Book Review: Bloodline by Kate Cary

Bloodline by Kate Cary is a sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Bloodline is set to the backdrop of The Great War, and is told in the form of diary entries made by each of the main characters: Lieutenant John Shaw, his sister Lily Shaw, Captain Quincey Harker and Mary Seward.

When John Shaw returns from the trenches he is not the same.  He is suffering greatly from the things he has witnessed, and after being injured in a night raid on a German trench, he is sent home to England to recover.  In Purfleet sanatorium, he is placed in the care of Mary Seward, whose father once ran the establishment.  As a local girl, she quickly realises who John is and knows that the Shaw’s live in Carfax Hall, the estate next to the hospital.

Mary informs the lieutenant’s sister, Lily, where he is, and they become friends as the nurse does all in her power to help heal John.  But the man is tormented by nightmares, and so, in a bid to understand what he has been through, she reads his diary.  The horrors of Lieutenant John Shaw’s war however, are not what you might expect.  When his army captain, the charming Quincey Harker, the man who saved him the night he got injured, visits the area to see how he is, things take an irrevocable turn for them all.

I enjoyed the storyline and thought The Great War was a perfect backdrop for a story about vampires.  However, I found one thing niggled at me as I read, it being that when vampires were first mentioned it wasn’t met with much disbelief.  To my mind, the concept was accepted far too easily.  That being said, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the book until the very end as I was desperate to learn what happened.  The pace of the story also felt a little inconsistent in places, but I wonder if that’s because of the nature of the narrative being in the form of a diary.  The ending itself was very, very good and filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Bloodline certainly caught my imagination, and the smooth transition between viewpoints increased the depth of the story.  It is a vivid, engaging read, one that has you wondering just how it will end and I am curious to learn where the story goes from here.  So, I have added Reckoning, the sequel to Bloodline, to my reading list.

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