Bloodshot – Tons of fun and tons of funny
Sometimes you really need a light Urban Fantasy series that checks all of the usual drama and headaches at the door. When you’re in the mood for that then you should check out the Cheshire Red Reports by Cherie Priest. Bloodshot (Book 1) introduces us to vampire Raylene, a very independent, efficient, and hilariously neurotic professional thief.
Her skills catch the attention of Ian Stott, a fellow vampire who needs her help. He hires Raylene to locate top secret files about an experimental program that caused him to go blind. This requires her to travel throughout the country, eventually landing in Atlanta where the fun really begins. It turns out Raylene is a potential target for this program as well, so she must evade this organization as well as the Feds who want to take her down. This of course makes her job a little more difficult.
She ends up meeting a peculiar drag queen named Adrian. There’s definitely more to this character than meets the eye and he ends up partnering with Raylene. It turns out he’s an Ex-Navy SEAL and he’s searching for his sister, who he believes was also a part of the experiment. I can tell you right now that I totally loved this character, even more than Ian. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d say one of my favorite characters is an Ex-Navy SEAL who moonlights as a drag queen, but there it is. Normally humans are boring, but I enjoyed his chemistry with Raylene even more than Ian.
There are other supporting characters as well that I liked, including a kid brother and sister team who live with Raylene. They are orphans but they’re pretty crafty at times, making them useful to Ray. They’re also at the center of a number of hilarious lines.
There’s a great mix of action, comedy and mystery that makes this a fairly quick read. Raylene’s not the typical self-loathing and emo vamp (like many that have begun to saturate the genre), making this series a breath of fresh air. I actually ended up reading the second book first, but I enjoyed that one so much that I went back to see how it all began. Based on the structure of the story, it seems as if the books in this series can work well enough as a standalone.
Overall I recommend this book if you keep in mind that it’s not to be taken that seriously. Sometimes you don’t need that for a good read.