Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bleeding Out - Jes Battis


Bleeding Out
An OSI Novel
Jes Battis
Ace
 
Urban Fantasy

If you haven’t read the rest of this series (NIGHT CHILD, FLASH OF HEX, INHUMAN RESOURCES, and INFERNAL AFFAIRS) this review contains unavoidable spoilers.

As this book, the last in the series, begins, Tess Corday is on leave from her job as an occult investigator.  Her life has become extremely complicated.  She’s got two more-or-less adopted teenagers living in her home.  One is Magnate of the city’s vampires; all the power of his office, and all the immaturity of a teenager.  One is a genius who keeps the vampiric infection at bay with medication while deciding which college to attend.  Derrick, her roommate, best friend and fellow investigator, is clearly moving towards a decision to get a place with his partner, Miles.  Tess’ boyfriend is a necromancer, which means something other than human.  And, recently, Tess discovered more than she wanted to about the identity of her father and the attendant fabrications of her mother.  A little time off seems called for at this point.

While she’s trying to put everything together in her personal life, there’s an emergency call from Tess’ erstwhile supervisor.  She’s being called in on a high-profile case as a consultant.  The leader of the necromancers, the powerful and ageless Lord Nightingale, is dead.  Not just dead, but murdered, which should be all but impossible.  As if the political and supernatural ramifications aren’t bad enough, Derrick detects psychic traces of Miles at the scene, which makes no sense at all. 
 
This installment wraps up the series, and much of it is dedicated to Tess saying goodbyes.  There’s the obvious farewell and separation anxiety she feels with Mia, who is leaving for college.  There’s Tess’ indecision about whether to leave her job or not.  These things are quite human and relatable.  Much of the story seems to be written in fast-forward, with rushed descriptions and actions, leaving the reader feeling just a bit cheated.  Then there are some truly remarkable scenes of Tess being flooded with and ‘bleeding out’ regained memories of her life.  These are pieces of stream-of-consciousness writing that are truly exceptional.  The memories and scenes put the reader right into the middle of Tess’ feelings and memories and make her as real as the person sitting next to you.  It’s clearly the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for most of the characters, and the author does quite a nice job of taking the reader along for the ride.
 
Rating: 7
June 2012
ISBN# 978-1-937007-63-8 (paperback)

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