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Blooded - Amanda  Carlson The premise had potential but the exposition posing as endless, awkward dialogue was a complete turn-off. This novella was an exercise in mapping out the world so it doesn't clutter up the first novel in the series, I assume. The grocery list of characters (aisle three - controlling, over-protective father, aisle four - twin brother who shares a mystical telepathic link, aisle five - weak but plucky bff...) read a bit like the section at the beginning of plays where the characters are all listed along with their relationships to each other and their place in the story. It was all laid out very neatly and the important points were repeated several times to make sure no-one missed the point.

The point of Blooded is to introduce the world and this particular werewolf variant. It does that. So, I guess, yay. But it was repetitive and heavy handed. The dialogue (pages upon pages of it, especially when Jessica is talking to her father) is forced and unnatural. Technically, this is not a great start to the series.

On a conceptual level, I had to fight my way past some barriers where my understanding of werewolves clashed with the author's. Having a woman in a pack who was the target of non-sexualised violence was weird. I'm still not entirely sure I find it believable. I guess I didn't quite buy the superstition/curse angle. It didn't help that I found the "Daughter of Evil" moniker immature and petty rather than a threatening name for the harbinger of doom that rouses male werewolves to risk their own lives for a chance to eradicate it.

The second thing that yanked me out of the story was the length of the dialogue (yes, I'm back to dialogue) Jessica has with her father. He is a five hundred year old alpha who is frustrated and pissed off with his daughter and he shuts her down hard because this is a conversation they have had over and over again. So, does he really listen to her go on for two whole pages repeating stuff he has to already have heard over and over and over before he shuts her down? I'm not feeling it. In real life, aggressive older men do not hear out young women they believe are being unreasonable. They don't. They interrupt before the argument can gather momentum. This conversation only happened because the exposition needed expositing and it weakened the characters and the story.

Blooded is not a great novella and it is not a great start to a series. There is really nothing new about the world or the characters and in the end the technical flaws and inconsistencies overwhelmed any redeeming features. My recommendation: skip this and start the novel. If the novel has the same flaws, at least you only have to put up with them once. If it doesn't, you come to it fresh without baggage.