Book Review: Dark Blood (Dark Blood Saga Book 1) by Caleb James

Miles has been warned his whole life by his grandmother never to use his healing gift, and when he ends up using it to heal a terminally ill cancer patient, he finally understands why. Miles and his best friend/crush both end up in a tangled situation when they discover the horrifying truth about Gerald Stangl, an esteemed doctor, and his son---they want Miles's gift, and they're willing to do anything and everything it takes to get it.

Book Review: Dark Blood (Dark Blood Saga Book 1) by Caleb James | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, thriller, lgbt
Title: Dark Blood
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 313
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

I think I can summarize my feelings about this book in two sentences:

Number one, it turns out books with medical-based aspects are not for me because the medical stuff and the experiments just disturb me too much, but that’s not the fault of the author, just my personal taste.

And number two, this book had a really good framework, good bones—whatever you want to call the heart of the story—but I had a couple issues with the execution, mostly with the POVs, that weren’t unforgivable but simply made it hard for me to really sink into the story.

But to explain a little more in-depth…

I did have an ARC, so further editing may have been done before the final product was released, but even if the POVs had been separated better, there were still too many jumps. It was all third person, so maybe it was meant to be omniscient, but having a few paragraphs in one character’s mind, then a few in another character’s mind, then back to the first character’s mind only prevents me from being able to get deep into any of the characters’ minds. Sometimes it stayed in one POV for a while, but sometimes it changed mid-scene, and that’s just not something I like because it’s jarring to me.

The other POV issue I had was that some of the POVs seemed unnecessary. I didn’t feel like I got anything from Antoine’s, Anna’s, Jenna’s, or the detective’s POVs that I couldn’t have easily gotten from one of the main characters, and I think the story would have been tighter and more gripping for me without those. Same for some of Tomas’s stories. Again, not a terrible thing, but still something that kept me from being able to really get into the story because it slowed down the pace.

However, as I said, the story itself was good. The backstory and premise were well thought-out, and the plot worked well. Plus there was a supernatural aspect. I also liked the bit of romance, even if a couple parts did feel a little rushed. And if you are into medical/science aspects in books (e.g. people strapped to tables and experimented on), you’ll probably appreciate that too.

And even though I was rooting for Miles and Luke to win, I found Gerald and Calvin, the antagonists, to be really interesting. As messed up and twisted as he was, I actually felt bad for Calvin when I thought about his situation. He wasn’t even 18, so he couldn’t leave, and his father was a highly respected man, so no one would have ever believed him had he tried to get help. And growing up the way he did would screw up anyone. His psychology, the way his situation obviously affected him, and his delusional “love” were fascinating to read about. And a part of me even kind of almost felt bad for Gerald too since he was also affected by his father and the horrible things he experienced—except he was a grown man and could’ve easily chosen to stop, hence the almost.

So overall, even though I had issues with the POVs, I think the story itself was a good one, and anyone who does enjoy a medical/science aspect to their supernatural thrillers will likely enjoy it more!


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  1. Lola

    You know how low my tolerance for gruesome stuff is and medical gruesome stuff and experiments are one of the things I don’t deal with well. That alone tells me this is probably not a book for me.

    It does sound like the book had a good basis, but that’s a shame you weren’t fully able to enjoy it. Those pov switches can feel jarring indeed, I’ve read a few books that were omnipotent that worked for me, but usually I prefer either clearly separated multiple points of views or only one. I wonder why the author added the extra point of views as they do sound a bit unnecessary and like they just slowed down the pace and made it harder to get into the story of the main character.

    I can enjoy reading parts from the villain point of view, but it really depends on how the villain is written. If I can still feel a bit sorry for them or understand why they act I probably find it more interesting. Other times it can give another insight which can work. If it’s a pure vil villain who just does bad things I rather skip that, especially when it’s getting gruesome. Villain point of view scan be well written and add something to the book sometimes. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It wasn’t really that gruesome, you know I don’t have a problem with gruesome, it was just the medical aspect. People being strapped to tables, experimented on, even just locked in a psych ward and given drugs and sedatives against their will—those were the things I couldn’t handle. So as it turns out, I do have a limit and there are some things that disturb me too much lol.

      As I said, the POV issues weren’t unforgivable, but I do think the book could’ve been *better* or easier to get into, at least for me, had there been less jumps and some of them cut.

      Yeah, I mean, the villains were one of my favorite things about this book since their minds were interesting. It is usually more interesting when you can understand why the villains are the way they are. I mean, the father was pretty evil, but the son was more just psychologically screwed up, and understandably so, rather than evil. Thanks 🙂

  2. Ashley G.

    Gah! I can’t stand it when the POV characters are separated with scenes. It’s so confusing. Medical books are really hard to read sometimes! It just depends how much terminology is thrown in for me, because I can’t understand most of it. Good review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I just prefer to stay in one character’s POV throughout a whole scene so that I can really get into it better. But it wasn’t that there was too much medical terminology, it was that people were strapped to tables, experimented on, the MC was locked away and given drugs against his will, etc., and I just couldn’t deal with all that, it made me too uncomfortable. Thanks 🙂