Mariah Lyander, who’s family slaughtered in cold blood, has come to live in the New Badlands with her Intel Dog (smarter than the average bear, er, dog), Chaplin, in an underground bunker. When a stranger, a man named Gabriel, is wounded and begs for her help, she lets him in, against her own better judgement. Gabriel is searching for Abby, the woman he loves, who left suddenly, and without explanation. Mariah has been alone for a while, and Gabriel awakens feelings in her that she thought were gone for good. Water is a precious commodity, and Mariah has done her best to make this underground dwelling safe for her and the rest of its inhabitants. When they are threatened by a man named Stamp and his vicious crew, Mariah may have to look to Gabriel for help, even though she suspects him of being a monster just like the one that’s been roaming the night aboveground, slaughtering humans. With the New Badlands, Christine Cody creates a world that’s a cross between Mad Max, Firefly, and the Wild West. Gabriel is a vampire searching for redemption, and determined to hide his true nature. Mariah is tough and damaged, but her feelings for Gabriel are undeniable. There’s sufficient sexual tension throughout the story, and Gabriel has a White Knight streak a mile long. Stamp is a former Shredder, tasked with eliminating preternaturals and is determined to wipe them from this world, with impunity, and without mercy. I enjoyed the tense relationship between Gabriel and Mariah, but I wanted to read more about the New Badlands and the events that led up to such cataclysmic changes for humanity, so I’m hopeful we’ll get more in the next couple of books. Lots of character set up is done in this one, but be patient, it's worth the payoff! There’s also a really nice twist that I’ll admit I didn’t see coming, and the promise of an awesome (trust me on this one) final showdown will keep you turning the pages. Bloodlands is a fun start to a promising new series!...more
Undertaker Byron Montgomery grew up in Claysville,but recently came back after 8 years to work in the town he grew up in. After Rebekkah’s grandmother Maylene is murdered,she must return to Claysville to take care of unfinished business. Meanwhile,Byron is frustrated at the sheriff’s unwillingness to look into a death that,to Byron,was obviously murder,and the fact that the only woman he’s ever loved,but could never really have,is back in town doesn’t help matters. Rebekkah and Byron are meant for something bigger,and as a sinister figure makes its way through the town,devouring the living,they must resign themselves to their fate before the dead take over.
Byron is the Undertaker and Rebekkah is the Graveminder. Bound together by fate,and by an ancient contract to keep the town of Claysville safe,they’ll have to put aside years of repressed feelings and fears if they are to keep their wits about them. Rebekkah has been pushing Byron away for ages,always denying her love for him. Byron has always loved Rebekkah and will do anything to have her in his life. I’ll admit it,Rebekkah frustrated me. She’s got this wonderful man professing his undying love to her,and she pushes it away. Sometimes I wanted to smack Byron for making moonie eyes for someone that just makes him crazy,but it does makes for wonderful tension,and also threatens to affect their ability to come together for the sake of Claysville,and their own futures.
Melissa Marr turns up the creep factor in this one,and creates an atmosphere that’s at once oppressive and fascinating in its mystery. I especially enjoyed the trips to the land of the dead,and into Mr D.’s lair,where different times and places come together to create a dangerous landscape that’s as seductive as it is terrifying. That’s actually the only change I would have made to this book;more land of the dead,more Mr. D.,and more Alicia (trust me on this one.) Murder,the Hungry Dead,and long held secrets,with an eerie Southern Gothic feel,make Graveminder a creepy treat (especially on a rainy night.) Highly recommended!...more