Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Being Human: Bad Blood – review

Author: James Goss

First Published: 2010

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: One of Annie’s oldest friends has come looking for her – and what’s more amazing is that she’s found her. Denise is the ultimate party girl, and she’s determined to bring Annie out of her shell. Mitchell is delighted, but George really thinks the last thing they need is to go out and meet new people.

Annie and Denise throw themselves into organising a Bingo night at the local sports hall – after all, it’s for charity, and what’s not to love about having a good time? But why is Denise back in town? Why have Bristol’s vampires suddenly started hanging around everywhere they go? And why does George get the feeling that Bingo night is going to go horribly, horribly wrong?

The Review: Now that was more like it. After the mediocrity of the first book and the poorness of the second book this third Being Human book (following on directly where book 2 finished) was a good read.

With interesting devices – the chapters are numbered strangely and then you realise they are odd Bingo calls with corresponding numbers – to writing from multiple perspectives, sometimes almost interviewing the characters and, what is more, accurately getting the voices of the characters down. George’s reactions seemed much more in keeping with the situation he was in at this point in series and the humour worked.

The story was strong, not lost in any form of sub-soap opera side plots and those characters created over the course of the three books were dealt with satisfactorily so that their non-presence, as the TV series continues, was not so strange. Of course that leads to the downside of it; using characters from and references to the other two books – thus you’d probably be best placed with this volume if you had read them as well.

Lore-wise we discover that those near death can see and interact with ghosts. Faith issues, in respect of vampires and religious icons, are discussed, and an officiate of faith, actively trying to keep the vampire out, is more equipped to do so than an ordinary believer – be it a Church warden (whose also a practising mason) or a High Priestess of Avalon. We also come across the Taint, a kind of catnip for vampires but for more on that you’ll have to read the book.

Bar one glaring editing error when George and Mitchell are swapped in prose this is a strong addition to a book series that, up until this point, was very, very weak. 7 out of 10.

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