Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain)
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(Description nicked from B&

“It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain.

Her newly found mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge, and Jessica is positive she can save him.

But being the only female werewolf in town comes with its own set of rules and powers… if only she understood them.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.”

While this novel certainly isn’t badly written from a technical standpoint, it really does nothing to elevate itself above the tired tropes of the genre.  It puts me in mind of nothing so much as a sanitized version of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books.  Like that series’ titular character, Jessica is the most special of all werewolves, one whom everyone wants to either worship or kill (although with Jessica, it’s mostly that people want to kill her).  She’s the only one of her kind as a female werewolf, and she can shapeshift into a half-human, half-wolf form that no one else can.

On top of this, Jessica seems to develop new powers whenever she gets into trouble, and that power inevitably helps her to succeed.  There’s very little for the characters traveling with her to do but be punching bags and distract the bad guys while Jessica does her special thing to win the day.  It’s almost frustrating that Jessica isn’t an unlikeable character—I actually liked her a lot—because it’s so very predictable that she’s going to suddenly discover exactly the power needed to get the job done.

The author does much better with the secondary characters, especially the vampires.  The two who go with Jessica on her mission prove to have a more interesting backstory than anyone else.  Plus, their story allows for some insight into how vampire nests in this world function.  Up until this point, we’ve mostly been shown werewolf culture, and that almost all from a male’s standpoint.

The plot is a pretty straightforward quest story: Jessica and company go to rescue her mate from a goddess.  There doesn’t seem to be any other purpose for this storyline than to allow Jessica to develop more abilities and to show different races and how they work together.  It’s not a boring story by any means, but I just didn’t feel that it had much purpose in an overall plot arc.

Hot Blooded is okay, but it’s not a novel that breaks the rules or provides its readers with something new and fresh.  It’s not bad, but it’s not good either.  If you’re a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton, you’ll probably like this book, but otherwise, there are more interesting tales on the shelves to catch your interest.

Also by this author: Full Blooded

This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on May 21, 2013.

Series: Jessica McClain
ISBN: 9780316205214
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 336
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Acquired: Provided by the publisher as an e-ARC from NetGalley
Author Website
Read an excerpt