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Bloodtide (Blood #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  739 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The time is the not-too-distant future. London is in ruins. A bombed-out shell. A picked-over carcass where the only rule of law is might makes right. What remains of the city is being fought over by two ruthless gangs of warlords. In an effort to create peace, however, a truce between the two families is suggested by Val, patriarch of the Volson clan. His collateral? The ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 15th 2002 by Tor Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Cara Marie
I first read Bloodtide as a teenager, and it's been a few years since my last reread. Bloodtide is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. The post-apocalyptic part is the London that's been cut off from the rest of the world after the gangs got too big. (Maybe not a proper apocalypse, but it it's treated as one). The sci-fi part is the genetically engineered 'half men', who the humans think are monsters … but they're no more monstrous than any of the human characters.

And then there's the gods.

Alex Jackson
Really weird book. My dad bought me this so I didn't realy know what to expect (don't think he did either) but it was pretty much just a gory novel about 3 brothers, their sister and a pointless treaty that was being made.
I didn't think it was necessary for Ben and Had (2 of the brothers) to get eaten by that pig thing, I mean it was kinda stupid and just not nice.
Also the whole thing about Singy and Siggy (the twins) having sex was just wrong (plus it was a bit to descriptive in
Courtney Johnston
I found out about Melvin Burgess's 'Bloodtide' after following a thread of articles online (mostly on the Guardian, bless 'em) about the "issue" of violence in children's and YA books, which spiked around Patrick Ness's 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' (truly terrific book which apparently got some people raging about knife crime, because yes, books about a kid coming of age in a futuristic agrarian community when the men have been infected by a virus that makes all their thoughts audible is *exa ...more
Bloodtide is the first part of the Icelandic Volsunga Saga, replayed in dystopic London where ganglords rule the city and genetically engineered halfmen threaten them from the countryside. Twins Siggy and Signy Volson are separated when Signy weds a rival family ganglord, but treason, war, and intrigue may bring them back togetherif both twins can survive the harrows of war. An odd combination of dystopic London and Icelandic myth, Bloodtide has an attention-grabbing concept which is often well ...more
I can't figure out if I liked this book or if I was disturbed by it. Essentially it is the story of two warring gang families; the Volsons and the Connors. Signy Volson is married to Conor Connor to help Val Volson unite London under one ruler. Signy is kept in a tower for "her protection" and soon a half-hyena man -one of many half-men who live outside London- tells her Conor plans to betray her and gifts her with a cat named Cherry. Soon Conor betrays her and the book gets very disturbing. (vi ...more
Why I love this book so much? Because it's one of the most freaking messed up books ever. Like holy damn messed up. It's crazy! It's gory, disgusting, violent and everything I could ever want. Haha. I loved how dark it is and it will forever be on my love, love, love shelf.

This is a YA book that really pushes the boundaries and REALLY deserves having a higher for mature audience rating slapped on it. Bloodtide is hard, hard, hard and if you don't like dark not fluffy at all stuff then you gotta
Bloody and intensely compelling. I first read this book when I was 14 and it blew my mind. I don't think I had ever read anything quite so explicitly violent before that point. (Unless you count the Armoured Bear fight in Northern Lights...)

The elenents of the original Icelandic saga are so seamlessly interwoven with the vision of dystopian London Burgess has created that it is no more surprising that Odin turns up at a banquet than that there are mutants - half animal, half person - roaming aro
The future London has fallen far from its lofty civilization. Now ganglords rule, and the biggest of these are like kings over their own little kingdoms. But Val Volson and Connor both want it all, and so a treaty was proposed: Val's daughter Signy's hand in marriage to Connor to create peace between the bitter rivals. Signy opposes the marriage at first. When she's grown to love Connor, betrayal shatters the truce and subjugates all of London under Connor's iron fist. And so Signy finds a new g ...more
Wow this book certainly is something. Though if I’m perfectly honest I’m not sure what that something is. Bloodtide is addictive reading, you can’t just read one chapter – you keep going and going and before you know it’s the middle of the book.

There are lots of things I loved about Bloodtide: it’s gritty, vivid (the world-building is spectacular), the writing and the book doesn’t make nice. There’s no filtering or sugarcoating. I respect that and while there were parts that certainly made me sq
Having read a lot of dystopian novels in the last few years this book was a little different. I loved the idea that gangland warfare could lead to such drastic actions as shutting London off and surrounding it with genetically modified humans/animals.
It was violent in many places and a little gruesome but then the situation that the main characters find themselves in is as well. It addresses issues of madness, chaos and prejudice and some incidents in the book reminds you scarily of what has ha
Oddly Robotic
This book really got under my skin. I don't know what to think, specifically. It hurt, but, damn, it was good.
I guess sometimes the more a book can disgust you, the more it can startle and unnerve you, the better it is. I havent forgotten this book, though I read it about ten years ago.
Jun 06, 2012 Daniella rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers with low standards.
Recommended to Daniella by: Jack
This book was given to me by some dude who was trying to bang me.

I wish I was kidding.

And now that I've managed to finish reading this monstrosity, I have to wonder whether I should be insulted that he was trying like hell to get with me, because obviously his taste and judgment are questionable. For one thing, he told me this book is good. It isn't. And for another thing, after a conversation we had about the book I'm writing, he said that my book sounds like this book. It doesn't. At all. The
Carrie Stewart
Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess bases its story on that of the Icelandic Volsunga Saga. Set in a London of the future that has been ravaged by gang warfare and abandoned to those seeking power, it focuses mainly on one of the warring families, the Volsons. The key characters are twins Signy and Siggy. At the beginning of the book their father Val is working on a treaty with Conor, the rival gang lord, hoping it will lead to them working together to leave London and take over the rest of the country. ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Dong added it
Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess (Science Fiction/Adult) - 384 pages

The setting of "Bloodtide" is in the ruins of London in the present time. London is divided amongst the conflicting Volsons and the Connors families. Val, the leader of Volsons, believes in peace and in order to achieve that, he decides to marry his daughter, Signy, and Conor, the leader of Connors family. Though Signy disagrees with the marriage, she cannot defy her father's will. Her twin brother, Siggy, is also frustrated with the
Shonna Froebel
This teen novel was recommended on a list recently and since our library had it, I decided to check it out. It is one set at some uncertain dystopian point of time in the city of London (England). Two young teens (14) Siggy and Signy are twin sister and brother, the youngest in the ruling family of Val Volson. King Val is marrying Signy off to Conor, the leader of another fiefdom, hoping the union will bring peace to their area and unite them against the halfmen.
Both of these two fiefdoms are in
Tony Talbot
Bloodtide is a retelling of a 13 century Icelandic saga (Volsunga, if you're interested!), set in a future London ruled by two rival gangs. One of the ganglords wants to make peace with the other and offers his daughter as part of a treaty, but the treaty is a ruse and war breaks out.

It's a hard book to pin down. I read it to the end eagerly, the pace was all right and the story original (if you could call a 13th century story original!) enough, but something was missing. Perhaps the humanity of
Dans un Londres d'un futur lointain où les gangs ont pris le pouvoir, cerné par une muraille le séparant des mi-hommes, divers personnages vont s'entre-tuer, s'aimer, tenter de survivre et de plier le monde à leurs rêves.
Bon. Je refuse d'en dire plus de ce qui n'est à mon sens qu'une sinistre pochade, plagiant sans même l'ombre d'un début de talent ce que la quatrième de couverture appelle pudiquement "une ancienne saga islandaise". Donc voilà, contentez-vous de ça. C'est mauvais, et même plus e
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for

The city of London is slowly crumbling, with two prominent sides tearing the city apart. There are the half-men who are too grotesque, too unworthy of living the normal life they once had, all because of the way they were transformed against their will. Then there are the humans, the ones who would rather dominate the world around them than save the city from total chaos.

Among these humans are two clans, the Conors and the Vol
Cathleen Ash
Val Volson owns half of London. Of course, it's not necessarily a London anyone would want anymore, but half of it's his. The other half belongs to Conor - another dangerous warlord in this future of half-humans surrounding an abandoned city with little remaining technology. There is poverty, starvation, and of course, gang wars.
Siggy and Signy, twins, follow their father Val around the city and find ways in and out of buildings. What Val doesn't know is that they also rob the rich, finding exci
The Abbey was a Christian temple. The Volsons had given up on all that years ago but, like all the ganglords, Val was a superstitious man. It's true that under his grey silk suit he wore a silver cross, just in case Jesus happened to watching, but by its side was the stubby barrel of a small handgun, sawn off short and hammered into the likeness of a man with one eye. That was in honour of the strange gods who were said to have awakened in the halfman lands, and who had been seen these past few ...more
Rob Carr
This book definitely has some weird parts but is an enjoyable read. The only really disappointing thing I found about it was that it ended quite quickly and I think it could have benefited from the ending being more drawn out. The descriptions of the halfmen throughout were vivid and imaginative. It was filled with action so you could never really get bored reading it. It also painted quite a good picture of how despite better technology the future might be worse off than today if our society wa ...more
A.D. Croucher
Jun 25, 2012 A.D. Croucher rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Norse myths, sci-fi, dystopian YA & harsh but powerful storytelling.
This is a harsh, mesmerizing, strange, messed-up book, full of brutal & dreamlike poetic writing, and a brilliantly freewheeling display of imagination. It's like nothing you've ever read: a YA dystopian take on Norse myths. Ancient, shapeshifting magic blends with gritty sci-fi in a devastated future-London landscape. Broken post-apocalyptic tech and the old Norse gods go hand in hand in this thrilling blend of genres. Burgess is normally known for his bleak and ferocious contemporary YA, b ...more
One of my fave books for teens!

"This is the first in the series of two novels based in this universe. The book deals with two warring gangs, named the Volsons and the Connors. Each controls a large portion of London, since the city was blockaded from the outside world. Val, head of the Volsons wishes for peace between the two and offers his daughter Signy as Conor's wife in order to broker a treaty. His hopes are to unite London and destroy the half-men who occupy the outer rim of London. Once t
This is a very dark and frightening portrayal of what may well happen to British society if the government flees, gangs rule and technology goes too far.
Yet it is woven smoothly into an age old norse tale of two feuding families, the agendas of the old gods, the pursuit of revenge and how the quest for peace is never free from pain and sorrow.
The characters are all mainly over teenage years yet the struggles each goes through makes them more adult in mind then they appear on the skin.
It is a ver
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This is a good read for anyone who enjoys distopian future stories. I had no idea what to expect from this book. I found it on a discount rack at a discount store in Canada. Very random. The cover wasn't too promising but I must say that I loved it! Burgess vision of the future is bleak and scary, but he has a unique sense of humor to write so lightly about all the horrors of a bombed-out London. I almost thought it was a satire for the first hundred pages of so, of course until everything went ...more
Susan Price
I've read a lot of self-conscious retellings of myth, set either in the past or in some sci-fi future, and I'd come to the conclusion that it was never done well.
So I approached this, and BloodSong, with a lot of scepticism. TBH, I only read it because I was going to be meeting Melvin Burgess at a Lit Fest, where we were going to be on a panel together.

I was so wrong! This, and its sequel, are wonderful - blew me away. It's so well imagined, its world so complete, that there's not a hint of self
This book made such a huge impression when I was a teenager. I do not even know If I would dare to read it again because of that reason.
Jonathan Strange
I feel that this book actually deserves a review because most of my friends seem to have not even heard of it... It was one of the first young-adult books that I read (cannot quite remember when as it was ages ago). Rather difficult to define in terms of genre because it seems able to transcend generalisation. If you like fantasy, dystopia, thriller, mythology, and philosophy being juggled effortlessly within a text, and a more mature take on teenage fiction then this is the book for you. In ter ...more
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Melvin Burgess is a British author of children's fiction. His first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. He gained a certain amount of notoriety in 1996 with the publication of Junk, which was published in the shadow of the film of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, and dealt with the trendy and controversial idea of heroin-addicted teenagers. Junk soon became, at least in Britain, one of ...more
More about Melvin Burgess...

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