ORDER A COPY: Blood From a Silver Cross (Kat Redding)
Publishing Date: February 6, 2014
ebook: 235 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Some people still call Kat Redding by her hunter name: Lady Death. But she’s not eager to see more violence brought to her doorstep. The neverending tide of hungry supes and vicious humans doesn’t change the math—sooner or later Kat’s one-vamp battle against the nightmares that infest Columbus is going to leave her dead. And she has innocent people—well, a werewolf and a demon-summoner—depending on her now.
But when a rogue werewolf who’s opted out of the bloodbath is found crucified and mutilated with toxic silver, Kat knows she’ll be tangling again with the dangerous Pureblood murderers of the cult of the Left Hand. She already has an undead countess blackmailing her into taking out the city’s garbage and a demon playing with her head. Add to that her serious suspicions about changes at the house of her uneasy ally Jonathan Alucard, werewolf denmaster, and Kat might have finally gotten in danger so deep, not even Lady Death can survive.
Kat Redding has gotten herself into a lot of trouble in the last year. She’s been on a path of self-destruction after her brother’s death. She was almost seduced by a angel. she’s has caught the attention of not one but two Vampire Houses. She has Alpha Creepo Aiden sniffing around her to mate with him in his quest for world domination…or at least domination of Columbus. She has made a bargain with a demon, was almost killed by human zealots, and she still isn’t sure how she feels about Jonathan Alucard, leader of the Luna Cult.
The worst part is that with all the attention she is getting, her home is no longer her own secret. Too many individuals know where to find her, and now her human friend Ethan and the displaced werewolf Jeremy are in jeopardy as well. Kat has decided it is time to stop this spiraling self-destruction and get her life back; short of packing up and leaving town, that is easier said than done.
After killing the wrong vampire, Kat is still being forced to act as the assassin for Countess Baset, and if she refuses, the Countess won’t go after Kat. She’ll once again go after Kat’s friends.
After being captured by the werewolf alpha, Aiden and force into a blood bond with him thanks to his batshit crazy vampire pet, Kat is able to feel where he is, but that means he can track her as well. She might be enjoying his “gift” of immunity to silver, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever agree to mate with him. Ewww!
Aiden isn’t the only one following her around. After doing a little destruction at his territory, vampire Count Mephisto has been having her trailed. If it is not for revenge, what does he want?
And maybe she’s told Jonathan several times that there can’t be anything between them, but who the hell is that female hanging all over him every time she tries to talk with him? Kat doesn’t trust her but is that simply jealousy talking?
Now Jonathan needs her help to determine who would have crucified one of his werewolves right in front of the Luna Cult. All clues point to the human extremists known as the Left Hand, but how could they get so close to the Cult without being seen unless there is someone inside helping them out? Is it truly suspicion or just jealousy that has Kat ready to tear into the newest werewolf recruit?
****Some spoilers if you aren’t caught up with the series*****
I have been following this series since To Walk the Night was first released. It has a whole Underworld feel to the story and several interesting side characters, including Jonathan, my favorite.
My problem with this series was that after the first book, Kat’s character became very erratic. Kat and her brother were human vampire hunters, who took out the smaller vampire houses, until they were captured and Kat was turned into a vampire and her brother was fed both vampire and werewolf blood which only leads to madness. In the second book, she found her maddened werewolf brother and was so obsessed with “saving” him, several people were hurt including werewolf Jeremy losing his arm, and Jonathan being badly injured and Kat just walking away leaving Ethan (her agoraphobic human friend) to take him somewhere to be treated.
At this point she has literally walked away from the only two people who cared if Kat lived or died, leaving one bleeding to death all over her floor, and ends up in some Twilight Zone Town where the leader is trying to un-vampire her and in a world where vampires and werewolves rule the night, this Town seems to be unfazed by these predators. Her time in Delai was rather boring and the only reason she leaves is to answer the call of the Demon she made a deal with, even after her friend Ethan begged her not to do it.
When she returns home, I was quite surprising that her friends will actually speak to her after abandoning them for several months with no word of what became of her or if she would ever return.
She’s wasn’t done yet and in her usual “kill first, question it later” philosophy, Kat not only causes trouble in one very powerful vampire’s territory, but she kills the lover and assassin for another powerful vampire, and Jonathan gets dragged in and tortured until Kat agrees to work for the Countess.
And we’re not done yet…werewolf Aiden has decided that Kat needs to mate with him and when she refuses, he captures her, paralysis her with silver. At this point, Kat starts to realize her vulnerable she is because paralyzed, naked and strapped to a table, he could simply rape her and mate with her again her will. Lucky for her, he decides to “gift” her with the immunity to silver like his werewolves as a sort of pre-mating present.
Now after the last book I had enough of Kat’s crazy and reckless behavior. All she did was get herself (and her friend’s by her association with them) in trouble. It was no longer a kick-ass series. It was more of a teenager having a hissy-fit and acting out with no regard for what could happen from her stupid decisions.
I swore I would give the series one last book before I would walk away entirely and I was pleasantly surprised by the complete change in the main character. At this point, Kat has finally realized that she has made some serious enemies and she has put her friends in danger.
She is trying to figure out how to get herself out of the sticky situations that she has put herself and her friends into.
Although I wouldn’t call this a story with a happy ending, what happens in here will shake up the series as we know it, but it was a better story then we have seen in the last two and much improvement on the main character.
I would have liked to have seen her take Jeremy up on his offer to help her. I could think of some investigation he could have done for her while she was busy splitting her time between looking for the Left Hand and working as the Countess’s assassin. She still refuses to allow herself to lean on anyone, but one step at a time.
I don’t know if this was the author’s storyline from the beginning or if he too realized that Kat was going astray from kick-ass heroine to annoying character, but I do appreciate the turn around. The ending does leave the story with a big question mark as to what will happen next but as long as Kat stays and track and we get some Jonathan in there, I’ll keep reading.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
In this scene, werewolf Jeremy comes to talk to Kat at the bar she sometimes goes to for information:
“You know he only wants to help, right?” Jeremy said after a few moments.
I groan inwardly, knowing he was trying to get me back for those comments about the girl. I was pretty sure he knew I still struggled to sort out the tangled emotions I had for the Denmaster. Everyone had seemed to key in on the fact long before I did.
“I know that,” I said. “But he needs to remember that I’ve helped myself for a long time now. Letting someone help doesn’t come naturally to me.”
“But is it really so hard to let him try?”
“Yes,” I said. “It is.”
Jeremy smiled. “Somehow, I knew you’d say that.”
I shook my head and took another drink.
There was a long stretch of silence when we both just drank quietly. I could feel Bart’s eyes on us and wondered if he knew who Jeremy was or if he thought the young were was my boyfriend or something. I smiled at the thought.
Then again, what did Mikael think? He might have his eyes closed, but I was positive he knew everything that was going on in the room. Did he know who Jeremy was? Did he know where he’d been? It was one of those things I wished I knew for sure. I didn’t like the idea of Mikael storing any sort of information on my friends.
“Thank you,” Jeremy said suddenly, startling me out of my thoughts.
“For taking me in.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I don’t think I would have made it through those first few months after this”—he motioned toward his missing arm—“without you and Ethan.”
“Ethan took you in first. You should thank him.”
“But it was because of you that I was there. Sure you might not have been in the house at the time, but I felt your presence there anyway. It was as if a part of you had never left.”
I gave him a funny look. I might have been the reason he’d moved in, but I was also the reason he’d lost his arm. I didn’t deserve thanks for that.
Jeremy’s bottle was empty. He spun in slowly on the table, not looking up as he spoke.
“Those first few days were hard. After Lei couldn’t…when she couldn’t put my arm back…” He took another deep breath and I thought I saw tears in his eyes.
“You don’t have to do this,” I said. Something in my chest hitched and I had to clear my throat lest I start bawling myself.
“I was stupid,” Jeremy said, going on as if he hadn’t heard me. “I thought I was tougher than I really was. And when those Tainted came through the door and tore me apart like I was just some rag doll, I realized I had no business living this sort of life.”
My beer was empty. I held on to the bottle, afraid that if I let it go, I’d give in to the emotions suddenly throbbing behind my eyes. I couldn’t imagine losing a part of myself like that.
“It’s hard to slit your wrists when you only have one arm.”
My hand tightened on the bottle. I refused to look up at him now. I knew if I saw tears trailing down his cheeks, I’d lose it and break down too.
“So I tried to chew my way through them instead.” He gave a bitter laugh. “How that would help, I have no idea. I healed long before I ever bled out.”
The couple across the room stood and walked out together. As they left, a trio of men came in, looking as much like vampires as anyone could without showing fang. They scoped the room and then wandered to a table, seemingly disappointed there weren’t more people there they could target.
“I think I might have starved myself or tried again if it wasn’t for Jonathan. He told me to watch over Ethan, giving me something to do. At first, I thought was trying to get rid of me, but soon started to realize he was giving me a reason to go on. He showed me I was still useful.”
The sound of his voice finally caused me to look at him. He was staring at me with an intensity that was almost scary.
“But even while I knew I was getting better inside, I was still torn up. When Ethan was asleep, I’d sometimes watch him and think about everything I could not longer do. It was hard to simply get through the day sometimes.”
I nodded in a way that I hoped told him that I understood. I’d been to my own dark places.
“But I got over it. I learned that even though I couldn’t do something as simple as clap anymore, I could still be important to someone. I refuse to shirk my duty out of fear of failure. Just because I’m missing a part of myself, doesn’t mean the rest of me is useless.”
Jeremy sighed and forced a smile. “So anyway, thank you for not kicking me out when you came back. Thank you for giving me a reason to live.” He raised his bottle toward the bar.
I didn’t trust myself to speak. Bart brought over a pair of beers, clearing away the empties as he did.
I waited until he was gone before I forced a smirk to my face and said, “No problem.” I wanted to sound cocky, but my voice broke on the second word.
Jeremy seemed to get it, though. He broke out into a wide grin, picked up his beer and tipped it my way. “To staying alive.”
I raised my own bottle. “To staying alive.”
Our bottles made a faint clink as we tapped them together.