Bloodstone – Nancy Holzner [Review]

Bloodstone coverBloodstone is the third book in the Deadtown series by Nancy Holzner.

Ace published Bloodstone on September 27, 2011. The story includes elements of romance, action, mystery, and fantasy.



Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.

As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of Holzner’s other Deadtown novels will enjoy this solid yarn.”


Jen’s Review of BLOODSTONE

I read Bloodstone because I have been working my way through the series to get to the newest book, Firestorm.

I know this is an old book, but on the off-chance you haven’t read it, here’s what I thought…

The Story

Bloodstone is a great addition to the Deadtown series.

The Plot

In Bloodstone, Vicky has a lot on her plate again. The book begins with Vicky working again as a demon exterminator. Soon, she gets caught up in another investigation into murders. She also has to deal with the continued absence of her roommate (accused of murder), the Old Ones who want immortality at her expense, a crazy Druid and his son who also want to use Vicky for their purposes, and the emerging powers of her young niece, whose mother wishes she could be a normal human so she won’t end up being stuck in Deadtown with the rest of the freaks. Meanwhile, the Humans First group uses the murders as fodder for their anti-paranormal claims, which lead to the Deadtown being locked down, despite no evidence that the murderer is a preternatural.

My Thoughts

Although there is a ton of stuff going on in the book, I never got confused. Everything fit together well and helped me see different sides of Vicky.

The story moved along very quickly. I couldn’t put the book down.

I suggest starting at the beginning if you haven’t read any of the books yet. Nancy Holzner gives enough backstory for readers to jump into the series, but I loved the other books so much that I think they should be read first. The world in these books is very realistic and well-developed. To really know everything to know about Deadtown, the political and social climate of Boston, and Vicky’s Cerddorian ancestry and mythology, you need to start at the beginning.

The Characters


Vicky Vaughn is the star of the series. She’s witty, tough, and dedicated to her family. I love her. She’s not too snarky. And she can be hurt, which makes her a believable character. I like that her shapeshifting abilities are limited. It makes her more human and less likely to take the easy way out of situations. If she shifts, she can heal, but she runs the risk of getting lost or going feral because she doesn’t think like a human when she’s in animal form.

In Bloodstone, Vicky spends more time communicating with Mab and her niece while she’s asleep. At first it seems like all the stuff Vicky does while asleep or when entering other people’s dreams isn’t very helpful unless she’s exterminating demons, but as the story continues these abilities become important.


Her boyfriend, Kane, is a lawyer who champions the rights of paranormals. I like him, but I don’t really feel any spark between him and Vicky. It almost seems like she is resigned to being with him. I’d like to see more passion between them.


Mab is Vicky’s aunt who lives in Wales. Vicky receives training from her. Mab has a lot of secrets that we begin to learn more about in this book.

Other Characters

Daniel is a cop who helps Vicky from time to time. He and Vicky used to be romantically interested in one another. Now, their relationship  is somewhat strained, for more than one reason.

Another main character who appears in every book is Tina. She’s an annoying, teenage zombie. Still, I enjoy her character because she adds another layer of complexity to the story as Vicky tries to figure out how to deal with her. Vicky doesn’t have the time or the patience, but doesn’t want to be mean to Tina either.

Vicky’s sister, Gwen, is not very likable, but I understand her desire to be normal. She gave up her shapeshifting abilities to become a mother. Now she worries that her daughter will have to go through the same things she did. Vicky tries to be diplomatic when dealing with her sister and tries not to step on her toes as a mother, but offers her support as an aunt. Mab could be a big help to Gwen’s daughter, but Gwen won’t hear of it because she hates Mab.

Holnzner did a good job of making the villains well-motivated and worrisome. Vicky can’t let them get away with what they are trying to do, especially if it hurts her friends or family.

The Writing

I don’t have a lot to say about Holzner’s writing. The flow, pace, structure, and word choices are all excellent in this story. I especially enjoy how she blends humor, action, and drama into one book without it being noticeable.

Do I Recommend?

Absolutely! I loved Bloodstone. It didn’t take me long to read this book because the story held my interest from start to finish.

If you like books about vampires, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, Druids, and other paranormal beings, you should read the Deadtown series (assuming you haven’t already).

Even though I’m not feeling the romance in Bloodstone, it doesn’t affect my opinion because that’s such a small part of the overall story. The main reason I adore the series is Vicky’s determination to do whatever she has to do to save people. She’s not perfect or indestructible, but she pushes forward anyway.

I recommend Bloodstone for the likable, well-developed characters and the entertaining mix of humor and action, tempered by some romance and family drama.

My Rating for BLOODSTONE: 5 out of 5 stars (A)


To find more urban fantasy reviews and recommendations, please visit our Urban Fantasy page.
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About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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