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is a paperback edition on January 29, 2013 and has 384 pages.
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Fifth in the Blood Singer urban fantasy series revolving around Celia Graves, a vampire bodyguard in Los Angeles.
I think Adams is setting us up for a new stage in Celia’s life as this was rather dull overall, surprisingly. That’s not to say the action is lacking. Between the runaway dramas, the assassinations attempts — physical and verbal, the nasty bits cropping up from some unexpected places, and all the wedding drama, events are full. It just lacked that immediacy and world-threatening proportions I’ve gotten so used to in this series.
Adams has a sweet cast of characters. Hmmm, sweet in the sense that they’re an interesting bunch, not as in granny-in-her-rocker. Thinking back to what I wrote above, I feel as though this story is a shakedown of the characters (and buildings), sorting out who remains, how their interaction with Celia will change, and who gets tossed.
Creede’s been a jerk, so is Christopher. And just to keep things even, Olga and Natasha cover the female version of the jerk.
I just love how supportive Lopaka is of Celia! As for Okalani, it makes no sense to me that she gets involved as she does. No, I just don’t get it. She’s a bright girl… Then there’s Griffiths on the day of the wedding. Why? Why would he tell Celia about this when there is absolutely nothing she can do?
It’s mostly a lot of crappy things happening in Celia’s life, although I did enjoy the comeback Celia had with her insurance company…way to go, Celie!
I feel awash in this sea of changes, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series to discover how the shakedown settles out in To Dance with the Devil.
It’s a tidy-up from The Isis Collar, 4, with Celia clearing out the problems at MagnaChem, at great risk! A risk that looks attractive when Laka from the Serenity Isle appears to ask Celia to find her daughter, Okalani, who has run away to find her father and brother, Ricky.
Worse, Adriana is asking Celia — two weeks before the wedding — to be her maid of honor. Seems Adriana’s assistants are being killed off and attacks and threats made against others. Gee…thanks…
The wedding of the decade, in two countries no less, and it’s targeted by terrorists.
Celia Graves is almost a vampire, with siren blood of the Pacific royal line. Ivy is her ghostly sister, still roaming the earthly planes. Gran, Ms. Peahi, is supposed to be in assisted living, and she’s furious with Celia for avoiding her selfish, drunken lush of a mother, who refuses to see Celia. Dr. Gwen Talbert is Celia’s therapist. Roberto Santos is her very efficient lawyer. David and Inez are her closest neighbors; they inherited Vicki’s mansion while Celia got the guesthouse when Vicki died.
Dottie Simmons is a very powerful, secretive clairvoyant and a friend of Celia’s. Dawna Long is the receptionist in Celia’s office building, one of Celia’s best friends, and engaged to Christopher Gaetano, a medic with the Company. I’m stunned with his position; he’s dated Celia! Ron is one of the tenants in the office building. He’s a lawyer and a first-class jerk.
Bruno DeLuca, a level nine mage, is on-again as Celia’s boyfriend. Some of the graduate assistants Bruno works with are Jan Mortenson, Trudy Cook, and Gary Jefferson. Some very hostile coworkers. They all work under Dr. Aaron Sloan, a professor of demonology. Angelina Bonetti is an old girlfriend of Bruno’s who just happens to pop into town. His Uncle Sal was Mob; Joey was Sal’s son and heir and Bruno’s cousin. Mike is Bruno’s brother and working for Sal.
John Creede, a level eight-plus mage, runs Miller & Creede, an extremely reputable security agency. He will be part of the king’s security for the wedding. He blew it, big time. Special Agent Dominic Rizzoli, FBI and a level-eight Intuitive, steps in to investigate the assassination attempt. Detective Heather Alexander had been Vicki’s lover before she died, and she’s still receptive to Celia.
The Sirens include:
The Isle of Serenity is the siren home. High Queen Lopaka is Celia’s aunt. Hiwahiwa is the queen’s assistant. Chiyoko is the siren queen of the Japanese Islands, who “volunteers” to help out in the emergency. Yeah, right… Okalani Clarke‘s gift is teleportation; she is able to carry several people at once. Her mother, Laka, is very protective. Agents with the Serenity Secret Service include Helen Baker, Saren Albright will be in charge of security for the visit to the bridal shoppe, and William Griffiths takes over for the dinner and during the wedding. Gunnar Thorsen is the secretary of Serenity Security. Seems his grandad is Odin and Thor is his dad.
Sirens involved in the wedding include:
Princess Adriana Kalino is a siren with a gift for clairvoyance and a relative on Granddad’s side — Lopaka is her mother. Feliks is her father and will officiate at the landlocked ceremony. (Anton has been the king’s confessor from childhood and he will assist.) She’s getting married to King Dahlmar of Rusland. Her remaining bridesmaids include Princess Olga, the daughter of Dahlmar’s younger brother, Prince Arkady, and Natasha, “the daughter of a prominent conservative clergy man with major political power”; both are Ruslandic royalty. Real snobs. And they’re working hard to undermine Adriana. Milena is Adriana’s best friend who was to have to been the maid of honor. Other of Adriana’s friends include the twins — Nani and Naneka, and Keohi. Lars Balakan is a spawn who can mimic anybody. He will aid in drawing out the man to whom the traitor was reporting. Sergei is a distant cousin who will partner with Natasha. Igor is a mage and best man. Duchess Irina Turescheva seems to be very unhappy and tries to sabotage Adriana’s appearance.
Emma Landingham is a clairvoyant and still one of Celia’s best friends, despite what her father, Warren, and brother, Kevin, did to Celia in Siren Song, 2. Oh, man, Emma’s moved into a church! I am so jealous…! Seems Father Matteo DeLuca, one of Bruno’s brothers and a Catholic priest, has been helping her with it. Ed Winters handles Celia’s insurance; Meagan is his daughter and the receptionist during the summer.
Isaac and Gilda Levy run the magic shop where Celia gets most of her toys; Isaac is the wizard who tailors her clothes to conceal all her weapons. …and Gilda is fluent in Ruslandic.
Just to catch you up…
Mick and Molly Murphy have moved back to Arkansas with their siren-blooded kids, Julie and Bev. They sold their house — Gran’s old house — to Bruno.
The Guardians of the Faith are a new terrorist group intent on preventing the wedding. Officer Clarke is part of the I Hate Celia Graves fan club. I suspect Detective Rawlins, who interrogates Celia over the assassination attempt, is also a member. Barnes, the brother of one of the men who had intended to deliver Celia to Eirene, is a would-be assassin.
The MagnaChem people include:
Maria Ruiz Ortega can probably shift into a werewolf, and she’s leading them into a trap; Luis is her brother; and, Serena Sanchez is the last employee of the plant. Paulo Oretga is Maria’s lover and runs the drug cartel; Raul is his baby brother and right-hand man.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a purple haze with the white-haired Celia in a fancy beaded jacket down on one knee in its center, the knives Bruno bled for on her forearms. She is one determined lady.
The title refers to a short one-off at the end, The Eldritch Conspiracy.