Review: “Haunted Blade,” J.C. Daniels

Pros: Want more!
Cons: Characters overreact too much
Rating: 4 out of 5

In Haunted Blade (Colbana Files Book 6) by J.C. Daniels (Shiloh Walker), Doyle is now acting as an intern for Kit Colbana. A powerful and mysterious non-human (NH) named Malcolm has taken an interest in Kit, and this almost certainly isn’t a good thing. Kit’s been having nightmares of her abusive grandmother, and there’s something odd about the dreams. Meanwhile, there’s about to be a massive influx of feral vampires–a potentially deadly threat to all of Orlando. Something wants Kit and her friends to suffer.

Kit’s grandmother Fanis seems to know a lot of major bad guys in the world. It certainly gives a good idea of how powerful she is and how much influence the Amazons have. On the other hand, it makes it seem odd that she’s putting this much effort and political capital into getting her hands on Kit. I’m loath to allow “because she’s bat-shit crazy” to be a hand-waving cure-all for such things, so I hope there will turn out to be more behind this. Certainly Kit is learning to use some of her abilities in new and interesting ways, so maybe it will have something to do with that.

Trigger warning for rape. Some of Kitasa’s past traumas come back to haunt her, so there are some tough scenes to read. One thing Daniels writes very well is traumatized people. Also, explicit (consensual) sex.

All of the characters are so damn prickly that sometimes I can’t even figure out what they’re overreacting to. I understand the notion of paranormal worlds in which various supernaturals tend to have heightened reactions, like shapeshifters and vampires, but there are times when it gets laid on a little thick. Overall, though, there are some fantastic characters in these books. We get to find out a little bit more about Chang, Damon’s right-hand man, in this volume, which is nice. It’s also a relief, after some other books I’ve been reading, to have some characters who aren’t white and some female/female relationships that aren’t rivalries.

There are enough surprises in this one that I don’t want to get too much into later events in the book. I’ll just say that the events were quite tense, kept me firmly involved, and left me wanting more! I hope Daniels will put out a new book in this series soon!

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