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[Book Review] Red Blooded By Amanda Carlson & Happyrock Coffee Roasting Co. El Chupacabra

Red Blooded By Amanda CarlsonTitle: Red Blooded
Series/Universe: Jessica McClain #4
Author: Amanda Carlson
Publisher: Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group
Publication date: September 9th 2014
Page Count: 368 pages
Age Rating: Adult (semi-explicit sexual scenes, blood, violence)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Red Blooded

Jessica is going to Hell.

After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn’t have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast — new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be… or she will never make it out alive.

My Review

Jessica McClain has not had it easy since she came into her birthright as the only female werewolf in existence and reincarnation of a powerful Lycan ancestor. An uncovered prophecy that places her as a threat to the power held by each supernatural sect has not endeared her to many, but so far she’s managed to make nice with the leaders and most powerful members of the werewolves, vampires, and witches.

In Red Blooded, the fourth book in the Jessica McClain series, the demons want their day and have assigned Jessica a court date in Hell to answer for alleged crimes against their order.  Jessica has no intention of going to Hell and answering for some trumped up charges, but the Prince of Hell forces her hand when he kidnaps her brother and drags him to the Underworld, giving her no choice but to follow. All Jessica wants to do is grab her brother and get the heck out of Hell as quickly and as quietly as possible – if only it was that easy.

Most of the major characters in the series are seen again in this book, new allies and foes are introduced, and we finally get some real insight into The Prophecy that’s recently become the bane of Jessica’s existence and learn what it means in the larger context of the things to come.

Some books are dialogue heavy, some are plot heavy, and some are action heavy. Red Blooded manages to be all three and I have no idea how, but it works.  In that same vein, this book can be read as a standalone, but not really. You get enough context to make it easy to follow along and not be completely lost in the current story being presented in this book, but you don’t get enough to fill in all the many intricate plotlines and character backstories that have been presented previously and which I think really add to the richness of the overarching epic journey of the characters.

One of my favorite parts of this series is how all the major players are women. Strong, powerful, kickbutt females are my favorite kind of characters, be they the heroine or the villainess of the story, and the Jessica McClain series has them in spades. Strong women are particularly shown in all their formidable glory in Red Blooded making it my new favorite book in the series (but then again, I say that as each new book is released and I love it even more than the one before it.)

Still loving this series. Still highly recommend it. Can’t wait for the next one (boo cliffhanger endings 🙁 )

Red Blooded takes place almost completely in the Underworld. This completely unfamiliar plane is so completely unlike anything Jessica is used to and like nothing she expects. The first creature Jessica encounters in hell is one that many people might be familiar, a dog/reptile mix called a chupacabra. Because I found that to be just awesome, I’m recommending Happyrock Coffee Roasting Co. El Chupacabra – a chocolaty, nutty medium roast with a bit of a bitter bite to it.   

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