Blood Drive by Traci Houston
When a group of vampires rises from the dark of the humid Miami summer and murders her partner, officer Cara Evens gathers a group of allies with their own unique abilities to avenge her partner's death and save the city. To succeed she'll have to accept her own changing abilities, ignore her lust for a vampire and hide the one thing her enemies need to kill them all. [Source]
I joined this blog tour for 2 reasons. 1, I love a good vampire novel as much as the next person. 2, this novel is Traci Houston's debut novel, and I love to support new authors.
When the book opens, we meet Cara, our leading female, right away. After she finds her partner murdered, she takes on the mystery of discovering the truth about his death. She quickly realizes that there is more involved in this case than just a simple murder. When she meets Jonathan, a part of her that she was trying to hide suddenly resurfaces.
Cara must now learn to control her powers, while still trying to solve her partner's murder. As if that wasn't enough, there is the small matter of Jonathan, the vampire who is distracting her with lustful temptation.
Luckily, there are others out there like her, others who have powers beyond a normal human. They must all learn to get along (like first graders) and use their powers together to stop Christian, the vampire who is trying to basically take over the world. He wants something that Cara and her friends have, and he has resources that they don't have. If the otherkin can't collaborate and accept each other (and themselves), then Christian will enslave the human race and allow vampires to rise to power.
I love Cara as a character. It is so rare for female leads to be powerful and confident, while still feeling human emotions. Cara has her inner struggles, for sure, but she doesn't let them interfere with her goals. More importantly, she doesn't let passion take control. She keeps her focus on what is important.
What I didn't like: some of the powers of the otherkin are not fully explained or developed, merely mentioned in passing. Additionally, I felt that the middle chapters were drawn out, while some of the fight scenes were rushed. The abrupt ending turned me off a bit, as well.
Overall, I gave this novel 4 stars because I really like the complexity of the group, and how they interact with each other. They all seem to counter each other's strengths and weaknesses, and they are all truly loyal to each other. While vampirism is the underlying platform, themes like friendship, tolerance, and acceptance are interwoven within the plot to make this quite a contemporary novel.
I received an ARC of this novel to read for a blog tour.