Dec. 15th, 2010

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[personal profile] paradox_dragon
(Originally posted at queerlit50 on LJ, but I thought y'all might be interested as well; the protagonist has Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic condition that leads to blindness.)

The Blood Books, or Vicki Nelson mysteries by Tanya Huff: Blood Price, Blood Trail (my favorite--it had werewolves, and werewolf society was fascinating), Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt, and Blood Bank (a short story collection).

These are urban dark fantasy-mysteries set in Toronto (with werewolves, mummies, vampires, ghosts--that sort of thing). Vicki Nelson, the protagonist, is a PI (ex-cop, but she had to quit because of her eyesight failing due to Retinitis Pigmentosa.) It was cool to have a protagonist with a disability; she can be touchy about it, but she's utterly competent and she adapts. She investigates (gets dragged into) paranormal mysteries with the help of her vampire-turned-romance-writer sidekick, Henry Fitzroy (who's bisexual), and her ex-partner on the force, Mike Celluci. The three of them have a love triangle thing going on that I find obnoxious (I really hate the whole male-rivals-for-woman's-affection thing), but I quite like Vicki. She can be frustrating, as she is obstinate and independent to a fault, but she's strong and competent and human. I like Celluci as well, though Henry rubs me the wrong way a lot of the time. I also like that Vicki gets to sleep with them both (not cheating, they're just not exclusive) without being slut-shamed. As I mentioned in my review of the Smoke trilogy, a spin-off of this series, I have issues with the sexualized, non-consensual feeding by vampires on mortals; it's kind of rape-y and I feel like the problematic ethics of it get glossed over. But that's an issue with a lot of vampire novels, and the books were quite enjoyable other than that. The novels are fast-paced and fun, and if you like vampire novels, urban fantasy, and/or mysteries I think these are quite a bit better than most books in those genres.

These were the books that got adapted into the TV series Blood Ties, though I haven't seen the show and can't comment on its quality or say how closely it resembles the novels.

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