Despite wanting more, Chase often feels like he is standing outside his own life. He has a boyfriend, but Alex doesn’t seem overly invested. He has friends, but they tend to disappear and purposely exclude Chase from their activities. As Chase manages the rigors of school, he wonders where or if he really fits in with the people closest to him.
The answer is a resounding no. Chase discovers the truth when his supposed friends kill him in a bizarre magical ritual. That should be the end, but Chase returns from the dead, with a craving for blood and goddess riding shotgun. Now he wants revenge, but will have to take his time obtaining it. And before he does, Chase will discover a darker world than he has known, one where he may end up needing his enemies to survive.
Bad Blood was a bit of a mess. The characters aren’t particularly likable and the plot never makes much sense. It has an interesting premise, but doesn’t live up to expectations.
Chase reads initially as a needy groupie. He’s desperate for friend, so much so that he associates with people who clearly have no real affection for him. Even his boyfriend tolerates him, but doesn’t love him. His dependence on this group is frankly baffling and when they end up actually killing him, he spends far too long trying to find out why. I just wanted to give him a smack and tell him to stop being so co-dependent. I don’t think I ever really warmed up to Chase, but at least towards the end of the book he starts to read as less of a pushover. The other characters don’t have a ton of depth and it was hard to see them as individuals; they tended to just blend into a generic lump of secondary players.
The plot makes little to no sense. It starts off with some originality in terms of Chase’s possession, which I thought was interesting. And then the goddess in his head disappears about halfway through the book with no real explanation. Now there is a second book coming, which may flesh things out, but the story reads as very unfinished. Chase’s sudden dependency on the very group who killed him just seems awkward and frankly unnecessary. He could have gotten what he needed from others with minimal effort. There are a lot of tropes tossed at the wall in Bad Blood and very few stick particularly well. Instead of actually building a solid world base for these characters, it seems like a vague collection of horror and paranormal themes jumbled together. Some, like Chase’s possession, work fairly well, but the vampires, etc never really pan out.
I wanted to like Bad Blood, but I just never found much to sink my teeth into, no pun intended. The characters fail to compel and the story ends up wobbling on an unstable tropey scaffold that didn’t engage me. I didn’t love this one, but I generally enjoy this author’s work and if you like paranormal romances with a side of polyamory, maybe you’ll find Bad Blood worth exploring.