BLOOD LEGACY: COVENANTS
by Marva Mitchell
This book begins prosaically enough, with heroine Jade meeting an interesting guy, Lance, at the carnival. Their mutual friends, Lilly and Brian, are also smitten at first sight. But after a gypsy fortuneteller sees their future, the menace grows.
Lance's friend, Brian, is secretly a member of the Order of the Guardians, a group of vampire hunters. Their enemies are the Drakkus, a group of vampires bent on turning Lance into one of them because of his ancestry.
When all of this is made known to Jade, Lilly, and Lance, feelings are hurt and the friends go their separate ways—to disaster.
When Jade's best friend is apparently killed and her mother kidnapped and she barely escapes from flying bat-monsters the next thing she does is what anyone would do under the circumstances—she has sex.
Still, the characters are likable, something missing in many horror stories these days. Except for some profanity and a little violence, “Blood Legacy” reads like a Young Adult book. The romance and the relationships take precedence over the horror.
Mitchell's vampires are identical to those in Tony-Paul de Vissage's Shadow-universe. The 'vampires' are a divergent branch of the human species that evolved with super-powers but still able to mate with common mortals. They are not undead and vampirism does not spread by infection. So they're just like us. Mundane.
Making monsters mundane saps them of their horror. Making the Drakkus “true” vampires would add a layer of menace to this story. Not only would the heroes fear for their lives but their immortal souls. Just a thought.
However, there's another race of vampiric creatures, the varocs. These bat-like and feral gargoyles are a relief from the overly-human Drakkus. Lycanthropes and chameleons and sirens also appear and the scene with the sirens is especially well-handled.
But at times the book becomes complicated with all these species of vampires, half-vampires, slayers, transitional vampires, transitional humans, and all the rules and regulations of their society. It's hard to keep track at times. Plus there's a semi-large cast of characters and I confess I kept getting Vernon and Vincent mixed up. And Mitchell seems to be unfamiliar with the process of modern blood transfusion, as she has the donor infected by the benefactor after such a transfusion.
For the most part, the book is written in a straight-forward manner, but with a few curiosities like, “Emile shook his head with a lump of lead in his chest.” But in places, the language is stunning: “He was strangely exquisite, like an exotic relic that carried within it forgotten secrets of ages gone by, polished by the sands of time and cured to its finest like aged wine ” I'd like to see Mitchell bust loose with more prose like this.
Still, “Blood Legacy” could benefit from some proofreading. There aren't very many misspellings (although on the second page the character Brian is introduced as Brain), but throughout there are tons of unnecessary or arbitrary commas. The simplest rule about commas is, if they aren't necessary leave them out.
“Blood Legacy” is not a bad book at all. With some tightening and a proofread, it would be very good.