Blood Price (Victoria Nelson, #1) by Tanya Huff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've wanted to read the books ever since I saw the TV show. It was a really good series, and I was sad that it got cancelled so prematurely. I'm a huge fan of everything vampire, well, except for Twilight, but I don't really regard that as all that vampish. However, the vampire here is really great, even though he's the good guy. The key is that he's good because he used to be a good person growing up.
The story itself is a supernatural crime mystery. We have the main character, Vicky Nelson, an ex-cop, who is tasked with finding a serial killer. She suspects supernatural origins from the start, and is quickly confirmed. The action is fast-paced. We meet our vampire quite early, and Vicky and him share the perspective of the story by skipping from one person to the other. This is not third person limited, which I felt did take away from the mystery aspect a bit, since we knew who the killer was from almost the start. The suspense is whether he succeeds in his endeavour or not.
Vicky Nelson is of course our main character next to Henry, the vampire. The book came out in 1991, so we could say that she begins the tradition of kick-ass female characters in vampire stories. She's an ex-cop, who left the force because she has a degenerative eye disease, and her sight is very limited. Still, she couldn't get away from fighting crime, and ended up as a private eye. She's tall and confident, but not an iron-lady. It makes her a lot more approachable.
Henry Fitzroy, the vampire, is the bastard son of Henry VIII. This made him interesting to me because the Tudors are some of my favourite people in history. His character is still basically of his time. He is religious, and there are references to the Christian God, which to me as an atheist is a bit disturbing. I try to put that next to the vampire thing. What is good though that Henry fits into the image of a 16th century aristocrat. The things that were ingrained to him in boyhood are still there, as well as some ideas that he had developed in the past 450 years. It also helps the character somewhat that we can keep picturing him as we saw him in the series:
What is sometimes funny about it is that I kept forgetting it was published in 1991. I kept thinking "Why doesn't she call her cell phone?" or "Why not Google it?" The story is modern, but obviously those things didn't exist back then.
Overall, the book is exciting. I could hardly put it down. There is the required sexual tension that a good vampire story should have. The characters are life-like, with flaws. I wished that we didn't see the perspective of the killer, but oh well. It is a good, fun read, and not long. So I'm giving it 4 stars.