Verdict: BLOOD DIVINE is a vividly imagined opening to what promises to be a great fantasy series, with relatable characters and a truly unique magical backstory.
A man with an uncontrollable power finds himself in the middle of a biblical battle between good and evil and must accept his destiny to save those he loves.
As a young boy, Cooper Causey and his friends ride their bikes into Warfield, a haunted plantation where a slave named Blue once led a deadly rebellion. What starts out as a fun adventure for bored schoolboys turns into a terrifying and life-changing experience for Cooper. After the fateful night at Warfield, Cooper spends his life fighting to control the destructive power that threatens to consume him. Twenty years later, when he receives an unsettling message from his grandmother, Cooper must return to his hometown and confront the dark secrets of his past.
Within hours of arriving at his family home, Cooper discovers his grandmother is missing and that her disappearance is more complex than it appears. When looking through the family Bible, Cooper finds a message, written in blood, containing just one word: Warfield. In his desperate search for his grandmother, Cooper finds himself in the crosshairs of an ancient evil that has a sinister history with his family. With the help of a mysterious savior named Betsy, a couple of ghosts, and the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace his darkness and join the battle between good and evil.
BLOOD DIVINE ends in a cliff-hanger that opens up the possibility of future books in what looks to be a promising series. Author Greg Howard does an excellent job setting the stage and creating vivid imagery. While the descriptive language is beautiful, it can, every so often, be a bit overdone. The main character, Cooper, is compelling and relatable, if a little slow on the uptake. His refusal to accept his new reality or run from hordes of murderous vampires, when told to, can be frustrating for the reader.
Cooper’s boyhood crush, Randy, verges on two-dimensional and can feel, at times, like an archetype of a perfect man (i.e., rugged and manly yet also deep and sensitive) rather than an actual human being with his own personality. However, because the focus of the story is mostly on Cooper, Randy’s occasional flatness doesn’t detract very much from the overall reading experience. Though this paranormal novel contains the now fairly standard vampire element, the mythology and biblical references Howard uses to build Cooper’s world are wholly unique and make this story stand out from other fantasy novels.
BLOOD DIVINE is original and well-written and is a great read for fans of the paranormal romance and fantasy genres.
~Hayley Singleton for IndieReader