Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

   Tara Godfrey was a teenager in high school with a chronic case of of cold chills and goosebumps that
came and went.  As much as she had complained to her mother about it while growing up, her mother's only reply would be that her family chilled easily.  And yes indeed it was a family affair.  Soon she would find out why she had these strange chills.
   One night Tara was at a pool hall with her boyfriend,George.  Tara had finally decided to end their relationship.  It had been coming for a long time anyway.  But she told him she would find her own way home and ended up being left without an option besides taking a bus.  While walking to the bus stop she is attacked.  A girl suddenly transforms into a huge wolf right in front of her!  If she had not seen it for herself, she wouldn't have believed it!
"No way. It was impossible.  People couldn't be...wolves.  That was a myth.  A way for Hollywood to cash in."
Somehow she survives the attack and kills the other girl, or wolf. Whatever.  During the whole episode she meets a handsome stranger, named Wes, who confirms what had just happened as being real.  She goes into shock and he temporarily wipes her memory.
   The next morning Tara wakes up to an aching body and no remembrance of the night before.  The only evidence besides her aches are a torn shirts and some scratches on her torso.
"The shirt was torn in several places, the silky fabric hanging by threads.  So I stared at it, an uneasy feeling washed over me.  A picture flashed in my mind: me, staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, hair disheveled and sticking out, the tattered shirt hanging off my shoulders and exposing my ribs on either side.  Bloody scratches showed through the tears in the fabric."
Wes suddenly shows up in the doorway to her room, somehow, to explain a little about the night before.  He ends up giving her memories back to her since she remembers nothing, but is puzzled about her since, to him, she seems like a Hunter, but yet different.  Wes is a Werewolf and Tara is some kind of Hunter.  A Werewolf killer.  And their world is very complicated.
   A Hunter kills Werewolves, or Weres for short.  There are many Weres out there that are not kind to humans and are killers themselves.  So Hunters are there to protect humans from them.  With their inhuman strength and skill, not to mention their gifts that some have, even a Hunter is almost no match for them.  Most Hunters are trained from a very young age, but Tara has been hidden away all of these years, oblivious to the war that has been raging between Hunters and Werewolves.  But there is hope yet.  A small faction called The Cause is trying to work towards peace between the two.  And it seems that Wes and Tara both will play an integral part of it.  But first she must dodge a hostile uncle, who helps reveal to her the true blood lines that run in her veins, and in the veins of Wes as well....dirty blood.  Oh and those chills?  Consider it a Hunter's warning:

"The feeling you have right now is something every Hunter feels when a Werewolf is nearby, so you aren't caught off guard."

   A different take on Werewolves, this story spins a little different tale than most.  Instead of vampires being the ones to war with the Weres, it's Hunters: protectors of the human race.  In this world vampires don't even exist.  Tara is a Hunter and doesn't even know it.  Her mother and father were beings she couldn't even begin to imagine existed, and she has been hidden away from that world.  Her father died long ago, and at the hands of a relative.  So her mother has been keeping her as safe as she knows how.  Because of her heritage, she would have always been in danger.  Now Tara must come to terms with who she is for her own sake.  Otherwise, her life could be forfeit, because Werewolves will keep coming for her.  To add to it all, she must choose a side; work with The Cause or not.  And try not to fall in love with what could be the enemy....oops....too late.
   Questions, questions, questions.  It's a good thing there are more books after this one, because I myself had numerous questions about just about everything.  Like why is a werewolf bite still deadly to Tara? (and you will find out why I say that)  Will she end up with Wes? And what about the cousin?   Those are just a few.  We shall see what answers lie ahead!

*images via Heather Hildenbrand
*quotes via Heather Hildenbrand

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