Anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows that I profess not to be a huge fan of the vampire trend going round, yet I’ve read quite a few books lately in that genre. Ms. Stein’s books seem to be the true exception as far as my personal enjoyment goes. Sure, I read the Twilight Saga, and I’m reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries, but the Anna Strong series is my favorite to date. Blood Drive, the sequel to The Becoming, is no exception.
While The Becoming dealt with Anna becoming a vampire and learning about her new nature, Blood Drive — which takes place just after the first book — is where she begins to learn more about herself, the other vampires around her, and other creatures of the supernatural set. She also learns that her brother, now dead, had a daughter… and that daughter is now missing. She must use her skills as a bounty hunter and as a vampire to track down what happened to Trish.
This book takes a darker turn than the first, delving into the seedy world of child porn, so this book isn’t for the squeamish. While nothing is explicit, I feel like I should warn the more sensitive out there that it is in the subject matter of the story. Ms. Stein handles it in a way that depicts how horrible it is, but without being unnecessarily graphic or totally offensive. (Also, spoiler alert: The bad dudes get what’s coming to them, if karma can ever truly repay such a horrible act.)
Other than these very dark scenes, the book continues with its dark sarcasm and witty cynicism. The tone and Anna herself will certainly give you the odd chuckle here and there with offhand remarks or thoughts without taking you out of the story at hand. The style is fast paced, and for a book that doesn’t hit 300 pages it packs a lot of action. You could compare Blood Drive to the other vampire books out there, but Anna, I feel, stands on her own two feet. She’s an interesting character without having to rely on supporting cast to make her more appealing.
All of that said, I do feel that there is definitely room for growth in Anna and the rest of the cast and I look forward to reading more of the series. This is a book you can finish in a sitting because it’s very engaging, or read over a couple of days if you can pace yourself (I couldn’t). Blood Drive is a refreshing read in a genre that is starting to feel (at least to me) to be bogged down. I look forward to reading more of the Anna Strong books in the future.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars