Sep 7, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson (Jess McClain #1)

Urban Fantasy
September 1 2012
Trade Paperback
320 pages
Orbit Books
Received from author

Kick Ass Chick – Jess McClain

From Goodreads –
After living in hiding for the last twenty-six years, Jessica wakes up to find she’s become a full-blooded werewolf — claws, fangs, fur, everything. It was never supposed to happen: female werewolves don’t exist.

When a mercenary killer comes looking for her, her Pack finds themselves caught in the middle of a war. They must rise up to protect her, but no one knows if she’s means the end of their race-or just a new beginning.

———-

Full Blooded is the first book in Amanda Carlson’s Jessica McClain series, a new urban fantasy series featuring werewolves.  No, let me re-phrase.  Full Blooded is the first book in Amanda Carlson’s highly anticipated Jessica McClain series, a new urban fantasy series featuring werewolves and an awesome kick ass heroine.

The book opens with one hell of a scene.  Jessica – the only female born into a werewolf clan – undergoes her first ever shift into wolf form.  Now, you may be wondering what the big deal is with that?  Well you see, Jessica didn’t think she would ever shift because a) she’s a chick and b) her first shift should have happened like, 10 years ago!  So shifting into a wolf really wasn’t part of Jessica’s plans.  Ever.  This scene really grabs you and sets up the rest of the book wonderfully.  What happens while Jessica is a wolf, how to explain it without giving anything away to the human populace, why is it that suddenly it seems that everyone wants Jessica dead or captured…you know, your usual everyday stuff.  *snort* It’s a great opening scene and really sets the tone for the book.

To me, this whole book felt like a set-up book.  Not once did it drag for me but the entire time it felt like I was reading this to get ready for something big.  I guess the best way to describe this book is like a rollercoaster.  For a good 90% of the book, you are going up and up and up…then you go ‘weeeeeeee’ for a bit near the end during a pretty impressive and memorable action scene, but it only brings you down a notch only to start going back up again.  You just know that the next ‘weeeeeeee’ will be awesome and you are totally looking forward to it, even though it doesn’t happen in this book.  I did not feel let down at the end of the book even though I didn’t get an ultimate ‘weeeeeeee’.  Instead, I felt exhilarated, a little surprised and raring to get a hold of the next book.  (By the way, the next book, Hot Blooded, isn’t releasing until April 23rd 2013.  After reading Full Blooded you are going to want to read Hot Blooded so just go ahead and mark that date on your calendar now.  I’ll wait while you do that… *hums to self*)

You get a really good understanding of the world that Amanda has created in this book without feeling too overwhelmed.  I think what helped is that it is ultimately our world of today with a few tweaks.  That also means it’s easy to relate to it.

Jessica, even though she is the only female werewolf and I’m well…not, is easy to relate to as well.  She is very well written and is exactly the kind of heroine I like to read.  She wasn’t weak yet not too strong to be overly stubborn.  She interacts well with all the other characters and even though she’s been thrown into things a bit violently, she handles it all well.  All in all, I was very pleased with her character and thank goodness for that seeing that this is the Jessica McLain series and that Amanda is contracted for three books as of now.  *grin*

Another character I really enjoyed was Jessica’s wolf.  She is a voice in Jessica’s head and she is great.  It’s not like she’s talking or anything like that but she is making her feelings very clear to Jessica and it’s up to her to decide whether or not to let the wolf lead.  It’s a really neat twist to the wolves Amanda writes and one I really enjoyed reading.

I liked all of the characters.  Well, except for Ray.  I never really got him and sometimes he just got on my nerves.  But other than him, I liked them all.  The bad guys were great, the vampires really unique and totally creepy and the main grouping of men…  Oh the men…

Amanda writes amazing side characters in her men.  There are five that really stand out and they are all equally yummy.  James, yum.  Danny, yum.  Tyler, yum.  Nick, yum.  Rourke, YUM!   Heck, even Jessica’s father is yummy in his own right!  They all play a part in Jessica’s life and they are all written in a way that you are immediately attracted to them and want to know all about them.  Amanda really did good there.

A little more about Rourke here:  He is mystery.  We know enough to make us want to follow him around like panting puppies but not quite enough that we would lose interest. Then the ending hits and you’re left going “wha’?  Rourkie! *cries*”  So basically, he is a perfect main hero/love interest for our Jessica.  And boy are they good together.

There is a prequel novella available titled Blooded.  I don’t believe it is necessary to read it before diving into Full Blooded but I think it would help set things up a bit better if you do.  Full Blooded starts off with that HUGE event and I feel like people would understand the colossal-ness of this opening event better if they read Blooded.  But as I said, you don’t have to but…you should maybe go check it out.  😉

Overall, I really enjoyed Full Blooded.  Amanda’s voice is perfect for this genre, Jessica is a fantastic heroine and the supporting characters are all incredible.  On top of that, the story is interesting and it leaves you wanting more.  If this book and the novella are any indication, this series will hook you in, keep you on your toes and leave you wanting more.  All in all, a great read that I definitely recommended.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quote

“My brother headed back to my bedroom.  I heard him open my closet doors, and he came back to the living room a minute later carrying a big navy blue canvas duffel I used for carting my dirty laundry.  I followed him into the living room.

‘We can cram him in here,’ he told James.  ‘Then we toss it off the balcony.  It isn’t body-shaped, and if anybody asks, we’re headed to the Laundromat.’

Everyone was moving around like normal.  I pointed to the body.  ‘He’s not going to fit in there.  He’s twice as long as that.’  I ran my eyes over the shrouded shape on the floor to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

‘Not for long.’ Tyler grinned.

Right.  I excused myself and went back to my bedroom to change out of my dirty, bloodstained clothes.  Hacking up bodies and tossing them off balconies was hardcore.  Life as a wolf was going to take some getting used to.

  1. Ann-Catrin Sköld says:

    GREAT review! 😀

  2. WHAT!? You actually enjoyed a werewolf book Julie? I’m shocked! And you gave it 4.5 stars to boot! I’m excited to hear that Amanda has committed to writing at least 3 books in this series. You just made my day! 🙂

  3. I can only say one thing: WANT 😉

  4. Wow! I know I need to get to this book ASAP! I read blooded and I loved it, God! I need more time!!!
    Thanks for awesome review 🙂 Did I ever tell you how much I love rollercoaster’s rides?

  5. Ann-Catrin – 🙂

    Carmel – She’s hoping for more too. Woo!

    blodeuedd – I can’t wait to see what you think of this one!

    Lupdilup – I did not know that you loved roller coaster rides. lol

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