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Monday, May 21, 2012

Bloodborne Too Bogged Down With Plot/Character/Writing Issues

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Reclusive Dr. Erin Cross, the 29-year-old scientist in charge of research and development at Timpanogos Research Industries in Lehi, Utah, lives an uneventful life.  She works, she reads, she does little else.  Until an ordinary lunch at her favorite deli goes horribly awry.  When a shooter bursts into the restaurant, Erin assumes it's random violence.  That assumption melts when she discovers the lab where she works has been locked down and her townhouse has been ransacked.  Someone's trying to get to her.  The question is who?  And why?  

Erin's terrified, but has no idea to whom she can turn.  She has few friends, none of whom she's willing to put into danger.  There's only one person she can think of who could possibly help her—Sean Flannery, the ex-Marine who took on the shooter at the deli.  Before she knows it, she's on the run with the handsome, enigmatic Sean.  He makes her feel safe and maybe something more.

As the two of them try to figure out who's behind the threats and violence toward Erin, a greedy virologist is up to no good on a remote island in Hawaii.  Can Erin and Sean figure out what's going on in time to stop Dr. Krantz, saving the lives of a small group of indigenous people, or will their own lives be snuffed out by a powerful organization bent on ruling the world?

In general, I like medical-type thrillers and one set in Utah—which seems (though maybe just to outsiders) to be the most placid place on Earth—sounded especially intriguing to me.  Unfortunately, Bloodborne by Gregg Luke just ... isn't.  The story could have been very compelling, but it gets bogged down by cliché characters, contrived situations, plot holes the size of Alaska, and a whole lot of telling vs. showing.  If I hadn't been reading it for the Whitney Awards, I would have put Bloodborne down without reading past the first chapter.  Sad, but true.  

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a lot of MICRO by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston and a little of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown)

Grade:  C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Bloodborne from the generous folks at Covenant Communications via the Whitney Awards Committee.  Thank you!    

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