Laura’s life isn’t exactly normal. Though she’s 50 years old, she’s barely aged a day since her early twenties. It’s a genetic flaw, she’s told, but on her birthday, her Aunt tells her the truth. She’s bloodgifted, and heavily desired by vampires. Coming-of-age means she needs a guardian for protection, to claim her and ward off all others. That guardian is Alec.
Elsewhere in her life, Laura is seeing Matt, who has been with her for a few months, and is getting serious. Unable to keep a secret from him, she tells him the truth and the detective in him can’t just accept it.
Bloodgifted has some plotpoints that hat tip The Mortal Instruments, and in a lesser sense Twilight. The older guy in a young man’s body doesn’t seem quite as odd seeing as – for once – the female refreshingly has the same affliction.
But, where it heavily improves on those series is that vampires are actually – you know – vampires. They’re monsters, not glamourised. The characters have their human elements, but thrive on human blood, fry in sunlight and actually have fangs, when occasion calls for it.
The only wee issue lies in the writing: Some setting could have done with fleshing out – it’s very character focussed, and it’s also very exclamation mark heavy. The curse levied at the start of the book is met with, “The bitch cursed us!”, and it seems a little misplaced.
But the odd exclamation mark standing out can’t take away from a refreshing vampire book that doesn’t sugar coat them or skew with their history in horror. They attack humans, they have serious bloodlust – they are vampires. Hallelujah!
As things were wrapping up, the ending seemed like it was going to be too convenient, an unexpected clean slate. Naive, I say, because now I’m sitting here both kicking myself for thinking a writer would tie up a book like that, and wondering what the hell is going to happen now?