Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Review of Blood Books Volume One by Tanya Huff

Ok, so I went back and kicked it old school with these books.

I had missed out on reading this first set of Blood Books for awhile now. I read the other four in the Blood Books series by Tanya Huff back when the television show Blood Ties first came out but this elusive first set kept escaping me. But finally I got my hands on a copy of Blood Books Volume One which actually contains two books, Blood Price and Blood Trail. There are six books in the series and are available in three volumes.

It is hard to believe that Tanya Huff started writing these books twenty years ago. The idea and the series was born in 1989. Other than the fact that there's not a cell phone in sight you wouldn't notice because the content is not dated at all.

I love this series, I really do and I was glad to be able to get the chance to revisit it. I really wish Tanya Huff would come back to these characters and write more about them. Vicki, Henry and Celluci are so very real, so very alive and I love the way they interact. Vicki is so stubborn but such a strong heroine, Henry is an unapologetic vampire and former member of royalty (being the bastard son of King Henry the VIII). I love that he is strong and accepts who and what he is. There is no whining about being a monster. He is what he is.

And Celluci... well he's every man, the good guy, the stubborn guy, the guy that really loves Vicki and has to accept things he may not like but does it anyway because he loves her. I can see why Vicki could never choose between the two men. Because they both have their strengths and their traits that make them so damn lovable, but a life with Henry really wouldn't fit but later...a life, at least not the one he might have once envisioned, with Celluci is no longer possible either.

These characters are so real, so complex and so alive you can really get into these books even with the paranormal elements that are so seamlessly blended into the real world. I could read a lot more about these characters but Huff says she is done with them. So sad.

I miss the show as well. Blood Ties was one of the best vampire shows on television. Strong characters, and the actors portraying the characters were perfect. They really fit into the descriptions and personalities of the book characters.

I wish the series would have lasted longer so we could have seen more of the relationship develop between Henry and Vicki and the relationship pick up where it left off (before the show began, off camera) with Vicki and Celluci.

In the books Vicki is intimately involved with both of them and it makes the heat and the interaction between them very interesting because both Henry and Celluci work with Vicki and therefore have to work with each other...and neither really likes to share- though his 450 years of existence deals with it a little better than Celluci.

I think the show could have really been a hit if perhaps it had been aired on a different channel and been advertised more. I thought it was awesome and was really disappointed that it was canceled. I am eagerly awaiting the second season on DVD because I'll finally get to see the last two episodes that were not aired.

Anyway onto the books. In Blood Price, the first book, someone is summoning a demon and it is killing locals in Toronto. Vicki gets hired to investigate and is throw back in with the police department she left because of her degenerating sight. Along the investigation she meets Henry who is also investigating because he thought the murders were being committed by an unruly vamp. After some disbelief Vicki realizes Henry is indeed a vampire and accepts him as is and they begin to work together...which makes Celluci none too happy.

In Blood Trail Vicki is asked to help investigate the murders of Henry's friends, a pack of werewolves. It's a very interesting visit to a farm outside the city which might as well be the middle of nowhere to city girl Vicki. After she is welcomed into the pack she begins her investigation. Celluci is left back in the city doing some investigating on his own...into Henry. Jealous? You bet. So much so that he drives out to the farm and walks right into a pack of werewolves who do not take kindly to strangers, especially an alpha male like Celluci. After some male posturing, a fight where Henry saves Celluci's ass, Celluci gets welcomed into the pack too and realizes there is more in heaven and earth than he ever dreamed imaginable. But right up to the end he's still not sure what Henry is but he finally realizes he is not dealing with a human.

Awesome books. And just think Tanya Huff was typing away about vampires before LKH even got her first Anita Blake book published and long, long before Stephanie Meyer was writing Twilight. She was writing this series back when Anne Rice was at the top of her game with her vampire books.

If you are a vampire fan and you have not read Tanya Huff's Blood Books then you are seriously missing out.

Hit the library, hit a used book store, hell head over to Amazon (and please click through my links and support this site) and get your hands on these books. Tanya Huff's characters are ones to read. Strong, determined, no whining...characters you'll adore because they are so alive.


Chris said...

I think they've actually been released again - at least I know my beloved Uncle Hugo's has new copies of both Books of Blood!

Have you read the books that follow Henry and Tony in Vancouver? The Smoke series? Also good.

SciFiGuy said...

Terrific review Roxanne. Tanya really does deserve greater recognition for her urban fantasy. Like you say - she invented the modern UF genre.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Smoke series? No I haven't read those. I didn't know about it. The one interview I read Tanya only talked about the Blood books and said she was done with Henry and Vickie. Huh...have to go searching.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Thanks Chris, awesome. I am off to see if my library has the books. I actual seen them on the list I just never realized it was Tony and Henry. said...

I miss Blood Ties too! And I hate the mopey vamps...or any other magically, or super strength endowed hero/ine who wants desperately to be normal.

Cybercliper said...

Great review - these were some of my first urban fantasy books. I loved them and have all of the Blood books. I loved the TV show on Lifetime as well and was really bummed when it was cancelled. I am a major Celluci fan!

Chris said...

You're welcome! :) I was pretty amazed to see that one of our local bookstores (Dreamhaven, an awesome place to get signed Neil Gaiman goodies) had some signed copies of two of the Smoke books. (Just got back from a bookstore run.)

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I am jelous Chris, you seem to have the hookup when it comes to books and signed copies.

I swear Flint is like so off the radar. If I want to go to a booksigning or author event in Michigan I have to drive hours away.

Can't say I blame authors for avoiding Flint like the plague after all they hear in the media, but really there ARE readers here.