Verdict: Riveting from beginning to end, OLD BLOOD is top-of-the-line fantasy material.
A search and rescue mission turns into a bizarre yet unforgettable supernatural adventure.
A banshee and a mortal are in love. Briana is certain that she can convince Queen Sorcha of the Tuatha De Danann that Aiden is worth immortality, even though King Cillian will be dead against the idea. Besides his love for Briana, Aiden hopes that his transformation will save Devin, his wayward son. For Aiden to achieve immortality, he has to trek into the dark depths of Greenland to find and retrieve the elusive Muse and her caldron. When things go awry on the first day of his journey, a motley crew of otherworldly creatures and mortals go in search of Aiden unaware of the grave danger they will face.
Jo produces an ancient folklore-based plot within a modern-day setting. While there is a popular array of otherworldly-themed literature, very few venture into Irish and associated-country folklore and incorporate that into contemporary environs. That said, Jo’s debut comes equipped with a handful of engaging literary tools. A combination of mortals and beings from the Otherworld, OLD BLOOD’s unique cast for starters includes a faerie, a leprechaun, a werewolf, and a shape-shifting hobgoblin. The well-developed characters also have peculiar quirks that will either amuse or annoy readers. The creature collective constantly struggle with love-hate relationships, especially since that have no choice living in close quarters during the search and rescue mission. One never knows if they’re going to be naughty or nice, even when sexual tension begins to build.
Another key feature of the third person narrative is how much of the storyline is based on each character’s interconnections. Heavily designed in dialogue, the plot with plenty of emotional drive, is well sprinkled with offensive language. The combination is not only effective, but also very amusing. Indeed earmarked as a dark fantasy, the murky atmosphere is well balanced with moments of light bantering befitting dark comedy. Gathering together all the above-mentioned elements, Jo places them within alternating and unexpected scenes, and then closes with a cliffhanger—a definite sign that a sequel is in the works!
Riveting from beginning to end, OLD BLOOD is top-of-the-line fantasy material.