Blood Ties is a romp into a world plagued by an unnamed virus, which has separated the immune from the susceptible, and turned our world into a plain of corpses and desertion, which encompasses the setting of the story in the Pacific Northwest of America. Amidst the ghost towns and empty lands creatures are known to roam the lands, preying on the corpses they find abandoned to the American wilderness. These creatures are a hybrid: not quite man, not quite vampire, but rather a lethal super-human mixture. These broken clans are struggling to establish themselves in a new world order created by the virus, one which subjugates the human survivors at the bottom of a collapsed world.
While the concept of this novel is strong, a flaw immediately emerges quite early, stemming from the main character, a college student majoring in Psychology by the name of Lexi Hawthorne. Lexi has taken to hiding with a few fellow students, under the protection of two brothers, in an abandoned barn. While the action of the story revolves around her, her character seems to be an on-looker, not engaging in major battles or conflicts, though she is present. She is engrossed in her own love story at the expense of the other characters. While Lexi is at all times surrounded by a cast of friends who have battled for survival with her over many months, the backstories of these other characters are not present in the novel, and Lexi’s reactions to their untimely deaths is one of blissful ignorance and forced sadness. Lexi comes across as an anti-heroine, one who proves time and time again that her fate is solely in the hands of the men whom she roams the wilds with, and that bonds of loyalty formed over months are somehow less important than glances with creatures that take place over mere seconds.
The book quickly turns from an adventure story to a pseudo love story laced with romance, which is well-written, but could stand for more character development. The plot shifts dramatically from being filled with danger for everyone, to quickly being safe for the main character, and, while this allows romance to flourish, the heart of the plot, and the struggle between humans and the vampire creatures, is somehow dulled by the attention paid to relationships, and not to the conflict over humanity.
The salvation of the story comes in a dramatic plot twist that truly does engage the reader- but the brilliance of this change in the story could be exploited to return the story to its adventurous roots out in the open engaged in battle, instead of a summary of how the world outside while the heroine sits safely, waiting for her fate to be brought to her.
Blood Ties is guilty pleasure that blends vampires, teenage love, romance and attractive characters, detracted slightly by grammatical errors, but it could be stronger, if only the human blood in the story was allowed to pulse stronger. Fan fiction addicts and vampire dramas should pick up the story for the afternoon.
Number of Pages: 140
Recommended For: a guilty pleasure
Enjoy it With: a glass of wine, chocolate, and pastries
For fans of: romance, the Twilight series, fan fiction
Best Place to Buy It: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Ties-The-Series-ebook/dp/B00DOOIL7I