Review: All Wounds (Stranger Things series, #1) by Dina James
Author: Dina James
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Formats: Trade Paperback, ebook
ISBN #: 978-1606592762
FTC Disclaimer: ARC was received from publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
Vampires, and man-wolves, and hellhounds, oh MY!
Rebecca MacDonnell’s plate is full. On one hand, she leads a typical high school life, complete with snotty “it” girls, a bad boy hottie, and the day to day stresses of just trying to get by. On the other, she’s a caregiver for her “Nana”, who’s memory loss has progressed from simply misplacing keys, to leaving the stove on, or getting lost on walks. The last thing Rebecca expects is to find a classmate, bleeding and dying, being dragged through her door in the middle of the night by a master vampire, after being attacked by hellhounds, to seek the help of her Nana, their healer!
One of the things I really enjoyed with this book was the twist Dina created. Just when I “thought” I knew what I was getting into, I was wrong. Rebecca doesn’t discover a world of paranormal creatures who expect her to pick sides and fight their battles with them. She discovers her gifts, as the next in a line of ethereal healers. Her strength isn’t in fighting, but in staying impartial and offering aid to those who ARE fighting.
Had the hellhound who bit **** tonight been in need himself, we would not have denied him assistance. He would have been treated and sheltered just the same, right at the side of the one he harmed, with no further hostility between them.
So… could YOU do that?? Shelter and heal the good AND the not-so-good? That’s a decision Rebecca is forced to make. Her power will mature on her 17th birthday, if she can make it that long. It seems that having the benefit of their very own, captive, healer is the goal of quite a few unsavory ethereals. The days leading up to that occasion are filled with demons attacking from bathroom stalls and the introduction of one of my favorite side characters in recent memory, Billy. For those of you who are Southern Vampire Mystery fans, think Bubba, with more hair and the appetite of a small military battalion.
We’re getting our family bonding and learning from Nana, our fast-paced action and a lot of comic relief with Billy, so that leaves Syd, the master vampire. Yeah… he’s the dreamy one who warns Rebecca not to fall for him, and of course she does. He’s the master of his clan, but gets guilted and coerced into offering apprenticeship to Rebecca for her healer training. Syd is quick-witted and snarky, but genuinely wants the best for Rebecca. Being able to hear her thoughts is the catalyst for quite a bit of their fun banter.
The original, short story version of this (what was roughly the first three chapters) is in The Eternal Kiss: 13 Tales of Blood and Desire. I was so excited when I realized it was being reworked and extended into a full novel. I really loved the characters, the storyline is different and fun to read, and the action/comedy/romance balance is just about perfect. I say just about, because I could always read more Syd, lol. Luckily, we’ll be getting more Syd, and the rest of the gang, in book 2 of the Stranger Things series, Time Heals. I have theories about this next book. When you all read All Wounds (and that should be soon, or… now, even) let me know, cause I NEED to share!!
Stop by Dina’s Q&A HERE to find out a little more about this new(ish) author, and win a copy of All Wounds!