Blood of an Ancient (Beri O’Dell #2)
Published: October 22, 2013 (Samhain)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Amanda
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does assume you’ve read the first book in the series, Dweller on the Threshold.
Blood of an Ancient picks up a few months after the book-throw-inducing ending of Dweller on the Threshold. Beri’s mostly recovered the injuries she suffered while fighting off the Dweller demon, with the exception of the injuries caused by the demon itself. Those…those just keep getting worse. But she’s not letting it distract her. She’s determined to go after Nikolos and rescue him from the hell dimension he’s in. She just needs to figure out which dimension that is, get Blythe to bind another fire elemental, open the portal, and dive on in.
Problem is, they need the blood of an ancient to complete the ritual required to open the portal and Blythe’s magic has been even more whacked out after the encounter with the Dweller. She needs to get in touch with her mentor, Sophia, quick. When she tries to contact her, she learns Sophia’s taken up with a band of singing witches, which is weird, because the woman can’t carry a tune. Beri and Blythe leave their ragtag family behind and start tracking the witch band, stumbling on a group of hacker kids. The kids know about Beri and her monster hunting ways, and they’re hoping she’ll take on the job of being a permanent monster hunter. Beri doesn’t tell them that after everything that escaped from the portal when the Dweller battle went down, she’d probably be hunting monsters for a long, long time.
Beri knows that they need to take the time to make sure everything goes right so they don’t end up screwing things up even more. But when a spell goes wrong and allows Beri to see just how bad things have gotten for Nikolos, she knows that waiting and doing things right isn’t an option any longer.
This time around, we get to see a slightly more sadistic side of Beri, and you know what? I kind of loved it. She’s so conscious all the time of her strength that seeing her get to let loose with it against people who deserve it, over and over again, was pretty great. She feels like less of a freak and she’s got more confidence now, and the hacker kids, led by Rory, help build it up. They think what she can do is cool, and they’re not afraid to let her know it.
Because Nikolos spends much of the book locked in a hell dimension (boo!) there’s more focus on some of the other supporting characters. Elsa and Castor both have bigger roles, and Dooby is back (yay!) The cast is rounded out by Fenris, a vampire sprite, who ends up with them after Blythe burns down his home. Oops. I really hope he sticks around. He was pretty entertaining. A green vampire? Who likes flowers and growing things? All kinds of awesome.
The Minoan warrior isn’t completely sidelined, though. We see just enough to know that what he’s going through is horrific, and it slices Beri in two every time she thinks about how much he’s suffering. The Greek mythology threaded through the first book is much more prevalent here, because it’s essential to what’s keeping Nikolos from escaping the hell dimension he’s in.
Rinda Elliott does a fantastic job of giving just enough detail about the necessary myths without dragging it into a long explanation. While it takes a little while to figure out what’s going on with the witches (Beri and Blythe seem to spend quite a bit of time wondering what the hell they’re going to do next, even though it’s only a day or two), the pace is tight. Like Dweller, it takes place over the course of a few days…or so we think.
Also? Nikolos is still Yummy. Even with the new scars and the bad hair.
The end didn’t make me want to throw my Kindle at the wall, but it does make me think that while Beri’s happy now, heartbreak may not be too far away.
Sexual content: Sex