Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. No other remuneration was received.
Book Title: TRIAD BLOOD
Author: ‘Nathan Burgoine
Series: N/A (There is a prequel, though, called THREE)
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Category: LGBTQIA+ Romance (says Netgalley, but I say)/Urban Fantasy
Author’s Website: http://www.nathanburgoine.com/
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Main Characters: Luc/Anders/Curtis
Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound
Source: ARC provided by NetGalley, ebook format
4 Batty Moons!
The law of three is unbroken: three vampires form a coterie, three demons make a pack, and three wizards are a coven. That is how it has always been, and how it was always to be.
But Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—have cheated tradition. Their bond is not coterie, pack, or coven, but something else. Thrust into the supernatural politics ruling Ottawa from behind the shadows, they face Renard, a powerful vampire who harbors deadly secrets of his own and wishes to end their threat. The enemy they know conjures fire and death at every turn. The enemies they don’t know are worse.
Blood, soul, and magic gave them freedom. Now they need to survive it.
READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!
I’ve decided that my need to read vampire romance/erotica/whatever has become a bit pathological. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, imo. Someone has to keep the vampire fiction market in business. So I picked up this book at Netgalley, because of the vampire thing, plus the threesome thing, plus the m/m/m thing, which can either be really good, or really bad.
I was strangely ambivalent about this book at first. It was well-written, the characters had interesting backstories, the premise seemed interesting. There’s vampire politics, there’s unique interpersonal dynamics. There’s a mix of supernatural species and powers.
So why didn’t this book grab me right away? I was about 15% in, and I still couldn’t get into it. It was like the book was a cake–my favorite flavor (devil’s food), with a pudding center, butterscotch chips baked in, a dash of Drambuie in the mix, and home made cream cheese frosting on top… but somehow, the cake doesn’t quite taste right. I had to force myself to keep eating, because… apparently now I’m a cake critic, and in order to write the review, I had to finish.
I realized shortly thereafter: I didn’t wait for the cake to cook for long enough. And that I shouldn’t use baking metaphors, because they make me hungry.
So, a bit further in, things started to get interesting. Really interesting, really quickly. The mystery revealed itself, the complex layers and multiple players began to work, and suddenly we have a finely tuned machine running the way it should! Wow, I just took a really long time to say, “this book is slow to start, but wow is it worth it!”
But them’s the facts, kids. It wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t look forward to seeing it through to begin with. Once I hit that sweet spot, though, BAM! I had to read it in huge chunks (when I probably should have been writing.) to find out what happened next.
It doesn’t happen very often, but now and then I like a vampire character who isn’t just a romantic or urban fantasy-style hero. A vampire who doesn’t drink pig’s blood (sorry, Angel honey. I still love you.) or bagged blood, or strictly from willing donors. I like a vampire who’s a vampire, and the one in this book, Luc, is that kind of creature of the night. He doesn’t “hunt” as his usual means of feeding, but there’s some indication that under the right circumstances, he’ll have himself a live one. So to speak.
The way the mythologies separate out from the sort of tangle they are in the beginning and become through lines of their own is riveting. Each of the main characters has a meaning and life of their own, but they are more powerful together. That’s what I like to see in a love story, and in any kind of paranormal or urban fantasy.
There is no getting out of the way of this book’s grip, I swear! There’s humor and steam, mystery and on-the-edge of your seat suspense. Oh, and hot paranormal men. Extra points for that. It’s interesting, however, in that TRIAD BLOOD isn’t really a romance. The triad (the three hot paranormal men I mentioned) are sexually involved, and need one another for power as much as emotional satisfaction, if not more so. They care about one another, and would clearly die for one another. So how important the romance is depends on how you choose to perceive its centrality to the story. The author has said that it’s not a romance, and I agree. But I would venture to say it’s an urban fantasy with strong romantic elements.
The characters really become fascinating individuals as the story goes on. Anders the demon is rough around the edges, and speaks his mind without much thought about the consequences. Luc the vampires is suave and cultured, but with that nasty vamp nature simmering right beneath the surface. Surprisingly, Curtis, the wizard, ended up being my favorite of the three. He just felt so normal, and his pain was really relatable. He felt like someone I might know in real life… except, sadly, the magick. We never get that kind of wizard magick in real life.
TRIAD BLOOD is a true urban fantasy, and contains all the elements of the genre that I love, using a different kind of created family. The overall cast was happily diverse, and that really means something in the current social climate. Not that the story is all durm & strang, there’s plenty of humor. Did I mention it’s Canadian born and set from a Canadian author? I’ve been reading a lot of 100% Canadian fiction lately, and it has a flavor all its own. A je ne sais quoi that makes it stand separate from American fiction. I like it.
The thing that really made me fall in love with this book? Burgoine has INTENSE Geek Cred. Seriously. Any geek who writes gay, menage UF and throws in enough geeky pop culture references to make Joss Whedon feel shame is a friend of mine. I’ll have my eyes open for ‘Nathan Burgoine from now on!
4 STEAMY BATTY MOONS!