I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I’ve wanted to explore the UF sub-genre for a while now—not in small part due to the fact that I felt like I was ready for a (don’t kill me) romance mini-break. *GASP* I know. Just a small one! A change of pace now and then in order to make me appreciate the romances all the more. Honestly. Promise. Cross my heart and hope to die.
Blood of Eden is about a young woman who has just begun a summer internship with the newly-formed PBAU—Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. The book’s world is based on this one, i.e. the characters are normal people, at first doubt the existence of anything paranormal, etc. Skye has wanted to work for the BAU forever and when she finds out where she’s been assigned, it takes her a little while to get over her disappointment … and disbelief. There are a series of mysterious murders happening that the PBAU team has been assigned to and while there are some odd things about the killings, Skye doesn’t believe that there is necessarily a paranormal component to them.
As the murder-mystery part of the plot unfolds, we also learn about all the other things that are going on in Skye’s life: her mother is schizophrenic and always adding complications, her roommate seems to be going through her own episode of who-knows-what, and there are two men vying for her attention: JT, one of the agents on the team, and Gabe, her longtime nemesis from school whom she once had a bit of a thing with.
At the beginning, I really liked Skye. The book is told in first-person from her POV and she’s presented as a self-deprecating, awkward, non-fashionista, girl-genius who is juggling a lot of different things in her life. As things progressed, however, I began to lose my patience with her and with the story as a whole.
One of the things that annoyed me almost from the start was Skye’s constant reference to her body’s reaction to JT and the manner in which it was done, always saying that she wasn’t going to notice how this body part was tingling at his nearness or that organ was reacting. The supporting characters weren’t as fleshed out as they could have been and most of them remain relatively one-dimensional up until the end. The notable exception was Gabe, whose interactions with Skye I really enjoyed and who didn’t get enough page-time IMO.
The mystery was not one of those where the reader is given hints and can try to figure it out on her own, à la Agatha Christie. For me, this usually means that more time needs to be spent on the mystery subplot so that I’m drawn in and care how it is solved. In Blood of Eden, there were so many other plot points being followed however, that it was easy for me to lose interest in the murders, and in the end they seem somewhat extraneous.
All of the subplots are neatly wrapped up in the end with some weird twists thrown in to speed things along. Some seem so unbelievably random, while others are very anti-climactic, and since it’s one after another it begins to feel excessive. Sloane ends up hitting the nail on the head in a scene in the final section when she thinks to herself that it’s all starting to sound like some low-budget sci-fi movie—and I’m sorry to say it, but I will not be picking up the sequel.