Blood Memories Review and a Chat

Oct 22, 2008 by

Barb Hendee is the well known New York Times author of the Nobel Dead Saga, which she co-writes with her husband J.C. I have never read that series, but when I was given Blood Memories, I decided to give it a try because I am always looking for new books dedicated to may favorite type of paranormal character- the vampire.

I was surprised to find out that Blood Memories was originally written by Barb twelve years ago. Even though it was an early manuscript, her publisher, Roc, was still interested in purchasing the title and publishing it. Barb realized it was a bit outdated and did some revisions, thus the book that was published this month.

Blood Memories is about vampire, Eleisha Clevon who has been around since the mid-nineteenth century ever since she was turned into a vampire by another, Julian, who wanted her to take care of his crazed father, William Ashton for all eternity. Julian turned his father, thinking the change would make him sane again. That did not happen, and Julian was ashamed by what he did, so he banished both Eleisha and William to the states. They were able to survive and have been living in Portland, Oregon for almost a century. Since William cannot hunt, because he is still a feeble old man with dementia, Eleisha gives him rabbits to feed on. Eleisha is able to look young and vulnerable to those she targets. This allows her to overpower her prey and suck their blood, and most importantly, their life force out of the bodies. She has also has a very close vampire friend, Edward Claymore, who helped her when she first came to America. Edward decides he can no longer live as an undead predator. He kills himself while Eleisha watches. Eleisha is not the only one to witness Edward’s suicide, as two police officers arrive on the scene and see a man come running towards them in flames.

Eleisha has no choice to run for safety. She and William find sanctuary with Maggie, another vampire from her past. Soon these two women are hunting together and for a short while Eleisha feels safe. Unfortunately, the two cops who saw Edward go up in flames, have been looking for Eleisha. These two men are empaths and one of them, Dominick, wants to kill Eleisha and all creatures like her. Dominic has a partner, Wade, who though Psychometry, the touching of objects, can know all about a person. Whereas Dominick feels the need to destroy, Wade wants to befriend Eleisha, because for the first time in his life, he feels in tune with another person. Eleisha and Wade are able to touch each other with their minds, and when Wade finds out about Eleisha’s past and how she turned and why, he wants to protect her. As for Dominick, he has become delusional. And if that isn’t bad enough, Julian has found out that Eleisha hasn’t been staying under the radar and may be on his way to make things right, which makes Eleisha frightened to her very soul.

Even though Blood Memories has some interesting moments, there is something lacking within this story that could simply not hold my interest. The action comes on suddenly and things seem to jump around too much and a bit too fast in some passages, as if Hendee was trying to put as much information as she can out there without enough descriptions to back it up. I wish Hendee would have given more time with the flashbacks about Eleisha and Wade’s past, rather than an overview.

I will say that Blood Memories should appeal to fans who have an interest in vampire lore along with a twist on the legend and myth. I did enjoy Eleisha, who was the most well rounded and most dimensional of all the characters. I could not stand Wade at all because he was very one-dimensional and not a worthy partner for Eleisha. I found him annoying and he really didn’t bring any substance to the plot. I would have preferred if Eleisha was on her own because she would have come across as a better female heroine than to rely on a sap that I found Wade to be. Quiet honestly I found all of Hendee’s male characters to be very lacking. It seems her strong suit was with Eleisha and Maggie.

With that in mind, would I want to read a sequel to Blood Memories? I would have to take a pass. This almost became a DNF for me, and the only reason I stuck till the very end was because I wanted to see if Eleisha was able to come out on top. Perhaps the problem lies with Blood Memories not being refined enough and too amateurish for my tastes.

Grade: C

And for those who are a part of the Broke, Wing quest, Kristie(J) and I posted our AIM review chat about Broken Wing at Ramblings on Romance, Etc. As always it was a good time. There are also some nice pirate pictures, especially the last one where our pirate fills out his pants in some interesting ways!


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  1. This does sound like a rather interesting plot. Maybe the execution of it wasn’t what we’re used to? I don’t know this author either, so no idea.
    Thank you for the review. 🙂

  2. I love the Noble Dead series. The last book was kinda hard to get through, so i’m not surprised about you almost DNF. But i’m gonna give this one a try, just to see what it’s like. I’m so use to the fantasy novels, should be interesting.

  3. Thank you katiebabs!

    I’ve heard lots of interesting things about Broken Wing, so I will definitely be investigating your and Kristie(J)’s review today 🙂

  4. A good assessment of the novel. I hadn’t really considered the male characters as being unworthy but you are spot on. Even with Eleisha being the most dimensional there still wasn’t enough of a spark to make it work for me.

  5. Thanks Scifiguy! Your review had me agreeing with everything you said. I think the main problem with this book that it was the very first book written by the author, and not much editing or improvements were done on the plot. Plus, it is under 300 pages!

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