely more developmental in pacing vs. the frenzy that was Full Blooded.
Overall Hot Blooded was a good book, but unfortunately not a great one. The second book in a series can result in a bit of a letdown in terms of action and/or fluidity as it can often struggle to appeal to new readers and move the plot forward at the same time, I think that was the case with Hot Blooded. I have a good feeling about Cold Blooded (Book 3 in the series) and though I wasn’t in love with Hot Blooded, I’d still recommend giving it a shot when it comes out, especially if you enjoyed Full Blooded. It’s a solid entry into the series filled with plenty of laughs to make up for some of the slower parts. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #93/200