Chosen by Blood (A Para-Ops Novel) by Virna DePaul
Chosen By Blood (A Para-Ops Novel) is set in a world where the paranormal are tentatively accepted by human society after a civil war between the two factions. But the cost was great to the vampires, their numbers dwindling from starvation due to a vaccine developed by humans that have contaminated the blood supply, during the unrest. Enter Knox a half human half vampire hybrid unaffected by the tainted blood and leader of his dying race. Knox will stop at nothing to save his people, putting duty above all else. Even his heart. Felicia is a negotiator for the FBI, and Knox’s only weakness. She has been denying his advances for years because of his marriage to her best friend, and her own morals.
But Felicia is about to lose the luxury of running away from the strong attraction she has for Knox. Because they are about to join an elite team of paranormals, and their first mission is to retrieve the antidote to the vaccine that is destroying the vampire’s food supply.
This book needed a better editor. There were quite a few typos, and grammar errors. Mostly it needed someone to find a way to fix the confusing beginning. The whole book was set up poorly. Actually I think the story would have been better without the already established, overly complicated lead relationship. The book opens up two years prior to the story’s main timeline and thrusts the readers into the middle of Knox’s, his wife’s, and Felicia’s weird relationship. I found this disorienting because the threesome has a long history better suited for a book of it’s own, and while I get that DePaul is trying to set up the love interest we aren’t getting much of anything about the actual book. It comes off messy and forced. It would have been better to scrap the whole thing and change the relationship structure or at least not make it so rigid.
Another problem with the story is how unlikeable Knox is. It seems like DePaul took her vampire straight out of a carpathian novel by Feehan, but the writing was way more crass. Throughout the book he was mostly concerned with only what he wanted completely disregarding Felicia’s wishes. There was no building of a romantic relationship. No getting to know one another. No foundation for their professed feelings. It was nothing but lust in the guise of love.
Most of all I am surprised that Chosen by Blood was so graphic. I’m no prude but most writer’s try to find interesting ways to describe sexual content. Not DePaul, she was not creative at all in her descriptions. She was so glaringly blunt and to the point with her writing, that it just didn’t fit well, like a puzzle piece jabbed into the wrong slot. And there was a lot of naughty scenes. It seemed like there was something steamy going down in every chapter. This book could be re-shelved in the erotica section instead of paranormal romance. Normally I like this kind of thing but I just don’t think it was done very well.
I think the Para-Ops concept is a great and an original idea, but I think the book didn’t focus on that idea enough. The supporting characters were awesome and under utilized. DePaul had an interesting take on the undead, mages, and half borns. Plus her world building is lacking. She spent way too much time creating a vampire society that came off aloof and pretentious. Along with an overly complicated one dimensional relationship and then used sex to cover up her short comings.
Chosen by Blood could have been a killer book with the potential for an equally amazing series. But DePaul is stalled by the tired and stale romantic standards of barbaric bloodsucker stereotypes. Choosing to highlight her stories weaknesses instead of developing it’s strengths and originality. I think she could benefit by focusing on the missions, moving her minor characters into equally major roles, and putting as much effort into her post-apocalyptic world building as her sexual content.
Vote yay or nay for this review on Amazon here.