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Bad Blood by L.A. Banks
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May 14, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: disappointing, romance, werewolves, series

** spoiler alert ** It wasn't awful, but it was very disappointing.

Also, it absolutely should not be shelved in horror. (A lot of books in horror shouldn't be there, but this is the most egregrious example I've seen.) It's a romance and should be shelved there. My dissatisfaction doesn't stem from the romance, I just have a problem with the rampant mis-categorization going on in horror.

(mild spoilers)

The cover text gave me the impression that the main narrative was going to follow Sasha's search for the rest of her werewolf black ops team, with the likelihood that they would be re-united and continue working as a unit (military or otherwise) to resolve this novel. That possibility was quickly dismissed.

That's the story I would've preferred. I'm a huge fan of such team interaction, whether there's a romance nested somewhere in it or not. Instead the plot shrank to focus on two people against the world, with some non-combatant back-up assistance here and there. (However, this book does suggest that Sasha and Max could have a team with four other wolfs in subsequent novels.)

I don't have a problem with romance and / or sex in my fiction -- in fact, I love it when it's well integrated -- but the whole plot de-railed about halfway through to give Sasha and Max plenty of time to screw. I also don't care for the way the romance is framed as that all-consuming desire and attraction even thought the characters have just met. I know that's a popular trope, but I'm not a fan.

Within that all consuming attraction, I was happy that Sasha made herself stay a step back. Her world just turned upside down, and she's not going to jump into a life-long commitment no matter how much she likes Max.

So the romance completely de-railed the plot about halfway through, but when the plot eventually gets moving again, it never quite gets back on the rails. A lot of worldbuilding details are crammed into the last quarter of the novel -- which you do expect in the first installment of a series. However, the details 1) continue to overturn *everything* that Sasha knew and 2) come too thick, too quickly. The overall effect left me disoriented in this new universe.

I'm not going to continue with the series. I prefer that romance be nested seamlessly within the plot, and I didn't like how isolated from the rest of the narrative that left Sasha and Max.

Ultimately, while the premise of the book isn't bad, it doesn't grab me either.
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