The Children and the Blood by Megan Joel Peterson
Series: The Children and the Blood, #1
Publication date: February 28th 2013
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
From the publisher—
A forgotten life.
A secret war.
Eight years ago, an exploding gas main killed Ashley’s family and left her with a childhood she can’t remember. Eight years later, the forgotten past is behind her and life on her isolated farm is all she knows.
Until that past comes looking for her.
Until men with superhuman powers hunt her down in the night, determined to take everything she loves away from her again.
When it comes to speculative fiction, such as dark fantasy, science fiction and the like, worldbuilding is pretty crucial and the lack of it can turn me off of a book very quickly. Imagine my surprise when I found myself really engaged with this story even though I don’t truly understand a good deal of it. My issue revolves entirely around the various factions, i.e., the Wizards, Bloods, Hunters, cripples, ferals, humans (can’t see wizards) and lord knows what else. Quite honestly, I need a playbook or at least a well-defined cast of characters to figure out who’s doing what to whom and why and who else is on the good side and, by the way, what IS the good side?
Putting that aside, though, I did indeed enjoy The Children and the Blood and that’s largely because Ms. Peterson has created a good tale with a lot of suspense and I really like the main players—17-year-old Ashley, 8-year-old Lily and 18-year-old Cole. Secondary characters like Carter, Spider and even the scary Mason Brogan and Harris, the very confused but driven cop, add a great deal to the mix. While there are a lot of characters, the author has done a nice job of making them come alive in spite of my inability to keep it all straight. As an example, I understand who a fellow named Cornelius is but I’m not at all sure where he fits in to the different camps and why they all seem to hate each other but that didn’t keep me from wanting to read on.
Never mind all my headscratching; it just doesn’t matter all that much and I’m sure I’ll understand more as future books in the saga come out. In the meantime, I was completely entranced by this story and the tension runs so high at times that I quite simply HAD to keep reading. Why these three kids are targets and what they go through to survive long enough to find at least a few answers was more than enough to keep me going. Fair warning, though, to those who are not crazy about cliffhangers: the cliffhanger here is a humdinger, especially the sudden appearance of a particular person. Fortunately, even if this kind of ending plucks your last nerve, it’s worth it and you don’t have to wait forever to find out what happens next. Book Two, Taliesin Ascendant, will be out later this summer and it’s on my absolutely-must-read list.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2013.
About the Author
Megan Joel Peterson lives somewhere between the cornfields of Illinois and fantasy worlds filled with magic and wizards. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of Illinois, and has worked a little bit of everywhere over the years. Now she spends her days and nights creating new stories, and thinks writing is the best job she ever could have asked for. The Children and The Blood is her first published novel.
For a chance to win a paperback copy of The Children and the Blood
by Megan Joel Peterson, please leave a comment below. Open to
US residents. The winning name will be drawn on the evening of
Monday, July 15th, and the book will be mailed out the week of July 29th.