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Dark Blood

(Tristopolis #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  35 reviews
John Meaney's triumphant invention of gothic SF continues with his undead detective discovering a terrifying conspiracy against the living
Published (first published March 20th 2008)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  350 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I finally finished the book - now I will admit I took longer to finish this book than normal and I think that was partly the fault of the book - yes really.

You see this is at its heart this book is a crime noir (and no if you know the story there is no pun intended about the dark reference) but set in a work familiar but at the same time utterly different. The issue was that the world it is set in though incredibly detailed and well thought out would hamper the story.

The reason is for this
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was the sequel to Bone Song, and I loved the world building and the characters. Very interesting concepts and characters. The setting is a city in the future where energy needs are met by using the bones of the dead (or in one city, live children)- and to make matters worse, the bones are not unfeeling. There are political struggles, race relations (human vs not quite human or not human at all), romantic relationships, tragedy. Highly recommended- both Bone Song and Black Blood (Although ...more
Trevor Dowe
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, wish there was a third!

John Meaney does an excellent job of building his dark grim world of magical technology and paranormal creatures. He does it in such a way there is very little exposition, and what little there is comes across naturally without feeling like exposition.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kathy-s-shelf
This man writes this series with so much imagination - it is completely different from anything I have ever read. I hope he writes a sequel.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Seriously John Meaney, get off your lazy arse and get to writing another Tristopolis book! You're giving me blue balls!

But seriously John, help a bloke out here.

So the last John Meaney book I read was Bone Song, set in the same universe/arc as Dark Blood. In the previous outing, detective Donal Riordan foiled a conspiracy to harvest the bones of celebrities and high power individuals. You see in the universe of Tristopolis, death carries power, and bones are a conduit to that power. The
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Willy Eckerslike
I’ve been looking forward to reading this for some time and I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed although I really should have re-read Bone Song beforehand to remind me of the characters and events.

With the heart of his dead girlfriend beating in his chest, Donal the zombie is again investigating some very shady goings-on in Tristopolis, with old enemies, new & unpleasant politics, dubious purple phones and discrimination, all while trying to get t being un-dead. This is a gothic noir
Jeff Young
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
The setting sells this series and now that Meaney has it firmly established to the reader, he can get on with the action. The weaknesses of the first novel are in most cases healed. Dark Blood or Black Blood, depending on which edition you are enjpying, begins by showing the reader multiple actions that appear relatively unconnected. The team members are working at what appears to be cross purposes without a leader. We begin to percieve the invisible hand behind the action is the Commisioner, ...more
I think this could have done with another pass by an editor. There were some parts where the narrative would stop because the author wanted to explain what you should be getting out of the previous part of the sentence-he was telling not showing.
See how annoying that is? Be confident that you explained things correctly the first time, don't go hammering into my reading brain that I should be understanding things in a certain way. Also, this device was present in about only a hundred pages toward
Jul 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting world John Meaney has created, a world that runs on the power of bones. A world with other creatures, a world that's almost steampunk. It does have a vaguely victorian air about it.

Our hero, Donal Riordan, now has the heart of his undead lover beating inside him, with guilt and a strange echo of that woman living inside his head. He's trying to come to terms with his new life (there's a hilarious sequence about him exploring knitting which made me chuckle being a knitter
Fantasy Literature
Jun 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Creatively, I loved John Meaney’s Bone Song, especially the highly imaginative world. At the same time though, I was disappointed by the shallow characters, a formulaic plot, and the disjointed narrative. Because of the uneven experience, I was a bit apprehensive about reading the sequel, but my curiosity in knowing how the story continued prevailed. Fortunately, despite a few hiccups, Black Blood turned out to be an overall much stronger and much more enjoyable effort.

Like its predecessor, the
Confusing plot skips around from viewpoint to viewpoint, with scraps of relevant info being let drop casually into the narration like used Kleenex. Also a lot of new characters are introduced, often quite similar to previous characters and not destined for long acquaintance in any case. It's a lot of work to parse this story, man. You have to be motivated, which you'll only be if you loved the first volume in the series.

I get the feeling Meaney is bursting with ideas and plot points, but by
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Incredible world-building and likable characters that unfortunately don't get explored enough. In my opinion, the author sacrifices character richness to style. You would have to read it to understand what I mean by style - this is an alternate universe unlike any other I've ever encountered in a book. So yeah, the ideas are brilliant, I just wish the author built more of a connection between his characters and the reader.

The book ends with a terrible cliffhanger and considering it
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fantasy
I'm still utterly delighted by the tone and setting of these books: humor amidst the potential grisliness. A major spoiler for the first book in this series plays out with the proper depth here: not overwhelming, but present and pertinent.

Meaney likes to end his books not on a cliffhanger for the current book's plot, but certainly at a point where you howl to know more anyway -- call it a character cliffhanger.
I really enjoyed Bone Song. Often when I read another book in the series, I cannot remember much about the first one. But because Bone Song was so different, it came back in a flash. The way they generate power is unforgettable...

But I got confused, and wish I could understand the end. Perhaps when I read them again, but if anyone could enlighten me, privately, so as not to spoil this for anyone else, I'd really appreciate it.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
You don't need to have read the previous book, Bone Song, to enjoy Dark Blood. I hadn't. But it might help as the first book presumably does most of the work establishing the setting. This said, Meaney does not presume that his readers are familiar with his world, one which I found interesting and fun to read. This book does contain spoilers to the previous one though, so you may want to consider reading that first.

Missy Ann
May 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a whole lot of book. I liked it, but I found myself very lost for the first half, there are so many characters and so many concepts that it was difficult keeping everything straight. It also didn't help that this is Book 2 and I didn't read Book 1.

I liked it enough that I will try to track down Bone Song and keep an eye out for the next Tristopolis story.
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deeper, richer and stranger than the first in the series (Bone Song). I hope we get to revisit Tristopolis at some point in the future.
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Meh. Same great worldbuilding but I gave even less of a crap about the cast. Really cool telepathic ghostwolves which were not used well enough, just dangled coyly before the reader and then snatched away. The book needed them though--it certainly needed *something*.

David Davies
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Great book, loved the first one and this is on par with that, but what a cliffhanger ending.
Looking online I've been able to find the title of the next book in the series but John Meaney has stated there little chance of him writing least as of yet...stay tuned
Dr susan
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again, own
I read this book about 2 yrs ago, after loving Bone Song so much that I ordered Black Blood. I loved this book as well with its further look at Meaney's dark, horrifying world, but....WHERE IS BOOK 3???
C.S. Daley
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Still really enjoying this series. This book had a stronger finish than the last one. The world is crazy and interesting. I look forward to seeing where he goes with it next.

Tracy Dobbs
I read this on my Kindle, under the American title "Black Blood".

I read the first book in this series last month and I liked it a lot. I think this one is even better.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Love these books...macabre and so outside the norm!
Reader09 Hofmann
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Fascinating Book! I enjoyed reading it.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scarey-horror
great sequel to bone song. very dark
Bill Johnston
Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this second installment of the series. Without giving the ending away, I was reminded a bit of Dr. Who.
Chris Muir
Aug 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't think that this one was quite as good as Bone Song, which was the first in this series, but it was still good.
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, sci-fi
So bad it's good... I can't resist
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John Meaney also writes as Thomas Blackthorne.

Other books in the series

Tristopolis (2 books)
  • Bone Song (Tristopolis, #1)