Book Review: Suzanne McLeod’s Sweet Scent of Blood

Posted August 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Suzanne McLeod’s Sweet Scent of Blood

Sweet Scent of Blood


It is part of the Spellcrackers.com #1 series and is a is a paperback edition on September 4, 2008 and has 363 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
three-stars

Other books in this series include Home Improvement: Undead Edition

First in the Spellcrackers.com urban fantasy series revolving around Genevieve Taylor, half-fae, half-human? -vampire? and her ages-long fight against the 3V and her flight from her prince.

My Take

The premise is good and unique to my reading list, however, McLeod is irritating with her primary character AND the activities that occur throughout the story. It’s one thing to tease the reader into continuing to read. It’s another thing completely to tease with very little release. It almost reads as though McLeod wrote all sorts of possibilities, cultural traits, character-related flaws onto index cards. She then tore them up, threw them into the air and then picked them up and stuck them into the story any which way. I don’t mind being led, being teased, reading snippets of clues, but, eventually, I DO want explanations. I want resolution. I want those snippets to slot into some sort of order, an explanation. Oh, yes, eventually, McLeod resolves the primary picture, but she leaves WAY too much simply hanging whether it’s in Hugh’s red dust or the Muse’s box.

Christ, McLeod has so many rules and conditions for each race and each different set has different interactions with each other. I’m surprised any of the characters can keep ’em straight. Lord knows, I want a cheat sheet!

I am really confused as to just what Genny is. I am also seriously questioning her intelligence. She comes across as a smart person, but you’d think that 10 years of experience would have made her more aware of her disability’s weaknesses. And when those weaknesses are as deadly as hers, well, why hasn’t she, why doesn’t she, take more care???

I don’t understand her relationship with Finn. He appears fascinated by her, but I have to wonder if I’m being set up. All the other relationships in this story are setups, why would this one be any different. Why does Gen feel a need to have this magic body disguise?

Salt interferes with a person’s magic and Genny’s magic is non-existent at worst and unreliable at best. Genny eats chips and bacon every single day. Hmmm, what parallel would you draw?

I swear this is like a vampiric Keystone Kops. Most of it seems designed to simply throw all sorts of dramatic action around with one or two threads — maybe — holding it together. It’s just too convoluted. There are some three separate issues going on with Malik and it’s giving me a headache.

The Story

Murder. Mr. October killed his fiancée and Bobby’s father wants Genny to find out the truth. But that’s not how it works. Everything Genny has built will collapse around her if she takes this case except those five little words are uttered. No fae will renege on a bargain and, besides, Stella seems okay with Genny taking the job.

It’s the trip Genevieve and Alan make to the police station to check Melissa’s body for concealment spells that starts the trouble rolling for Gen. Three vampires walk into a police station (sounds like the start of a joke, hmmmm)…the fact that two of them hit everyone with a mind lock does not indicate alliance, but it is death for one of their party and almost that for another unless Gen gets real creative, real quick.

It’s a down-and-dirty introduction in Sucker Town to a number of players when Gen needs a blood hit. Malik saves her there when she rescues Gazza from a fang gang. Only he thinks she’s Rosa — a vamp Malik had turned. In truth, it has all the hallmarks of Rosie, but it’s still a blackmarket magic disguise Genny bought.

Then the VIP (full protection) invites arrive: Declan’s, the Earl’s, and Malik’s. The Earl wants proof. Malik wants to work with her. Declan wants an exclusive.

The Characters

Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe fae and part vamp due to the 3V infection she first got when she was fourteen. A blood slave who must avoid sexual connections and vampires. Working for Spellcheckers allows for a subsidy on her apartment. Count Alexandre is her father and a vampire who killed her mother. Matilde is Genny’s stepmother.

Katie is a human waitress at Gen’s favorite café, the Rosy Lee owned by Freddie, in Covent Garden and she is fascinated by vampires, Mr. October especially. Gazza is the café’s latest dishwasher. A Goth who is too fascinated by faeries and vampires.

The Undead Lord, the Earl, is an old vampire who runs the Blue Heart which is managed by Rio and she loves poke, poke, poking at Genny. The Earl is pretty savvy business-wise and his calendar of hot and hunky vamps whom he features at his nightclub is a big draw. He is also pretty hot for Gen’s services. Westman is the vampire lawyer Alan rejected. Louis is a French vampire with his own agenda and “owned” by Rio. Red Poet is another of Rio’s and the main attraction with the Human victim on stage. And the leader of the Sucker Town fang gang.

Malik al-Khan is another powerful vampire interested in Genny — even the trees are talking of his interest. Declan is the powerful Irish vampire who can steal memories. He and his brothers Seamus and Patrick own the Bloody Shamrock, an Irish pub for the fanged. Mick is a cluricaun and bartends at the Shamrock. Fiona is a vampire who can see the future and who believes she’s more powerful than she is with some very wicked plans. She seems to work at the Shamrock.

Mr. October, a.k.a., Roberto, a.k.a., Bobby Hinkly, chose to go vamp to give himself time to look for a cure for the rare blood disease that killed his mother. Alan Hinkley is his devastated father, a journalist, desperate to save his son. He is determined to hire Gen to find out who really murdered Melissa, Bobby’s wanna-be-a-vampire fiancée.

Stella Raynham, a witch, is her boss. Finn Panos is a lesser fae, a satyr, and if you look real close, you can just make out his horns. He’s also about to become Genny’s boss at Spellcrackers. A fact which doesn’t prevent his trying to climb into her knickers! He’s also played a rather nasty trick on her. Toni is the office manager at Spellcrackers. Real friendly. Agatha Brown is a brownie who has finagled a visit from Genny; she’s nursemaid to Lady Meriel of Lake Serpentine’s daughter Holly who is in trouble. One problem is Louis, the French Psycho vamp who is her friend.

Sergeant Hugo Munro is a seven-foot granite troll at Scotland Yard. And his advice has always been good. Constables Lamber and Taegrin are more trolls on the force; Constable Janet is a right bitch. Quick to judge and quicker to take advantage. Detective Inspector Helen Crane is the witch, er, cop in charge with a real hate on for Genny.

Sucker Town encounters include:
Cherub Cheeks, ZigZag and Mr. June who keep showing up everywhere including with Declan. Corset Girl, a.k.a., Hannah Ashby, accountant(!), comes onto Gen in her bloodsucker mode. Darius is Rio’s toy — god knows why he stays…urgh…

The Soulers believe they must Protect the Soul and they are a right wing religious group who believes newly turned humans are selling their soul to the devil. Melissa’s mother, Fran, insists on the Soulers having their way. Neil Banner is the Souler representative with Jeremiah, a Beater Goblin to protect him from vampires and magic.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a somewhat textured black background with a Celtic knot in the upper right. The red-haired Gen is in Corset Girl’s costume showcased within a sliver of blue.

The title is about Gen’s fight and desire for The Sweet Scent of Blood.

three-stars

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