Sep 19, 2008
Blood Memories by Barb Hendee - Review
Blood Memories by Barb Hendee. Roc, October, 2008.
The lovely Eleisha Clevon has spent the past hundred years in Portland, OR. Her house is secluded, not easy for anyone to find, and that is as it should be. She does venture out at night, sometimes with her only friend Edward. When hungry she hunts for a victim, and often finds one in the seedy bars of the city. When she has them alone she acts quickly, tears out a portion of the neck and drinks their blood, the only life force that can sustain her. Eleisha doesn't like to kill, but she must in order to survive.
Her life had a sameness that is shattered one night when she rushes to Edward's house knowing he is in desperate trouble. The sweet smell of decay assaults her as she enters. Edward romps around the room unaware of the horrid existence surrounding him. Vampires never keep victims near, They never eat, indeed cannot eat, solid foods. Rotting garbage and decaying animals lye in heaps. Eleisha tries to reach out to Edward. He retreats. He wants to die and he will not let her stop him. As dawn approaches Edward throws himself off the porch touching the first ray of sunlight. He immediately bursts into flames, and Eleisha feels the agony of his death. She is not the only one.
A police man, who was nearby, also feels it and screams at the horror of what fills his mind. Eleisha knows this cannot happen to a mortal, but there is no time to think about it. She must make her way to the basement and its dark, secret hiding place.
Now at least one mortal senses that her kinds exists. She needs to leave the Portland immediately. When she awakens that night she rushes back to her home, grabs her elderly charge William, and catches a flight to Seattle. But her placid way of life will never return. The policeman and his partner are on her trail. Eleisha begs to stay with the one other vampire she knows about, Maggie. They are not welcome guests. Danger comes to all three from Julian the oldest of the undead and the one most feared.
An unusual group forms when Eleisha and the psychic police officer begin to understand what they have in common. Eventually another vampire joins them. Hendee not only builds heart stopping tension, but also bares the soul of each protagonist. It is Eleisha's strength, a strength she hadn't realized she possessed, that brings a ray of hope to a desperate situation.
In the dark urban fantasy Blood Memories Hendee has written an engrossing tale of vampire death and evolution.
Barb Hendee is best known for the Noble Dead Saga co-authored with her husband J. C. Hendee