Best Fantasy Books: Blood Rock by Anthony FrancisBy
Title: Blood Rock
Author: Anthony Francis
Release: July 2011
Genre: Urban Vampire
Dakota Frost is a skindancer- meaning she is someone who can make her magical tattoos dance out of her body to act and protect her. It is a handy ability to have in the Atlanta that she inhabits, filled with vampires, werekin of all kinds and so much more. She needs it sometimes just to stay alive and in this second installment in the series we find she has to get pretty creative with those magical tattoos. I jumped into this book without reading the first in the series and had no trouble but I have to admit that now I want to go back and read the first one. His world is just that good.
Dakota is one tough cookie, she can do all kinds of martial arts and kills when she has to without much regret. But I love the fact that we also see the soft side to her when she decides to adopt a little weretiger that is a foundling. The love between the two is obvious and Anthony Francis handles this part of the story with such grace that it makes the character all the more fascinating. When you add in that Atlanta seems to be having problems with magical graffiti that is killing vampires, that Dakota’s relationship with the law in the form of the local police seems to be getting rocky despite her family history of both a Dad and Uncle on the force and she is finding herself dating a vampire – well life is complicated for this gal.
The scenes of her and vampire Calaphase on a date are like nothing I have ever read. Her protective instincts when little Cinnamon is threatened are amazing. But the best scenes by far are when she needs to pull out those tattoos to protect either herself or someone else. Anthony Frances is careful to make his explanations seem within the realm of possibility without going into so much detail we lose the thread of the story. It is just plain intelligent writing of a carefully thought-out world with a dynamic and intelligent woman at the center it.
How she manages to find out who and what exactly is creating these deadly living pieces of graffiti – so like her own tattoos and yet so much more deadly – and why they are killing the vampires of Atlanta is just one part of a great story that will have you sitting up late at night to just read a little further. I know that is what I did, and couldn’t stop reading even if it was 3AM. The story telling in Blood Rock is addictive and the characters are all fascinating.