Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Dark Blood
SERIES: Dark Blood Saga Book 1
AUTHOR: Caleb James
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 294 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 28, 2016
Handsome, brilliant, and surrounded by good friends, twenty-three-year-old medical student Miles Fox has a secret—and it’s not that he’s gay. Though he harbors a crush on his straight best friend, Luke. Miles, like his grandmother, Anna, possesses the healing gift, an ability she’s made him swear never to use or divulge, lest horrible things befall those he loves. It happened to her when Nazis butchered her family.
But it all goes to hell when Miles heals a terminally ill man on a New Orleans cancer ward and wakes locked in the psych unit. Worse, news of the healing miracle spreads. For millennia, its carriers have been hunted by those who would steal it. Dr. Gerald Stangl and his teenage son, Calvin, know what Miles possesses. They, like their predecessors, will stop at nothing to take it, including kidnapping, torture, and murder. As the Stangls’ noose tightens, Miles and Luke are trapped in a death match with stakes higher than they could ever imagine.
I originally took this book from another reviewer who was having trouble getting through it and, based on the blurb, I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Let me start off by saying that this is Not, in any way, shape or form a romance and if that is what you are looking for, then you should turn around and go looking for something else to read. This book also includes scenes dealing with infidelity, (temporary) main character death and one graphic scene of torture/murder. If any of this squicks you, the same recommendation applies.
Now, the majority of the book revolves around Miles and the people that are hunting him; he, Stangle and Calvin are really the main characters in the book while a few others pop in and out as support. (I don’t consider Luke a main character because he was around at most for about a third of the book.) You’re introduced fairly quickly to the abilities that Miles has with an incident that happened in his childhood before there’s a huge time skip and you see him present day before all the trouble starts. From there things become like a game of cat and mouse between Miles and his pursuers culminating in his capture and the subsequent experiments to try and figure out how his abilities work and , more importantly, how they can be passed on to someone else.
While I originally found the premise promising, I found the actual story, well…to put it plainly I found the whole thing boring. I never felt connected to any of the characters and while I understood all of their motivations, there just wasn’t anything in the book that made me care. About anything. I didn’t mind the medical aspects and had no problem with the chapters flipping back and forth between characters but there was nothing in the story itself that really grabbed my attention and made me want to read more. In fact, I found myself reading quickly just to finish and be done with the book instead of because I enjoyed it and I never like doing that with a book. The only part of the book I actually enjoyed was the very end, something like the last three or four chapters, but out of a book with over thirty chapters that wasn’t enough to make up for what I’d had to read through to get there.
The book itself was well written and the pacing was good but it just…it was boring. I’m sorry, but it was. The story failed to grab my attention in any way and if I hadn’t agreed to take it I wouldn’t have bothered finishing it. If you’re looking for more of a psychological thriller with a hint of paranormal and no romance this could be for you but for everyone else, I can’t recommend it. This is book one in the series and for all I know it’ll get better as it goes along but after slogging through this one, I won’t be looking at any sequels.