Cherry Bomb - Kathleen Tierney (Caitlin R. Kiernan)
Like RED DELICIOUS before it, this book comes with a pre-emptive warning from Quinn, who narrates in first-person. To paraphrase: this is not a paranormal romance with gorgeous vampires who just want to be loved. There will be blood, death, violence, and lots of bad language.
After the events of the last book, Quinn left Providence and her erstwhile employer Mr. B behind and struck out on her own. She travelled to different places, took different jobs, and disliked the whole thing. (I would dearly love to hear the story about the alligator women who worshipped Cthulhu, but, alas.) Eventually, she landed in Manhattan, moved in with a woman with whom she had zero emotional connection, and let the time slip by. Until the night a lovely girl called Selwyn approaches Quinn and says, “I know what you are.”
What Quinn is, is both a vampire and a werewolf, through an unlikely sequence of events. What Quinn should be is more put off than intrigued, but, by her own admission, she was stupid and overlooked a lot of warning signs. Like when she followed Selwyn, a dealer in “occult antiquities,” on a few deliveries, and got a good look at what those antiquities were. Dark and dangerous items handed over to questionable and even clearly dangerous individuals. But Quinn stays, and in very short order finds herself in the middle of an aeons-old conflict between the ghouls and the djinn.
Quinn isn’t kidding about her story. It’s no romantic fairy tale. It’s messy and bloody and murky and sometimes there is no clear-cut answer to the ‘why’ of it all. Pretty realistic, actually. Quinn is like that friend who simply won’t take good advice; won’t turn off the path that is clearly going to lead to destruction. Part of that is because it’s simply her nature. She’s not happy with what she is now, or what she knows now, and is maybe more than a little self-destructive. Another side to her nature is the side that has a burning desire to see the right thing happen. She says she’s no hero, but I think she’s wrong about that.
According to the author’s note at the end, this series of three books (I missed the first one) was a kind of experiment for her. That experiment is now at an end, which makes me a little sad. The author also claims that this experiment was not entirely a success. As a reader, I disagree. I think Quinn was a unique construct, but a strangely realistic one. A supernatural creature grounded more deeply in reality than she ever was as a human being. If this is, indeed, the end, then it was one fascinating ride. Not always fun, sometimes horrifying, but absolutely a ride worth taking.
ISBN# 978-0-451-41655-7 (trade paperback)