cover image Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges

Kathleen Tierney. Roc, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-451-46501-6

The first urban fantasy title (and first publication under the Tierney name) for Caitlín R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl) brings an engagingly fresh perspective to well-trod territory. A gory whirl through numerous graveyards and the seamier parts of contemporary Providence, R.I., introduces readers to narrator Siobhan Quinn. Though Quinn is quick to denounce “Young Plucky Vampire Hunters” and “those trashy ParaRom paperbacks,” readers could be forgiven for putting her in the same category at first: she hunts “nasties,” supernatural creatures like ghouls, vampires, and werewolves. Then a werewolf and a vampire both bite her in the same night and she becomes a “nasty” herself, forcing her to adapt, improvise, and reconsider her allies as she searches for answers and vengeance. Quinn is queer, foul-mouthed, a formerly homeless ex-junkie, and a well-read high school dropout, and her idiosyncratic and thoroughly compelling voice will hook urban fantasy readers right away. Colorful side characters and a fully realized setting make this fast-paced series opener well worth checking out. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Feb.)