Review of INDIE Ebook Bloodfire – Book 1 of the Blood Destiny series by Helen Harper #Brainfluffbookreview #Bloodfirebookreview


I’ve read and enjoyed Helen Harper’s books before, having thoroughly enjoyed The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic series – see my review of Slouch Witch. So when I saw this offering on my Kindle, I tucked in…

Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won’t allow the transformation to occur.

That’s the first half of a rather chatty blurb and my advice would be not to read it as it gives away too many of the first plotpoints. Mack is certainly short-fused. All sorts of things make her angry, some justifiably and some not so much. Do be warned, though, part of her annoyance is expressed in her colourful swearing. I enjoyed her as a protagonist, as her determination to learn to fight well and her loyalty to her alpha are laudable – I also liked her glorious disregard for rules, which makes entire sense once we realise exactly what is going on. I also enjoyed the world and the setting. Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the world and while we weren’t overwhelmed with details of the countryside, there was sufficient for me to be able to clearly visualise what is going on.

While I’ve read a fair few shape-shifter stories over the years, it’s not my go-to genre but I really liked the world depicted, where mages and shapeshifters don’t like or trust each other very much. It’s a world, indeed, where the Lord Alpha, who rules the Brethren, responsible enforcing law and order amongst the shapeshifters, is regarded with dread throughout the community. No one wants to come to his attention…

Unsurprisingly, Mack does. The story cracks on with plenty of action, some enjoyable snark which mostly is generated by Mack’s chippy personality and an interesting cast of supporting characters. I loved Julia and would have liked to know more about her backstory, too. The only main niggle I had was that I got to a point where Mack’s obliviousness to the real situation became rather annoying. I wholly accept her ability not to see what is in front of her nose – I’ve watched people all my life manage to ignore the blindingly obvious – but it did impinge on my enjoyment as I kept waiting for that particular shoe to drop and for the purposes of the overall pacing, I think it went on just a tad too long.

Overall though, this paranormal shapeshifting adventure was an entertaining page-turner and I shall definitely be getting hold of the next book, Bloodmagic.

13 responses »

  1. I’ve read a few shapeshifter books, but not so many lately. This sounds like it might be a good one. I agree the obliviousness of a main character might get irritating so hopefully that doesn’t go on too long! I’ll take a look at it–maybe download a sample.

    • It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me, Jan. But I did think it was worth a mention for those who do find that trait drives them up the wall – overall I think the protagonist is well drawn and enjoyable.

  2. Oooo, that’s a tough angle–being unawares vs. woefully ignorant. On the one hand, it can be useful having readers aware of stuff the hero’s not, but on the other hand the story-logic can make it pretty strange for the reader to have information somehow suddenly in hiding from the hero. I’d be niggled, too!

    • Yes – it worked for most of the time, but as we were approaching the end of the story and I, along with every other reader I’m guessing, had already worked out the thing she chose to ignore – it was graunching just a bit. Which is why this one got an 8 instead of a 9…

  3. I recall your review of Slough Witch and it seemed interesting, so if I’m going to give the author a chance, it’ll probably be that book rather than Bloodfire. Perhaps I’m a bit burned out on shapeshifter paranormals and they all sound the same to me.

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