I really wanted to love this book. The prequel novella Before the Witches was awesome. It left me wanting more. I thought Blood of the Wicked would be cut from the same cloth, but it had a very different feel. Don’t misunderstand… the book isn’t bad. I liked it. But I didn’t love it.
The story is set about 50 years after a series of cataclysmic events changed the face of the world. Many blame witches for the near-armageddon. And they are persecuted relentlessly. Jessie is a witch in hiding. Silas is a witch-hunter, determined to find Jessie’s brother, Caleb. He targets Jessie, not because she is a witch (he doesn’t know that she is), but to help track Caleb.
Silas and Jessie are undeniably drawn to each other. He has been hardened by his life, and is worn down physically and emotionally. He’s been off the job for 14 years, doing other things. (And it’s never really clear to me how “The Mission” got him to come back to find Caleb.) He thinks all witches are evil and with the exception of Jessie, it looks like he’s not entirely wrong. You would think that because he’s the heroine’s brother, Caleb is really a good guy who has been unfairly targeted. You would be wrong. He is horrible. But Jessie doesn’t know that. Just as Silas is using her to track his prey, she is using him, hoping to find her brother and save him.
I think my biggest problem with this book was that I found myself confused by some of the world building. I understand that a new Seattle was built above the rubble of the old, and only the upper class live above ground. After a time, I figured that city below ground was the remnants of the Old Seattle (?) but when we started talking about levels in between, I got lost. That was a distraction. So were my questions about Silas. Did he leave the Mission after the big incident where his friends died? Did he hunt witches in Florida? For who? How did they force him back to Seattle? I also had questions about the big ending. Why was Jessie a target? There are other witches who could have served the same purpose. Right? Or why not? Was I not paying close enough attention to the details?
The concept of the series is good. And it’s fresh. The book is rather dark, which I like. And the sex is good.. a little rough and demanding. Hot. And morbid anticipation of Silas’ discovery that Jessie is witch had me on the edge of my seat. The series has potential. I’ll give Lure of the Wicked a try, and see where we go from there. 3 1/2 stars.
*ARC Provided by Avon/Harper Collins Publishers
Blood of the Wickedby Karina CooperRelease Date: May 31, 2011Publisher: Avon