Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Blood Oranges by Caitlin R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney

Blood Oranges
Author:  Caitlin R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney
Series:  A Siobhan Quinn Novel
Publisher:  Roc, February 5, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
Price:  $16.00 (print)
ISBN:  9780451465016 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher

My name's Quinn.

If you buy into my reputation, I'm the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a closet full of medieval weapons, I'm an ex-junkie with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong time. Or...whatever.

Wanted for crimes against inhumanity I (mostly) didn't commit, I was nearly a midnight snack for a werewolf until I was "saved" by a vampire calling itself the Bride of Quiet. Already cursed by a werewolf bite, the vamp took a pint out of me too.

So, well, you wouldn't think it could get worse, but you'd be dead wrong.

Trinitytwo's point of view:

Siobhan Quinn, or Quinn as she prefers, is a girl who has fallen through the cracks of society. A runaway at twelve, junkie at fifteen, she's just another lost soul struggling to survive in the underbelly of the Providence, Rhode Island streets. Quinn doesn't have many redeeming qualities; hey, her parents never even bothered to look for her when she ran away. She's a foul-mouthed, lying addict who will sell herself for a hit of heroin and has about as many friends as you could count on one hand. At sixteen, she's just another faceless loser until fate, in the form of a ghoul, eats her best friend and Quinn accidentally kills the beast. This garners the notice of the Mean Mr. B, who takes her under his wing by becoming her benefactor and sets her on the path of killing monsters. Quinn is more lucky than talented in this area until she kills the wrong vampire. During an encounter with a killer werewolf she discovers that payback's a bitch, or in this case, a very powerful and ancient vampire called "The Bride of Quiet" who transforms Quinn into a unique weapon. Quinn is forged into a taboo being, a vampire who is also a werewolf, and all Hell breaks loose. In this master game of deadly players there are only two options for Quinn: defeat her maker or die trying.

Caitlin R. Kiernan/Kathleen Tierney's urban fantasy, Blood Oranges is prefaced by a warning from the author: "if you're the sort who believes books should come with warning labels, this book is not for you." And she means it. Quinn, the ex-junkie, antihero writes her journal of her trials as a monster hunter while spewing profanity and constantly reminding the reader of her proclivity for lying. Quinn doesn't want your sympathy, your understanding or your approval. Blood Oranges is Quinn's story, she owns it and she simply doesn't care what its readers think. I wholeheartedly did not like Quinn. But I did feel sorry for her and I was rooting for her although she would, at the very least, insult me for it. I really had no idea where Quinn's adventures were heading and I was pleasantly surprised that they tied together in such a surprising and satisfying manner. This urban fantasy has bite (excuse the terrible pun), dark humor and is edgy to the point of making this reviewer uncomfortable. As someone with an intimate working knowledge of Rhode Island, I can truly appreciate Tierney's faithful reproduction of Providence's landmarks written so superbly that I would definitely think twice about driving around alone at night. And Quinn? She's a serious badass and scares the Hell out of me, but I like it.

1 comment:

  1. OOohhh this sounds the 'I refuse to like you' kind of way