[…]”The Centre’s closed for two days and I’m supposed to go in and update the records while she and the boss are off sorting out whatever they’re sorting out.”
“Tara, no,” Devon groaned.
Tara’s grin was a vicious thing. “Tara, yes,” she replied and Devon knew they were screwed.
The Centre is a mysterious organization with buildings scattered throughout the country. No one knows much about them, only their motto: “All are welcome.” There are endless speculations about the Centre and what they do with the blood they take. Are they vampires? Certainly there are floors and floors of their buildings with no windows. Are they genetic labs trying to clone people? Maybe they’re curing diseases, or brewing viruses and plagues. Maybe they are what they claim to be: a charitable organization. The truth is, no one knows, and Devon doesn’t really care.
For desperate people, like Devon McKenzie, the Centre is a chance to forge a new life for himself. All he has to do is walk through the doors, sign a contract, and donate his blood twice a month for five years. It’s too good to be true, but at six hundred dollars a donation, Devon can’t afford to pass it up. Money has always been a sore spot for him. As a kid, Devon had hallucinations that required professional help, which meant his mother had to work a second job, wearing herself down to the bone for him. If it weren’t for his broken mind, his mother would still be alive. Instead, she’s dead and his drunk of father kicked Devon out for being gay.
So Devon shrugs off rumors and speculation and signs on the dotted line.
Did you ever get 80% into a book and still have no idea what you were reading? That’s pretty much my experience with Blood Worth. I went in with no idea of what the Centre was — though I was open to any possibility — and simply along for the ride. And I’m glad I did. Even now, having finished the book, I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but this is only book one of the Werethekau Chronicles, so there’s plenty of time to mull things over before I get my hands on the second book.
Devon, like me, doesn’t care about the urban legends or conspiracy theories. He likes Tara, his co-worker, and he doesn’t mind Mr. McAllister, his boss. When it turns out Devon’s blood is something special, and two clients want to take him on as their donor (each donor gives blood to only one person/company/organization), Devon is offered the chance to pick which man he wants to, er, work with. As neither of them are friendly, or nice, and since they’re both threatening him, he declines to work with either of them and Mr. McAllister has his back.
It’s the first time in a long time someone has stood up for him. For years, locked in an institute, Devon had to be good and obliging. Take the pills, go to the sessions, keep his head down and not cause a fuss, especially since he wanted to get out. And now that he’s free to have a personality, to dictate his own life, he’s not going to just hand it over to some asshole. And then, of course, one of the assholes decides not to take no for an answer.
There are questions that this book raises but doesn’t answer, and enough dangling threads to make me wonder how they can all possibly be tied up. There are hints of intricate mythology — and I admit, I was chasing after all the red herrings in this story — and complex politics. The ending of the book leaves Devon’s fate up in the air with events having taken place and his autonomy ripped away from him through no choice of his own, that I’m not entirely in agreement with. It’s one thing to offer to be a sacrifice, another to simply be tossed down as an offering, especially when Devon has been fighting so hard for the right to make his own choices. But, as it stands, Devon himself has yet to fully internalize what happened, that it happened, or how he feels about it.
I enjoyed this book because it didn’t make it easy on me. The writing is bright and quick, the pacing is fast ,and the characters were interesting. While the big bad came across a little two dimensional, he did have an actual reason for his behavior, even if the whole thing felt a little on the nose, and I have yet to see enough of the world building to figure out entirely what’s going on!
If you’re not into cliffhangers, you might want to keep this one on your To Be Read list until book two comes out. Or be like me, and drum your fingers impatiently until it does.