Full Blooded. Book Review

FULL BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

Orbit, p/b, £7.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

Jessica McClain awakens from a nightmare only to discover that the nightmare has become reality and there is very real pain associated with it. Pain, confusion, realisation: she is changing. So she knows her twin brother is a werewolf and she knows her father is an incredibly powerful pack leader, but she is female. She is not supposed to be able to change. Except right now she is changing and can find no way to stop it.

The Cain Myth speaks of a female, a daughter of evil, who will doom the wolf pack. With Jessica’s change comes a possibility that has been feared for centuries, and her father’s pack is certainly not going to welcome her presence. Now, as if turning into a wolf wasn’t bad enough, Jessica has an over zealous ex-colleague with a vendetta out to get her and an animal temper to try and get under control.

Full Blooded plunges the reader straight into the chaos of Jessica’s transformation and a story that is action packed throughout. It moves at a good pace and there is no lack of excitement as were-creatures, witches, evil goddesses and vampires join the conflict. As Jessica’s journey progresses the dangers increase and her causes for concern multiply at an alarming rate.

This is a typical supernatural urban fantasy, not wholly unique, but the first person point of view places the reader directly into Jessica’s psyche throughout and the depiction of her inner wolf as a separate identity is something I have not seen before. This angle added complexity to Jessica’s struggles; not only does she have to deal with her human concerns, she also has to learn how to share control of her body and how to communicate with her new wolf self.

Jessica herself is a strong protagonist; well able to march herself into the middle of trouble, and is easily admirable because of her insistence on defying rules and orders and standing up to a cast of terrifying antagonists. She has a rebellious streak that makes her stand out. With a strong ending and a clear mission already outlined for the sequel, Jessica McClain looks set to be around for a while. Fans of urban fantasy will definitely enjoy this.