Friday, July 8, 2016
Book Review: Bloodwalker by L.X Cain
When Zorka Circus performs, its big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, there are fewer children in the European towns it leaves behind.
Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the international performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. Nevertheless, he's determined to find the culprit and stop them before anyone else dies and the only place he can call home is ripped apart by the murders.
Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravediggers and ghoulish bloodwalkers. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict rules, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.
When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable.
The cover is simply fantastic. It's eye-catching and fits both the setting and the theme quite beautifully, as the plot is divided into two different branches-one being a murder mystery about a clown who kills children, and the other is from the point of view of a mystical woman who is hated for being a ghoulish bloodwalker. Rather than distract from each other, these two plot threads work together quite well, as the background of a bloodwalker is slowly developed and not revealed entirely from the start.
This is a very engrossing book to read for several reasons-the detail, the characters, both the mystery of the murder and the mystery of the bloodwalkers, and the horror scenes are also written quite well. I did enjoy Sylvie's storyline a tiny bit more, as the mystery of the mystical tends to draw me in a little more than a gritty crime drama. But Rurik's relationship complex relationship with the rest of the circus community was almost equally as compelling.
I really wanted to give this book a perfect score, but there was one small detail I couldn't ignore. It occurred to me around the 150 page mark that the two main characters really haven't interacted with each other that much, and I think Sylvie suffers a bit as a result. She considers herself a klutzy character who tends to get things wrong, and she doesn't really grow any internal strength until almost near the end. I couldn't help but think that she might have developed that sooner (and her plot might have been a bit more relevant) if she had joined the circus and entered Rurik's storyline a lot sooner. There were a few ways this could have been accomplished, such as if Rurik was trying to find the killer, and happened to stumble across her being hunted. Overall though, this is a very detailed horror book with a mystery that will likely keep people guessing as to who the murderer is up until the very end.
FINAL GRADE: 4.5 out of 5. Fans of horror and mystery will find something to love about this book, but unfortunately the two plots do not overlap that much, making it a bit disjointed.
Bloodwalker can be found here.