I can honestly say I’ve missed being in this world. For those of you not familiar with this series, the Blud series is a mix of paranormal and steampunk where even the most delightful, unassuming creature is sure to be deadly. Filled with supernatural creatures in an alternate universe, you never know what you’re going to get.
Everything began when Tish found a locket that brought her to Sang and Criminy Stain. That was six years ago. She’s been living with her devoted, powerful Bludman husband ever since, but taking trips back to the human world to care for her Nana. Only time moves differently in Sang than it does on Earth and she’s aging at a much faster rate. Even though she’s only 32, she looks closer to 60. Criminy doesn’t care what she looks like, he loves her and still shows her every chance he gets. But she’s bothered by her age spots, thinning hair and wrinkles while her husband still looks exactly the same as the day she met him. Regardless of her husband’s repeated attempts to talk her into becoming a Bludman, she resists, knowing that if she does she’ll lose her humanity and the ability to be there for her Nana when she passes.
In a moment of insight, she makes the quick decision to bring her grandmother over to Sang and have Criminy blud her. She doesn’t count on the woman’s personality completely changing the moment she sheds her illness and pain and regains some of her youth. She doesn’t act the same, dress the same and is definitely not the same woman who Tish lovingly remembers. Ready to embrace her chance at a new life, she insists on being called by her given name of Ruby, and it’s not long before she runs off with her new lover, Criminy’s strongman, Torno. Afraid she’s getting herself into a dangerous situation, Tish and Criminy follow and that’s when the fun begins.
I had no idea this book was even happening until it suddenly showed up as available for review. I was more than ready to get back to Tish and Criminy, who are by far my favorite couple in this series. Ms. Dawson left things for them up in the air when she left Tish living her life half on Earth and half in Sang. Criminy can live hundreds of years, and his beloved wife continued to be human, so I always wondered if their story would ever have some finality to it. I can tell you that yes, things definitely come to a complete conclusion and everything gets all wrapped up. In their quest to save Tish’s grandmother, they get help from every character who’s played any significance in this series and Tish finally is forced to become a Bludman.
As always, Criminy is who stole the show for me. He’s sexy and bloodthirsty and powerful. Tish got on my nerves a bit as she whined and worried. While I understood her initial reluctance at fully joining Criminy in his world, I soon realized that wasn’t her only reason. But once she accepted her new life in full I enjoyed her realization that everything from sex to her new, powerful body was better. She comes into her own and in the end saves the day.
The ending is everything I could have wanted. I think this was a nice send off to a series I’ve truly enjoyed. Final Grade- B
“How is it that every woman I know is a deadly, cunning, beautiful virago?”
“You’re just lucky, I guess,” I said.