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Reviewer: Clayton Bye
N. D. Hansen-Hill writes fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror and, as Melody Knight, romantic novels. She has 43 published or contracted books with various companies, including Cerridwen Press, The Lotus Circle, Five Star, Linden Bay Romance, Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise, Drollerie Press, and Cyberwizard Productions.
Review of BloodWorks
Josh Griffin has leukemia. He’s also got a dead man living inside his head. What he doesn’t know is that his blood carries the cure for both problems. Still recuperating from a macabre attempt on his life, Josh is suddenly on the run in the California desert, pursued by several different groups who all want his blood. Half crazy, shot in the leg and saddled with two New Zealanders, Josh must depend on friends and enemies alike to wrest him from the nightmare his life has become.
A tale full of suspense, action and even horror, I would have to label N. D. Hansen-Hill’s latest novel a sci-fi thriller. BloodWorks as a story reminds me of a number of great thrillers (like Coma) where the world of medicine or medical research has gone mad. Unfortunately, as an individual read, the comparison doesn’t hold up. Yes, the writing hurtles along, and the unsettling feeling I had when reading Coma was also there. The story itself? Terrific. Yet, somehow, I was disappointed.
I’ve read Hansen-Hill’s work before. I thought Gilded Folly was an awesome novel. But the author didn’t manage her character development in BloodWorks nearly as well as she did in Gilded Folly. You see, N. D. Hansen-Hill fills her books with all kinds of well-defined characters. This is something I like about her writing. In this book, however, I had some trouble keeping her characters identified through the first part of the tale. They blurred together. It wasn’t until I reached the halfway point in the novel that her characters gelled for me. In a way, the story progressed in the same manner. I found myself thinking that a number of the transitions were just too abrupt, that there wasn’t enough description going on.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book or that I’m not going to recommend it. Hansen-Hill’s stories are always interesting. And even with the concerns mentioned, BloodWorks is an entertaining read. It’s just that I seem to be coming across this kind of editing more and more. Exposition is done in the characters’ minds or as seen through the eyes of those characters, which means lots of internal monologue. Some books are even being written primarily in dialogue. This results in much less imagery, much less setting. And I’m of the opinion the techniques diminish the effectiveness of the stories. Is this trend an effort to keep word counts down? Or is it some new style? I don’t know the answer, and I don’t like it.
Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2009