Book of the Week -- Blood Drive
Blood Drive, Book Two, Anna Strong Series
by Jeanne Stein
There are actually three books in the “Anna Strong” series (The Becoming, Blood Drive, and The Watcher), but my favorite is the second book “Blood Drive.”
Anna Strong is a sassy kick ass bounty hunter who’s unwillingly made into a vampire after tagging a skip. This series so far chronicles her becoming a vampire and attempting (not to successfully) coming to terms with what it means to be a Vampire.
In the second book Anna discovers that her deceased brother might have a teen aged daughter, and that girl is in trouble. We meet the incredibly hot Frey, a shape shifter, and of course there’s the yummy David, and the elusive Max. Anna’s family and human life mean as much to her in this book as in book one and she continues not only to fight her darker natured but resist offers of help from Chief Williams. She continues to take risks that aren’t always the best in judgment to protect those she loves. We also get a glimpse of the secret supernatural headquarters which now has me itching to drive down to Balboa Park to go hunt for it.
Anna’s a very real character. She’s brash, bold, stubborn, a little impulsive, and has no problem clashing with other characters (she is a bounty hunter after all). She makes mistakes. She’s struggling to figure out how to accept what she has become without giving up her human family and friends despite pressure to do just that by the supernatural community.
Jeanne Stein does an excellent job with all three books in creating a great world with a new kick-ass heroine with a fresh new take on Vampires (who would have thought Vampires could evolve!) Anna’s inner struggle between Anna-the-Vampire and Anna-the-Vampire along with her not whiney, not sappy, no-nonsense (but imperfect) nature is exactly what makes these books so enjoyable. Anna Strong can easily kick-ass with the rest of our favorite leading ladies.
Posted by Suzi
Author -- Jeanne C. Stein
NIGHT OWL ROMANCE BOOK REVIEWS
Review Date: 9/5/2007
Reviewer -- Janean Sparks
Anna Strong is not your typical bounty hunter. Like her name she is
strong, unnaturally strong. That is one of many things that set her
apart from the rest of the world. Anna is a newly made vampire who is
still trying to adjust to her new life.
Now, on top of everything else
that has happened to her. Anna’s late brother Steve’s old girlfriend
drops a bombshell on her and her parents. She had Steve’s daughter,
Trish, who is now a teenager. Trish has runaway again and might be
involved in drugs and the murder of her school friend.
Anna knows she
must find her niece before it is too late. As Anna digs deeper into
Trish’s disappearance she finds some disturbing news which involves one
of her niece’s teachers. This teacher turns out to be a shape-shifter,
just one more crazy aspect Anna has to deal with in her new life as a
Anna is determined to hang on to what is left of her humanity,
no matter where her new life takes her. But, will this new life lead
her on the right path to save her niece? Will Anna be able to learn to
accept, all of what her new life has to offer? Or will she shrink from
what she does not understand?
Once again Jeanne C. Stein delivers a
jam-packed story that is full of mystery and intrigue, that will keep
you glued to the edge of your seat! Just like the first book “The
Becoming” in the Anna Strong series, I could not put this book down
even for a second. You will find yourself cheering Anna on as she goes
after the bad guys. Jeanne C. Stein has given us a wonderful
tough-as-nails heroine everyone will love!
I am looking forward to
seeing what is store for Anna in the future and how she is coping with
her vampire life. Luckily we will not have long to wait because “The
Watcher” comes out in December 2007. I cannot wait to sink my teeth
into it and be taken on another rip-roaring adventure by Jeanne C.
Anna Strong was a tough-as-nails bounty hunter, until the night she was attacked-and changed forever. Now a vampire, Anna discovers that her long-dead brother may have had a daughter-and the girl's in serious trouble. There are some very dangerous people after her, but they're about to learn that to a bounty hunter with an unnatural thirst for blood, even the deadliest human predators are easy prey:
Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein, $7.99
Fred Cleaver -- The Denver Post
Stein is another local author blending mystery with the fantastic. Her second novel about bounty hunter and now vampire Anna Strong is a solid continuation of the series.
Anna is only slowly getting accustomed to being a vampire. A family dinner is uncomfortable for Anna because of the garlic in the pasta sauce. It grows stranger when her dead brother's girlfriend makes her first appearance in 15 years to ask for help finding her missing daughter. The girl may also be a niece Anna's family never knew about.
Her search for the girl leads Anna into a wider world of supernatural creatures. There's quite a hidden world inside San Diego.
Anna is prone to sudden anger and undercutting her mission with the stupid actions it brings on. Experienced vampires who try to befriend her keep warning that she's in danger of losing her human intelligence to her vampire ability to destroy.
Her relationships with humans are all in jeopardy. She pushes away and lies to her mother, her boyfriend and her business partner. These are all things to be worked out in later books while she deals with the current danger.
There are more books about young female vampires and their friends than I can keep up with these days, but it's safe to say Anna Strong is contending for leader of the pack.
Published 2007 297 pages
Anna Strong was a tough-as-nails bounty hunter, until the night she was attacked – and changed forever…
Now that she’s a vampire, Anna has superhuman strength and near invincibility. But that doesn’t make her life any easier. She’s struggling to find her place in the world of the undead as she clings to her connections with the living.
Anna’s situation becomes even more complicated when she discovers that her long-dead brother may have had a daughter – and the girl’s in serious trouble. There are some very dangerous people after her, but they didn’t count on Anna stepping into the fray. Now they’re about to learn that to a bounty hunter with an unnatural thirst for blood, even the deadliest human predators are easy prey…
Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein is the second part of the Anna Strong Chronicles and continues with Anna’s story from The Becoming left off. Like The Becoming, Blood Drive was originally published by Imajinn Books and has just been released for July 2007 by publisher Ace with a new cover (so if you think that this sounds familiar it may be because you have already read the book in its previous incarnation…)
I remember having mixed feelings towards The Becoming, the first Anna Strong novel. At first I didn’t like it - and then I did - but ultimately I wasn’t really sure whether I had liked it more than I didn’t like it, which kind of balanced it out to average. However, I was intrigued by the story and wondered where the author was going with Anna’s character plus I felt that the series had potential, so when Blood Drive finally arrived I was eager to find out where the story was going to take me and – wow - was I surprised!
I loved this book! The pages flew by and I just didn’t want to put the book down. I ended up devouring it in a couple of sittings.
Blood Drive follows Anna’s struggle to match her human life with the realities of her supernatural existence. She starts to think about her long-term future and what it will mean to her family when she has to leave them (before they notice that she’s not getting older.) She is dragged into investigating the seedy world of child pornography whilst looking for a young girl who may be her brother’s child - but niece or not, the girl certainly is in need of Anna’s help and protection.
Strangely, it is as Anna is investigating the human monsters responsible for the child porn that she is pulled further into the supernatural world. She is forced to ally herself with Police Chief Williams, a vampire that she bested in The Becoming, in order to protect her niece. She learns that there is more to the supernatural world than just vampires. In fact there is a whole secret supernatural organisation made up of vampires, shapeshifters, witches and human psychics. She also finds that they seem to have plans for her but no one will say what those plans are.
Blood Drive is a hugely enjoyable urban fantasy novel. Its multiple plot lines – finding the missing teenager, stopping the child pornographers and Anna’s development as a vampire, even as she is trying to hold on to the last of her humanity - are enough to hold the attention of even the most demanding reader. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, Blood Drive is an exciting read and everything any vampire fiction or urban fantasy fan could hope for.
Blood Drive is highly recommended reading.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein
Review by Gayle Surrette
It's been two months since the events in The Becoming. Anna Strong is learning to cope with her new dietary requirements by seeking donors chosen by Culebra. Chief Williams has been trying to reach her, but she refuses to make contact, preferring to keep her life as normal as possible. But as she searches for Trish Delaney, Anna finds that ignorance is not bliss at all, it can kill you and it can kill those you love.
I was dissatisfied with Anna behavior in The Becoming. She believed everything she was told by Avery -- even after she learned he lied. Then she cut herself off from the vampire world to go her own way. Now at last, Anna realizes that she can't go on -- that she must connect with others who have powers and learn about her new powers, how to control her hunger, and how the shadow world of other mythical but real beings works. While the mystery and its twisty trail of clues, deaths, and greed is satisfying, I think knowing that Anna has now faced her new status squarely and will be learning to live with her changed nature is encouraging for the continuation of the series.
I do have to warn readers that this is a dark book, not for the vampirism but for the crimes against children. It's a difficult book to read but these crimes do happen -- the details are minimal describing the horror of the realization that this is happening rather than giving graphic details of the actions the characters are viewing. Not off screen enough to approach cozy status but definitely, enough to take the edge off the nausea.
Fallen Angel Reviews
Jeanne C. Stein
Anna Strong has her hands full as a new vampire. Her life gets a lot more complicated when her late-brother’s old girlfriend arrives with the news that she has given birth to his child Trish, who is now a missing teenager and may be involved in a murder. Soon, Anna is deeply involved in this very personal mystery. She knows that she must act soon or risk never getting to know her niece.
As Anna struggles to hang on to her humanity, adjust to life among other supernatural creatures, and learn more about the niece she didn’t know she had, danger lurks at every turn and the stakes have never been higher She begins an association with a shape-shifter, a teacher who may be involved in her niece’s disappearance. When the investigation takes some horrifying turns, she knows she must act soon or risk others being caught up in this web of horror.
Anna Strong is a wonderfully complex character and Blood Drive
showcases her character wonderfully. The author involved my emotions from the first page and Anna is a character I could really root for. There are no easy resolutions here and the twists and turns left me breathless. Part mystery and part urban fantasy, this is a very full read that left me satisfied and left me thinking about the issues the author raised. This is the first book I’ve read of Ms. Stein’s
but it surely won’t be the last!
Reviewed by: Cat N.
Romantic Times Magazine
RT Rating: 4½ stars
Category: PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Published: July 2007
Type: Urban Fantasy
Buy Now at Amazon
Besides delivering a terrific tale of supernatural sleuthing, Stein
expertly unveils the emotional first-person conflict driving Anna as
she struggles to face the reality of her new vampire existence while
trying to hold on to her old life. This second chapter provides
edge-of-your-seat thrills and a high-octane emotional punch. It's a
Summary: Despite her near invincibility as a vampire, bounty hunter
Anna Strong prefers to preserve the vestiges of her human life. After
being forced to kill the manipulative vampire who initially befriended
her, Anna has avoided the vampire community. That changes when a new
case with an all-too-personal connection arrives.
Carolyn, an old girlfriend of Anna's long-deceased brother Steve, turns
up saying that her 13-year-old daughter, Trish, has run away. Carolyn
also makes the startling claim that Trish is Steve's daughter. Anna
agrees to look for the girl, but what she discovers is a web of lies
and human child predators that make her discovery of other supernatural
creatures look tame.
—Jill M. Smith
Excellent sequel!, February 21, 2006
Deborah Wiley (Winter Haven, FL) - See all my reviews
Jeanne Stein has written yet another great vampire novel. This book is the sequel to THE BECOMING but can be read as a stand alone novel. Anna Strong's brother died 14 years ago so when his last girlfriend, Carolyn, shows up and says he has a daughter, Anna and her parents are excited but shocked. Unfortunately, 13 year old Trish is missing and Carolyn wants Anna to find her. Anna's search leads her to a teacher at Trish's school, Daniel Frey. Frey is a shapeshifter (a panther) and he begins assisting Anna both with the investigation and with her experiences as a new vampire. Anna is forced to confront the evils of child porn films and the horrors that a child can face when she lacks family support. Anna also begins to face that she needs to separate herself from her mortal ties. I enjoyed this sequel and look forward to the next in the series. Highly recommended!
OTHER REVIEWS OF BLOOD DRIVE
Another Review at MyShelf.Com
Sequel to The Becoming
by Jeanne Stein
Blood Drive introduces readers to the world of a vampire - a young vampire named Anna. The rules that govern a vampire's life are slowly shared throughout the story, such as Anna being able to communicate with other nonhumans through reading each other's thoughts. The reader is also introduced to another mysterious creature: a shapeshifter.
Anna is approached by a young woman named Caroline. Caroline is seeking her help in finding a young teen named Trish. Anna knew Caroline years ago. Caroline has changed and shares a secret that has been locked away for nearly fourteen years. The secret is big enough to compel Anna to help her. Tracking down Daniel Frey, a teacher, Anna uncovers another terrible secret in her quest to find Trish.
Blood Drive has a mixture of fantasy, mystery, and real-life drama in the story line. Author Jeanna Stein created a very unique cast of characters and keeps readers wondering what will happen next. I liked the story because the fantasy characters are perfectly intertwined with modern day contemporary characters. Unknown to most human characters, nonhuman vampires and shape shifters live and exist with them. It made the fantasy story very real.
NOTE: Reviewer Sarah Richard is the author of several children's stories, including the latest release Snowman Shapes. She has published several stories, essays, articles, and activities for various print and on-line magazines.
© 2006 MyShelf.com
This is an Official Review by a E-Romance Writers Official Reviewer
Genre Element: 10
Review for Blood Drive
Author: Jeanne C. Stein
Date of Review: 01/15/06
Reviewed by: masha
Reviewer Comments: Anna Strong is only an infant vampire, according to others in her community who are also hidden vampires, and they continuously urge Anna to accept training in her new life. Anna is a woman in her thirties, who is a partner in a successful bounty hunter firm.
In the sequel to The Becoming, Blood Drive leads us through Anna's continuing story. At dinner one night with her parents, they receive a call from Carolyn Delaney. Carolyn was Anna's beloved older brother Steve's girlfriend, until Steve died in a car accident fourteen years earlier.
Carolyn comes with a shocking secret-she has a daughter, Trish, who was also Steve's child. Expecting the Strong family's disbelief, Carolyn comes prepared with a hairbrush, picture album and a fantastic story. According to Carolyn, Trish had gotten involved with a bad crowd at school, and was using drugs and experimenting with sex. Now, Trish is missing.
For the sake of her parents and also her own concerns, Anna decides to look for Trish. Her journey begins with a teacher at Trish's school, Daniel Frey. Daniel is a favorite teacher among the students, but he is also a suspect in Trish's disappearance by the authorities and by Anna.
What a fascinating story!! Ms. Stein drew her characters thoroughly, faults as well as good qualities. She wrote a book of non-stop suspense, totally character-driven. I felt compelled to continue reading, so as to know what was about to happen.
There were many disturbing factors, both in Anna's beginning life as a vampire, as well as the mystery over Trish's disappearance. New characters appear regularly, both vampire and not, in order to push the story forward. Throughout Anna's search for answers she learns many difficult things about herself and those around her.
I loved this book. It contains some graphic sex, which I felt was vital to the story. The mystery was intriguing, and I didn't figure out the whole truth until the finale. I hope that these two books, The Becoming and Blood Drive are just the first in a series of books about Anna Strong and her world.
Rating: 4 Cups
Anna Strong is a newly turned vampire and after being betrayed by her mentor Avery, is a little skittish about trying to learn more about being one. Having found a Quasi-mentor in Culebra down in Beso de la Muerte where she feeds, she is able to hide her new appetite. Being torn between her human family and her vampire ways is causing her great turmoil, and it is about to get worse.
Daniel Frey is a popular teacher at Anna’s mother’s school. When Anna is asked to provide security after a student turns up murdered, he feels her presence the instant she steps into the theater. Reaching out to her psychically during an assembly, he acknowledges her and is amused by her shock at the greeting. Is Daniel a vampire too?
Anna and Daniel begin a wary association. Anna, investigating a runaway with possible ties to the murder, questions Daniel as a possible suspect and learns more than she bargains for. Daniel, with his true concern for the students he teaches, also councils troubled teens and is unaware of the rumors that he is seducing young girls with drugs.
Will these accusations be found to be true?
Ms. Jeanne C. Stein has written a provocative page turner that caught my attention from the first page. The heroine with her obvious love of family makes you feel both her outrage and her sense of justice and the war between the two. The hero is a misunderstood one and like all cats, is a loner. I enjoyed the intimate moments between the two. The twists and turns will keep any reader riveted.
Katherine L. Hunt
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
BLOOD DRIVE - Jeanne C. Stein
Vampire Urban Fantasy
San Diego, California - Present Day
Anna Strong, bounty hunter and fledgling vampire, is learning to come to terms with her new hunger. It doesn't help that random supernatural beings seem to keep making appearances in her head, but that's just something else she'll have to get used to. Her training takes a back seat when an old friend from the past shows up with some life-changing information. Carolyn Delaney was Anna's brother Steve's girlfriend when he died, and it seems that, for thirteen years, Carolyn's kept secret the fact that she subsequently bore his child, Trish. Even more alarming is that Trish has disappeared and Carolyn fears her daughter is either dead or involved in the drug trade, and possibly even a murder.
There is definitely more to this story than meets the eye. Anna can practically smell the lies. But first she'll have to deal with reappearing boyfriends, hen-pecked partners, and all manner of supernatural creatures who've suddenly taken an interest in her existence. Can Anna find the niece she never knew she had before Trish gets hurt? Will Anna be able to control the blood lust that's slowly overtaking her humanity?
The sequel to THE BECOMING, BLOOD DRIVE reintroduces Anna Strong, a kick-butt heroine who killed her vampire lover when she discovered his evil activities. Anna acknowledges that she is a fledgling in this here-to-fore unknown world, but doesn't realize what a liability that is until she comes up against forces she can't control. Along with the mystery of Trish's disappearance, the plot touches on Anna's changing relationships with her family, her friends, and with the other folks who go bump in the night. The tale is as realistic as fantasies go, and happily ever after is not guaranteed.
If you're looking for another strong paranormal urban fantasy, BLOOD DRIVE is a great addition to the TBR pile.
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