I’ll get that right out of the way: Caroline Fréchette is a friend of mine, and I have read Blood Relations even before it came out, last fall. We are part of the same critique group, and she was working through Blood Relations while I was working through The Admirer.
There is a very strong possibility that I would not have read this book otherwise. It is a very dark read, and it makes no effort to hide it, with its dramatic black and white (and just a touch of blood red) cover illustrations. It has violence, and sex, and drug use, and foul language. What else do you expect from a novel about a 16 years old pyrokinetic mafioso who is forced to fight vampires?
So I might not have picked Blood Relations, if left to my own devices. And I would have missed something. The story has a great pace, and some wonderfully funny moments. The dialogue is brilliant. There is a great cast of characters, where everyone can have a favorite. (Mine is one of the hero’s best friend, of the “caregiver, wise beyond his years” trope that I just can’t resist, especially when it’s done well.)
Blood Relations is the first novel of the series Family By Choice. The second novel of the series, Brothers In Arms, comes out this Saturday, March 8th.