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Blood Riders by Michael P. Spradlin
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's review
Sep 01, 2012

liked it

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

In the year of 1876 Jonas Hollister was a captain of the U.S. Cavalry. He and his men came across a camp where all of the inhabitants had been slaughtered. Jonas had a sick sense that something was wrong, and before they could even begin burial duty, the bodies start to rise and start killing Jonas’s men and drinking their blood. Jonas barely leaves the scene with his life; being saved by the rising sun that sent the creatures running.

When Jonas reports to his superiors on what happened, they don’t believe him and they arrest him. Four years later Jonas is still in prison, when famous detective Allan Pinkerton calls upon him. What happened to Jonas and his men has happened again and they want Jonas to help destroy the monsters responsible. Jonas will be granted his freedom and a hefty salary if he complies. After Jonas makes a few demands of his own; raising his rank to Major and freeing a fellow inmate, Chee, to assist him on his mission, he is on his way, possibly to his own death.

Armed with a specially designed train full of unique weapons specifically designed to fight vampires, and after speaking with vampire extraordinaire, Abraham Van Helsing, and receiving his journals. The men are as ready as they will ever be. But the men are being followed by a couple different parties and only time will tell if they are friends or foes.

At first glance, I was wary of this book; it looks like a typical ‘boy’ book featuring a heavily armed cowboy in a trench coat on the cover. And, the synopsis doesn’t do much to dispel that theory as it mentions the book taking place back in the 1800s, involving the military, and the old west all together. But I ended up enjoying the story. I thought it was interesting how Spradlin interweaved real people and events such as General Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn (I really enjoyed the confrontation between he and Jonas), with his fictional characters. Not to mention bringing in Dracula’s nemesis, Van Helsing, to help fight the fanged enemy. It was an entertaining mix to say the least. It wasn’t always riveting, but it was never boring.

I also found the Archaic race to be interesting. They are close to vampires, but not quite. There were just so many facets to them to hold your attention. I’ve read a lot of vampire books, some of them turning to goo when they die, others disappearing completely, and some going back to their human form, or what it would be if they had continued to age. So I found it to be pretty interesting that the Archaic’s age dictated what happened to them when they die. It was also interesting that they have to be alive 1500 years before they become immortal.

The romance between Shaniah and Jonas was fun. I want to say it was predictable, but it really wasn’t. Part of me thought they would get together when I was reading the synopsis, but as I read the story I thought the races where just too different for it to work, but yet there it was.

I usually don’t comment on the grammar or editing in a book especially when reviewing an uncorrected proof as I was in this case. But I have to say that beings as this book is an upcoming re-release I was a bit shocked at seeing so many editing mistakes. With that said, I don’t feel that they detract from the story, although I hope they are corrected before the book hits the shelves at the end of September.

Overall I did enjoy this book and I’m surprised that it is not a start to a series as the ending definitely left an opening for a sequel. But who knows maybe in time we will see Shaniah, Jonas, and Chee again. Until then, we will have to be satisfied with Blood Riders, as it very well may be the only book we see of these characters and story. I personally am hoping to see another novel though, as I would love to see what happens with Shaniah and the midwife on that boat!
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message 1: by Russell (new)

Russell Bittner Heidi,

You're obviously particular about your grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. We like that!

What would it take to convince you to attempt a read and review of my novel, Trompe-l'oeil?

I don't know whether you're at all put off by some erotic content (not really the point of the book at all, but I use it to make a point). If not, I believe you'll find the story to be close to flawless where the mechanics (at the very least) of writing are concerned.


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