Cold Blooded | Red Blooded
Jessica McClain 3 & 4
October 8, 2013 | September 9, 2014
I am glad that I read COLD BLOODED and RED BLOODED back to back otherwise the cliffhanger from the former would be too long of a wait! Jessica McClain and her ragtag gang of vampires, werewolves, witches, and now a reaper, goddesses, and demons, are in constant motion. Putting one fire after the other, it seems like since Jessica's first shift, the supernatural world has gone cray cray and now Jessica's taken it upon herself to either put to things right or police the otherworld. No wonder "Jessica" in the RED BLOODED cover looks like she could use a fat hearty meal, this gal has yet to stay put in one place since Full Blooded and I think all the adventure sure is taking its toll on her.
COLD BLOODED is the best and strongest installment in the series and my favorite so far. Immediately following the events of Hot Blooded, COLD BLOODED starts when Jessica's witch BFF, Marcy, and her pack's second, James, went missing which almost started a war between the werewolves and witches because the latter think James abducted Marcy. Obviously that's just the tip of the iceberg and nothing is what it seems in Jessica McClain's world. Marcy missing was nothing but bait because Hell wants Jessica to stand trial in their court for crimes she committed which is also tied to another prophecy. Being a female Lycan and the only one at that is a threat not just among werewolves but to the entire supernatural community. Naturally, Jessica isn't just going to be ushered to Hell willingly so the Prince took her brother, Tyler (my husband), as collateral and saving him is the main plot of RED BLOODED.
Now I wasn't crazy about RED BLOODED, I didn't like "Hell" and all the demon politics that went with it. It had its moments, ACarlson can always deliver high powered action so there's that as well as more insight to being the Daughter of Cain and what lies ahead Jessica as she matures. That aside, RED BLOODED felt like an echo of book 2, Hot Blooded, when Jessica saved her mate werecat, Rourke, from the clutches of the crazy goddess, Selene. It's just the stakes are higher this time and weird alliances are formed.
These two books showcase how Jessica is living up to the foreboding prophecy about being The Female Lycan. Her powers are growing, her blood is like ambrosia, and her magic is fast becoming unparalleled and unrivaled. As a character, I love Jessica turning into a formidable heroine without losing her humanity, so to speak. She may be bossy but she still knows what matters. she always give everyone, including her enemies, the benefit of the doubt, and she's loyal to her team and friends to the end. Speaking of her friends, I wish they would be less followers of Jessica's beck and call and assert themselves more. Jessica might be a powerful person of prophecy but she's still a fledgling compared to her team.
As a series Jessica McClain is non-stop action. If you read all the books in succession and write the events in one timeline, all of these happened in a year, give or take. Now THAT is a lot of deaths, close calls, and adrenalin spent. However I also feel the focal point of the series is shifting and I'm still unsure if this is a good thing or a bad thing at this point. Maybe it's unfair of me to compare but when your series name is the same as your MC, I expect that the books would be centric to and directly about her (i.e. Arcadia Bell).
After Full Blooded I feel like the succeeding stories may affect Jessica in one way or the other but it's not necessarily about HER. To me it's like she's more of an accessory than the MC, like what happened in RED BLOODED. The demon business in Hell involves her but if you look at the greater scheme of things, her purpose there was more to aid than anything else. Sure her powers are growing in every installment, which is sort of the series plot and anchors the books as a whole, and as each volume is told in her POV the books are "hers" but IMO it's just a technicality. If you're a follower/fan of the series, I hope you understand what I'm saying.
To close this back to back review, RED BLOODED ended in, yes, another cliffhanger. This time it's Jessica's dad who needs saving. The series is becoming a chronicle of rescue missions and though I'm excited what's going to happen in Pure Blooded, I have to say that I'm getting wary of the formula. I hope something else happen in book 5 because it's starting to feel like we're reading different versions of the same story.