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5.0 out of 5 starsIf you like vampire stories, you will love this.
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2016
I gave it high marks, but way too violent and brutal for my taste--not a fan of vampire first-person stories
He did a good job of presenting well rounded characters with unique voices. I enjoyed the mind warp of a story told from a Noir-"esque" narrative but set in the 1970's. I haven't read the remainder of the series yet but it's on my list. Worth the read.
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2009
Blood Groove is book that captures your interest and keeps it, but sometimes just barely. It was fun to read a modern vampire novel set in the 70's (kind of like Life On Mars on BBC). It evokes forgotten memories in those of us old enough to have lived during this period. Bledsoe has created some intriguing characters and blurs the line between "good" and "evil". The vampires are not evil, but very self centered and and unsymapthetic. The humans are not good, just trying to survive.
All of the things mentioned so far made the book a fun read. However the constant racial and gender stereotyping got old quickly. It made it seem as though the sole reason for setting the book in the 70's was to take advantage of the shallow thinking of some people during that time and have an excuse to potray negative racial and gender roles and language. It was almost bad enough to make me stop reading a few times.
But I am glad I did finish the book. But it was like eating a brownie with nuts when you don't like the nuts. Overall I enjoyed the experience and it did end with me wanting to know what would happen next.
I read the sequel to this first, and then I went and got this one. It's often hilarious and very sexy, and sometimes even insightful. Definitely worth reading if you are a fan of vampires, but not Twilight. Great new author.
Blood Groove was such a blast! This was my first Alex Bledsoe book, and it's definitely made me a fan. Blood Groove takes place in 1975 Memphis, amidst racial tension, groovy tunes, and hot, sticky, southern grit. Baron Rudolfo Zginski finds himself in a Memphis morgue after the (very unlucky) pathologist yanks the cross out that's been stuck in his heart for 60 years. After a nice meal, he heads out into the Memphis night. Meanwhile, we get to know a group of rather ill kempt "young" vamps that are living in a rundown warehouse in the sticks. The standout in the group is Fauvette, perpetually 14, turned when she was a virgin, what seems like a lifetime ago. The details of her death and subsequent turning are heartwrenching, to say the least, and Fauvette longs for true death, even if she can't bring herself to meet the sun. She hates what she's become and the habits of her housemates horrify her more and more every day. I'll be honest, they're a rather gross bunch, and if you have a sensitive stomach, you may find yourself covering your eyes (you'll be peeking though, I promise). Weaned on movies like Blacula, and vamp lore, these young vamps live in ignorance of their true natures, and what they can become. That's where Baron Zginski comes in. He discovers Fauvette in an alley after she's forced herself to feed, and is inexplicably drawn to her, and you will be too, because the real star of this novel is Fauvette. She gets a rough start, but as Zginski brings her out of her shell, and shows her the truth of her kind, her inner beauty begins to shine through, and acceptance with what she is, and who she is, is inevitable and wonderful to witness. Fauvette begins to rub off on the arrogant Zginski, and he begins to realize that he's lost some of his humanity and empathy. The Baron is not charming, he doesn't sparkle, and he's horrified at the fact that woman and non-whites have the same rights as everyone else does. He's most definitely an anti-hero, and frankly, at times I wanted to smack him, but then again, he came to maturity at a time when things were very, very different, so you can see how he might be puzzled at the new state of things, even if you don't condone it. Blood Groove is not for the faint of heart. The focus is on Fauvette's group, but it also follows the coroner as she tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious death of one of the vamp gang. Zginski is hot on the trail of this new drug too, since it could threaten his kind's very existence. There are some truly horrifying and tragic moments, as well as plenty of sex, blood, and violence. This is horror at its best, and it's unflinching, but never gratuitous. If you enjoy quality horror, with writing that crackles off the page and doesn't let up, you're gonna love Blood Groove.
3.0 out of 5 starsGrisly, ghoulish horror story, with unsexy, unsympathetic vampires
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2009
Plot Summary: Baron Rudolfo Zginski was staked in the heart in 1915, and he rises again 60 years later when a medical pathologist removes the gold stake from his corpse. He's finds himself in Memphis, and sets about finding fellow vampires. The `locals' form a small tribe of heartless misfits who live in an abandoned warehouse littered with body parts and maggoty corpses. They're little more than animals, and Zginski soon takes control of the lot, along with a human girl who provides warm meals at his command. One of the vamps is killed by a mysterious powder, and Zginski tracks down the dealer with the unwilling help of an assistant coroner. It turns out an ancient nemesis is trying to kill Zginski, for good.
I think this is a first for me. I really wanted the vampires in this book to DIE, and usually I'm doing a "Sis Boom Rah! Gooooo Vampires!" chant. Not for these guys. I'd say this book is closer to a flat out horror story rather than my preferred flavor of urban fantasy with a dash of romance. Maybe some people want to call this one a `dark urban fantasy,' and that's fine, if you like your vampirism pitch black without a drop of cream to sweeten the story.
Even though I was disappointed by the completely unromantic take on the vampires, I have to say that I was vastly entertained, in a sort of ghoulish, can't wait to see what horrible, disgusting thing happens next. I felt like a rubbernecker at the scene of a fatal car accident, and my eyes kept scanning quickly for the bodies under the tarps. I don't recommend this book for squeamish fans who like to read vampire-lite, or for anyone who wants to read about sexy, sympathetic vampires, because they won't be found here. Bledsoe's story is laced with evil, sexual depravity, and hopelessness; the guys on white horses don't win here.
I found the mid-1970's setting novel and retro, but the constant barrage of racial comments felt irritating after a while. It doesn't help that Rudolfo looks down on blacks, women, and all humans as vermin, but strangely he fits right in with all the racial tension portrayed in the story. The best moments of the book came when Rudolfo was educated about the music, movies, and technology of the 70s. When Rudolfo started questioning the lyrics for the song "A Horse With No Name," I almost laughed. Some stuff from the 70s is baffling, and having some stuck-up European blue-blood question it all was quite clever.
In the end, I didn't feel one drop of empathy for anyone in the story, save the hapless human victims. While this wasn't my favorite kind of story, it gave a good fright.
5.0 out of 5 starsNo Sparkles...... Thank you Bledsoe.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2017
A fun, fresh take on a genre that's been getting a bit too much *undeserved* attention these days.
The story centres around Baron Rudolfo Zginski, after being staked in Wales and awakes to find himself in Memphis 60 years later. He tries to understand the strange new world he now finds himself in, he reaches out to fellow vampires. Fresh faced baby newbies who have pretty much no idea of the powers they posses, hindered by false hollywood preconceptions. Together they all become embroiled in what looks like an insidious plot to wipe vampires out.