Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

Bloodshot is the first in the Cheshire Red Series by Cherie Priest.  The story is narrated by Raylene, a vampire/professional thief for hire.  Raylene specialises in retrieving certain goods for her clients and of course her vampire abilities help enormously with this – night vision, ability to climb buildings and traverse the city using rooftops, extra strength and speed plus the ability to detect when people are nearby, coupled with a slight psychic sense all prove useful in this line of work!

At the start of the story Raylene meets her latest client, Ian, also a vampire who it seems has been captured and held in some sort of military experimentation zone – during which he lost his sight.  Having now escaped he’s desperately trying to piece together any information he can uncover about the nature of the experiments and in particular his own case files as he thinks he has found someone who may be able to reverse the damage and restore his sight.  Raylene takes the job and almost immediately opens up a can of worms that will not only affect her only livelihood but will also put her in the sights of whoever is rounding up and capturing vampires.

I did quite enjoy this book.  I wouldn’t say I loved it however and I think part of that is that Raylene is a little difficult to like at the start of the story.  I think that’s possibly because she’s trying too hard to inject humour into her narration and it doesn’t come over as entirely funny.  Let’s face it – she’s a vampire, she kills people and she’s unemotional about it.  Which to a certain extent is refreshing – she’s not wringing her hands about having to drink blood, she’s not torn about being a monster and there are no deep reflections on how she keeps her humanity.  She’s a vampire.  Plain and simple.  Priest isn’t trying to bring anything new to that particularly myth – there’s no sparkly skin, Raylene sleeps during the day, she needs to feed every few weeks and she’s pretty tough to kill – unless you remove her head – which works pretty much for most critters!  There is no garlic, crosses and stakes.  In fact the vampirism is almost secondary to the story really.  Raylene is pretty much a cat burglar with a difference.

That being established the story does pick up as Raylene becomes involved in a cat and mouse style chase with the men in black.  She finds herself flitting from one part of the country to another as she tries to pick up a trail that has seemingly gone cold whilst staying under the radar of the military and other covert operations.  As I mentioned above she has gained the wrong sort of attention and so the stakes have now changed quite a bit.  Raylene now needs to find out what is really going on whilst staying at liberty – in fact if she ever wants to regain control over her life she must uncover who is behind Project Bloodshot.

The action undoubtedly picks up and the cast list grows to include a former navy seal (Adrian) who now performs under the Pseudonym Sister Rose. I did like this character and also enjoyed the affect he had on Raylene bringing out her rather unashamed-lecherous-cop-a-feel nature!  I thought Adrian was a good addition to the cast and would make quite a good sidekick for Raylene.

In terms of the other vampire – Ian – well, I didn’t really have any feelings for him in fact I thought he was a bit of a weak link but perhaps his character becomes better defined in the next edition – which brings me to the next problem – it seems that this series is not set to continue.  Apart from Hellbent (No.2) there have been no further instalments and it appears unclear if the series will continue.  I think that’s a bit of a shame and also now means I’m conflicted about continuing!  In one respect I would like to know what happens next and the story definitely isn’t concluded.

Overall, started out a little weak but definitely developed – particularly in terms of Raylene who began the story seemingly as a cold hearted loner but who during the course of the book demonstrated a softer side and wound up with an odd bunch of misfits becoming part of her life.




18 Responses to “Bloodshot by Cherie Priest”

  1. jenclair

    A vampire/professional thief for hire sounds good. I also like that Raylene ends up with a bunch of misfits in her life. I haven’t read anything by Cherie Priest in several years, maybe it is time to see what she has been up to!

    • lynnsbooks

      The only proviso with this is I don’t think the series is being continued! Which is a shame really so I’m not sure if I will read No.2 now.
      Lynn 😀

  2. lipsyy

    Ooooh I like the sound of this one. A bit different to any vampire books I’ve read recently.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s a shame it’s not going to continue. I think it could have developed well but there’s only the two books at the moment and I don’t think any plans to continue (although I could be wrong!)
      Lynn 😀

  3. nrlymrtl

    I like the fact that the vampirism is really part of the background and not the main character trait.

    I recently read Priest’s Boneshaker and didn’t know she had this other series. I will have to check it out.

    • lynnsbooks

      I enjoyed Boneshaker which is why I checked this one out. It’s a shame that it’s not going to continue. I might look at her other series – think she did a southern gothic series which I like the look of and she has a gothic horror coming out later this year based on Lizzie Bowden – looks really good.
      Lynn 😀

      • nrlymrtl

        Based on Lizzie Bowden? Her hatchet and her dead parents? That has got to be a good dark story!

      • lynnsbooks

        That’s what I thought. Will definitely keep my eyes open Fodor that!

  4. Kathleen

    Not that I’m being judgmental but ever since Twilight, I veered off reading anything with vampires. Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy however was the exemption. So I guess that makes the trilogy my only association with vampires. I adore the Underworld movie series

    • lynnsbooks

      I love vampire movies – especially Underworld! Twilight – well, it was one of those strange book phenomenon – like 50 Shades! Strangely I read all the Twilight books and at the time thought they were okay. I wouldn’t ever pick them up again. I’ve read the first two of the All Souls Trilogy. I wasn’t quite as taken with the second one – have you read the third? Was it good??
      Lynn 😀

      • Kathleen

        I actually haven’t read the second book yet. I thought of waiting fir the 3rd book before continuing so I don’t know yet if I like it. I heard she tied up the story neatly. I’m trying to stay away from spoilers.

      • lynnsbooks

        Yeah. I’m not actually sure there is going to be a No3. It looks like the series isn’t going to be continued. I think i will still read no.2 though.
        Lynn 🙂

      • Kathleen

        Oh. The third book is out just over a week ago. 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        Oh – cool! I thought I’d read that the series wasn’t continuing! Will definitely read No.2 then.
        Lynn 😀

      • Kathleen

        Underworld is all kinds of awesome. I confess I’m too invested on the love angle 🙂

  5. Michael

    This one has been languishing on my TBR pile for a while now. I may need to pick it up and give it a chance.

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s actually not a bad start but – what I hadn’t realised – it doesn’t look like the series is set to continue so at the moment there is only Bloodshot and Hellbent. It’s a shame but there it is!
      Lynn 😀

  6. TBM

    Glad the vampire isn’t whining about being a vampire. That’s been overdone lately. But I’m curious as to why the series just kinda stopped.

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