Blood Memories, by Barb Hendee

November 26, 2008

The main character of Blood Memories is Eleisha, a vampire whose special ability allows her to seem unusually vulnerable. This makes most people who encounter her want to help her or to go along with her suggestions, but there are a always a few who would rather exploit that perceived weakness. These are the types she most prefers to hunt.

She devotes most of her time to caring for William, a disabled vampire. But Eleisha’s life is changed forever when an old friend ends his life by walking into the sunlight in front of Eleisha and an unusual pair of police detectives. She and William barely escape, but her friend’s dramatic death and messy feeding habits leave the detectives determined to follow her trail.

The story interweaves Eleisha’s current trouble with a series of flashbacks from the perspectives of various characters. I’m not always a fan of that style but it works well in this case. The flashbacks handle a lot of important exposition and character development in an interesting way. When Eleisha’s comfortable routine was shattered, it made her think about her existence and question her assumptions. The flashbacks revealed just enough context at the right times that I felt like I was putting together the secrets of the past along with Eleisha.

Blood Memories was a surprising treat. Hendee’s vampires are different enough to be interesting, but they’re still familiar – complete with some traditional strengths and weaknesses. The side characters added a lot to the mix, I especially liked the other vampires that Eleisha meets. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.

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