Ezra has been a warrior his entire existence. First, in the realm of light as an angel and now on Earth, as a vampire. After his banishment, Ezra was tasked with creating a nest of fighters, one who could defend the local community. But while Ezra has tried to follow through with his mandate, he has struggled to connect and bond with the males of his nest. Each of them is fundamentally broken, scarred from their respective banishments, and struggling to find purpose on Earth. And then Asher arrives.
Though his arrival on Earth is as traumatic as the other vampires, Asher immediately begins to bond and connect with his nest mates. He brings his healing skills and nurturing attitude to helping Ezra finally build a team of worth. And for Asher, breaking through Ezra’s stern and gruff defenses is the ultimate test. But even as the team comes in to its own, they are threatened by an enemy they may not be able to defeat. Ezra will have to become the leader he was meant to be and hope doing so doesn’t cost him the love of his life.
Banished By Blood is the first in the Santa Cruz Vampires series and, while the world building is chaotic, the characters are fairly compelling and made this book an interesting read.
Ezra and Asher were captivating both as individuals and as a couple. They read as well developed and had some real personal growth over the course of the book. Their romance was a bit rushed and occasionally haphazard, but despite this, I believed the connection between them and enjoyed their courtship. The secondary characters are less defined, but given this is the first in a series, I expect this to change with further installments.
The real stumbling block for Banished by Blood is the world building. Calling it chaotic is a kindness. It’s jumbled and unnecessarily complex. While information is never dumped on readers, the details we get are often disorganized and never make as much sense as they should. Perhaps this is something that will improve with additions to the series, but given the extent to which the world building plays a critical part to the overall story, I felt it needed a lot more structuring. There’s also an unnecessary use of acronyms. In my daily work, I’m used to dealing with acronyms in the extreme, but with Banished by Blood, they often came off sounding silly and used excessively when other options were available.
I did enjoy Banished by Blood and, for the first in a series, I found the overall story to be an interesting one. Additionally, the main characters were strong and engaging on most levels. The world building is problematic and the weakest part of the book, but I’m hoping this get stronger as the series continues. I think if you’re a fan of paranormal fantasies with some unusual twists, Banished By Blood will offer a fun read.