Review: Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella by Amanda Carlson

Filed in 3 Stars , Amanda Carlson , Review , The Geeky Lover Posted on April 30, 2012 @ 7:00 am 6 comments

Format read: ebook
book 0.5 in the Jessica McClain series
urban fantasy
Release Date: 
April 11th, 2012
Number of pages: 
60+ pages
Formats available:
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books On Board, Diesel Ebooks, iTunes, Kobo 

Book Blurb:

Jessica McClain was born the only female in an all male race. The only problem is-she’s no wolf. Called a curse, a witch and the Daughter of Evil by the superstitious wolves, Jessica decides to fight for her freedom, at age nineteen, the only way she can-in the ring.

When she’s brutally attacked right after her fight, is it enough to finally earn her freedom off Compound, or will she be forced to endure the hatred even longer . . .

My Thoughts:
Blooded sets the scene for Amanda Carlson’s new Jessica McClain series with the first full length novel, Full Blooded being released in September.

When you take a look at the blurb you actually know what the story is all about. Jessica is born into a wolf pack and shockingly for everyone she is a woman and plainly human too. In her world wolf shifters only have male offspring- a purely testosterone ruled race. Jessica’s birth is a mystery and the majority of her pack believe her to be the “antichrist”. She’s prophecized to bring doom and destruction and the wolves around her are becoming more and more unwilling to accept her in their home.

Meet Jessica- as you can imagine growing up in such a volatile environment isn’t easy on a girl but she came out hard headed and determined. She’s strong- a fighter who might also be a bit reckless. The wolves do have super strength and all but still Jessica is clever enough to actually win confrontations. This actually made me wonder. Perhaps I missed the parts where we learn how she does that but her cunning mind and agility seem to be enough to knock out a wolf. The setting reminded me a bit of Mercy Thompson and her growing up in Bran’s pack. Well yes she never faced this kind of antagonism but still the image was locked in my mind. Jessica is strong- I really don’t want to diminish this but for me she also felt a bit naive. Where does her strong self-confidence come from? How can she really have a chance against a wolf? Perhaps I would have needed more insight into the shifters’ strength and weaknesses but for me her victories seemed to be partly because of her cunning but mostly out of luck.

Blooded centers around confrontation between Jessica and other pack members. Carlson’s fight scenes are vivid and fast paced. I did love Jessica’s snassy mouth even though I still feared she wouldn’t stand a chance. The fights are dirty, bloody and really show us not only the mean side of the wolves but also Jessica’s.

One thing I didn’t like about this novella was the seemingly endless repetitions. There was too much talk about the wolves hating her and she wanting to leave that I actually wanted to scream for her father to let her go just so she would finally shut up about that. Instead I would have loved to  get a bit more than a peek at the characters who got by far not enough focus for my taste.

One little thing that always annoys me a bit is an unfitting cover. First I already knew that woman from another book but second Jessica never even touched a gun in this novella so why is it such a focus on the cover? Just as a sidenote.

Blooded gives us a short introduction into what seems to be a fascinating new urban fantasy series. I can’t wait to see how Jessica’s life outside the pack will be and I hope to get a better look into this supernatural world Carlson has created.

I give Blooded: A Jessica McClain Novella 3 stars.

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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  • Stella April 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hm, you got me intrigued Susi. And I agree, misleading covers frustrate me so much! (But gun notwithstanding, I really like the cover of Blooded, it wonderfully manages to convey how badass and tough Jessica is :-D)

    • Susi May 1, 2012 at 5:46 am

      I really do like this cover besides well the gun thing. The gal looks so kick ass.

  • aurian April 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Nice review, but I will be waiting for more book reviews before deciding on this series. At the moment, it is not calling my name.

    • Susi May 1, 2012 at 5:47 am

      I’m very curious how a full length novel will be. It’s hard to kick off a new series with a novella. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the real thing. 🙂

  • Mandi May 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This novella doesn’t really seem necessary. Nothing really happens in it and the first full length starts 7 years in the future. I like this world but I think you can skip this one and start with the next.

    • Susi May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      7 years? Wow, I didn’t know that. It felt it a bit low on plot to me too.

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