The Secrets of Blood and Bone

Rebecca Alexander. Broadway, $15 ISBN 978-0-8041-4070-6
This awkward sequel to 2014’s The Secrets of Life and Death shares that volume’s strengths and weaknesses. Once again, the sections set in the past are much more compelling than those in the present. Edward Kelley, the real-life assistant to 16th-century necromancer John Dee, has traveled to Venice on a secret assignment, only to be robbed of his possessions almost immediately. He also manages to run afoul of the Inquisition, which suspects him of raising a demon that “feasts on children.” The modern-day plot lines, involving different types of vampires (sanguinary, energy, etc.), come across as dull and derivative; the major characters in those sections, Felix Guichard (an academic who has studied Dee and Kelley) and Jackdaw Hammond (a woman who’s survived an encounter with a sadistic serial killer), just aren’t as well developed as Kelley. Readers not invested in Felix and Jackdaw from the prior book may find themselves tuning out when these characters are in focus. Agent: Jane Willis, United Agents. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/27/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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