As our SPSFC team finishes reading our ten quarterfinalists out of our first round allotment, I will be posting review roundups and official scores. As you read our thoughts on these ten books, keep in mind that we have a variety of tastes on this team, and a low score does not necessarily indicate a bad book. One or two (or even all four!) judges bouncing hard off a book can tank a score and keep it from advancing in this competition, but that doesn’t mean the same book might not be perfect for another reader.
Today we’re looking at Peter Hartog’s Bloodlines, a murder mystery in a blended sci-fi/fantasy setting.
Jay’s Review and Rating
A strong setup, a smooth and compelling prose style, and a few genuinely intense scenes are enough to make Bloodlines worth a long look for fans of speculative detective stories. But its reliance on common tropes and a handful of foibles with both heroes and villains prevented me from really falling in love with this one.
Jay has rated Bloodlines 5.5/10. For more detail, see his full review.
Esme’s Review and Rating
I had mixed feelings about this but I can see where many people would have a lot of fun with a snarky cop from New York hunting what could be vampires in a future setting.
Esme has rated Bloodlines 6/10. For more detail, see her full review.
Lilyn’s Review and Rating
“Doc” Holliday is a grizzled, former golden boy brought low. One with a propensity for ancient literature, bad attitudes, and coffee. It’s an uninspired rehash of basically every male detective character of any prominence out there. Well-written, but still recognizable and tired.
However, criticisms aside, it was a unique experience for this reader to be 75% through a novel and have no clue who the bad guy was going to turn out to be. Hartog does a good job of giving consumers enough clues to keep them interested, but playing the rest of the cards close enough to his chest that even heavy readers of the genre will find themselves engaged in a delightful guessing game.
Overall, Bloodlines was a mostly enjoyable read that will probably scratch the perfect itch for some readers though it failed to do so with this one.
Lilyn has rated Bloodlines 6.5/10. For more detail, see their full review.
Bill’s Review and Rating
Bloodlines really needs an editor. Some of the word choice is just wrong and the second time I read libation within 20 pages was two times too much. Coffee is not a potent potable. Also we have chapters told from the MC’s point of view but with personal insight into what others are thinking. If there was something there that wowed me it could have over come those elements.
Bill has rated Bloodlines as a DNF (40% read).
Status: ELIMINATED IN THE QUARTERFINALS.