Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Blood of Eden

Blood of Eden (Sloan Skye - Book 1) by Tami Dane

Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Pages: Paperback, 344pp
ISBN-13: 978-0758267092
ISBN: 0758267096

(Received for an honest review from Kensington)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Tami Dane on the WEB: website, facebook

Excerpt from Blood of Eden (Amazon Look Inside Feature)


This mind-blowing new series introduces Sloan Skye, an ambitious intern at the FBI's paranormal unit, where the usual rules of crime fighting don't apply...

Sloan has a sky-high IQ, a chaotic personal life, and a dream: to work for the FBI. Her goal is within reach until an error lands her with the FBI's ugly stepchild: the new Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. She'll get to profile criminals, but the pool of suspects is a little more... diverse. Yet even as Sloan tackles her first case - a string of victims, all with puncture wounds to the neck - she can't silence her inner para-skeptic.

To catch the killer she'll have to think like one. That means casting aside her doubts, and dealing with bizarre nightmares that started with the job. But the strangeness is only the beginning, as Sloan pieces together the shocking truth about a case that's more personal than she ever would have guessed.


Blood of Eden is the first book in Tami Dane's new Sloan Skye urban fantasy series. As usual with a first book in any series, this one needs a little grace. The premise is interesting and there are some good ideas, but I think they lost a little bit in translation in a manner of speaking. This is one of those books you really want to like, but it makes it difficult. 

There are things that I liked about Blood of Eden and some things that I had a hard time with. When I read the blurb on the back I was expecting the PBAU (Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit) to have in some small way an X-files kind of feel to it. And it did to some extent. I liked the whole premise of Sloan being set to start as an intern with the FBI and ending up stuck in a unit that she doesn't completely believe in or accept. That idea has tons of potential, but then things start to slide down hill a little bit. 

Ever been an intern? If you have you'll understand my problem. When interning with any kind of commercial business or company, a publishing firm or in this case the FBI, there is one common denominator... Intern is another word for go-fer. Go for this or go for that. It's not a glory job. Even though Dane writes this up as a completely new unit and Sloan as a very intelligent woman who mistakenly ends up in the unit, it is not conceivable than an intern would have as must control as an agent. 

Sloan is a natural fit for the FBI. She's smart, determined and a little on the nerdy side, which I totally loved, but nobody walks into a place with an established routine and chain of command and steps to the head of the line without any experience or training. So that kind of set me off on the wrong foot with this one (I have been an intern btw). But as I said, I'll give it a little grace because now that we have the set up, Sloan will have a case under her belt with the start of the second book. So, that will be slightly more believable.

Sloan is a great character and I thought Dane did a great job of developing her. She comes across as a very forthright person. No-nonsense. Very intelligent, with a kind of nerdy side that was appealing. She has a family that has a few quirks, including her mom who's a nut job LOL! I loved the way that Dane really brought out Sloan's personality and balanced her personal issues against her professional ones in this book. There is a lot of potential in this area as well. Sloan is the kind of character that will be able to pull of story lines involving her career and her home life.

Unfortunately, that's where another problem with this one came in for me. Sloan was very well written. Her mother was quirky and interesting and the two guys who are interested in Sloan had their moments, but the rest of the supporting cast of characters were lacking. They were very one dimensional and not memorable at all. Characters like the FBI chief were so flat I had a hard time remembering his name. But again, I'll give it some grace and hope that Dane will begin to add some details that let the reader know more about these other players in subsequent books.

As with any first book in a series, there was a lot a set up that was necessary to give this series a start and for the most part it worked in Blood of Eden. The case that Sloan is working on is also a set up for the kinds of cases that the PBAU will be working with. I thought Dane gave readers an interesting take on vampire mythology and used it well with this book. I liked that fact that it took Sloan a little while to believe the un-believable. As readers we have become accustomed to believing somewhat in vampires and werewolves and that sort of thing, so this was an attitude you might expect from a real person, so that was refreshing in my opinion. 

As you can see there were ups and downs with this book, but certainly not anything that can't be worked on. There is a lot of potential in this series and the premise is sound. I think Dane's second in the series will probably be a much more well rounded book and I am definitely going to give it a try. It takes a lot to turn me against a good writer and Tami Dane is a good writer. Never judge a series by the first book (wink)...

Like I always say, get a copy and let me know what you think. What might not be my cup of tea, might be just what the doctor ordered for you!

Blood of Eden is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 3 out 5 apples from my book bag!

Tami Dane is rarely seen in anything but black sweatpants and hoodies, unless she's in historical garb. And when she's not stomping around in mud, bedecked in velvet and lace, or working on her latest sewing project, she has her head buried in a book or eyes glued to her computer monitor. Not only does she love sewing. She also loves writing.