Blood Born starts out as a horror mystery, where victims of rape in the Washington D.C. area are all impregnated and the gestation period is accelerated to the point where it is forty times faster than normal. In other words, these women will produce a full term baby within one week. The case is being handled by Detective Christina Randall and we are introduced to her and Margaret Connolly, the mother of one of the rape victims, who also happens to be a fertility specialist working for a local fertility clinic that also does genetic research.
As with any mystery, we are given hints and details as to the M.O. of the rapist as the due date on the first few victims draws near and it becomes clear fairly quickly that the rapist is not quite human. The pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together, but then the book took a dramatic change.
This tale becomes an entirely different type of horror novel somewhere between a third and halfway through, where monsters run rampant, annihilating everything in their path. The transition was jarring, to say the least, though I don’t necessarily mean that as a negative. But be forewarned that while the mystery continues to unravel all the way up until the end of this tale, it takes a backseat to the violent and graphic action that dominates the second half of this book.
This story has a flavor of a patient zero type apocalyptic tale, with a significant build-up to the point where all hell breaks loose. When it does break lose, the story turns on the afterburners and blasts ahead at a hundred miles an hour. The author does a solid job working to explain the science behind the beasts in the story, though I was left with plenty more questions about them and how they would co-exist with the rest of the world. That is the challenge with diving into the science of something like this-there are often a lot of questions that are difficult to answer vs. making the creatures in question a complete mystery.
Overall, this is a fast paced book with a lot of surprising deaths and plenty of gruesome action. With rape being a key part of the story, it probably won’t appeal to certain chunk of audience out there, but it is a well written scientific tale of horror. While I was expecting it to be a more subtle mystery throughout, when the gears shifted and story changed from that to an adrenaline fueled nightmare, I was able to adapt my expectations. The author keeps things moving at a good clip throughout and this was an easy and entertaining novel to read. I do sense that there is a distinct possibility of a sequel based on the ending, though this book can definitely be considered a stand-alone tale.
Blood Born can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Born-Matthew-Warner/dp/0979234638/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335452721&sr=1-3