Full Blooded is Carlson’s debut urban fantasy, and I really enjoyed it. Jessica McClain is the only female born into a pack of werewolves, and with the help of the Cain Myth, which declares she is evil, Jessica is feared among her kind, even those of her Pack. But Jessica has never been full blooded, until now. One night she wakes up in agony and goes through the change unexpectedly, kicking off a chain of events that change her life and those around her forever.
Jessica is dogged by a cop to the point of obsession, attacked by a werewolf intent on killing her, has to fight hordes of werewolves, vampires, and a sorceress. Finds her mate (a complete surprise to her, and to him), then loses said mate, all the while trying to figure out what’s happening to her. Poor Jessica. Life is well and truly complicated.
But, what it does show is Jessica’s resilience. There’s a lot more to her than just being the only female full blooded werewolf in the world. She can also do things that no other wolf can do; she’s stronger, can shift half way and still fight with strength. She is an enigma, which causes a lot of fear. Her life is now at risk more than it ever was before.
Luckily her father is Alpha of the Pack, which is one of the strongest sects in the world. Her brother is also an alpha and stands by her side through everything. I really enjoyed reading the dynamics between Jessica and her family and friends. They are really close but also squabble, making their relationships easy to believe and identify with.
Jessica is a fantastic heroine. I loved her as soon as I read the first page of the short prequel novella, Blooded, and continued to love her in Full Blooded. I enjoy her personality, her feistiness. She’s snarky but not overly so which is kinda refreshing, but there are many moments when I’m giggling at the things she says. She reads as naturally funny too rather than overly forced.
To be honest I can’t believe that this is a debut novel. It reads as though Carlson has been writing urban fantasy for years. I just love her voice. As well as the well-rounded, three dimensional characters, the world building is good too. Not excessively complicated but still has depth, which makes you feel as though you could be there. What I also liked was there was no info dumping. Carlson manages to explain a lot of the Pack politics through dialogue or from Jessica’s own thoughts, which made it less boring than it could have been.
Full Blooded is an amazing start to a new urban fantasy series. I love the author’s writing style and voice, and Jessica McClain is a cool heroine. I can’t wait to read more in the series and will be reading Hot Blooded soon. There is also a short novella, Blooded, which takes place seven years before this book, and it’s a fab way of introducing you to Jessica and her world. But you can easily just start with Full Blooded if you’d prefer.
Full Blooded has everything you could want from an urban fantasy. Great characters, plenty of action with some fantastic fight scenes, a little bit of mystery and a dash of romance. Basically this is a great read all round. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to find out what Jessica gets up to next. A great start to a new series.
Rating: 4 Stars
Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson
(Jessica McClain #1)
Orbit (Sept 2012)
Paperback: 322 pages