The Living Blood

April 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, )

bloodThe Living Blood by Tananarive Due


The Living Blood is the second in Due’s Immortal Africans series, and given the way My Soul to Keep ended, I expected the book to pick up right where the first ended. I wasn’t quite prepared for it to start slightly before the ending and carry us through the events of that ending in more detail. It’s almost like the prologue for this book was swapped with the epilogue for the first one, the way it all fits together.

The good news is that this isn’t a bad thing. My Soul to Keep ended in such a way as to suggest it was the start to a series, and The Living Blood shows us more behind Dawit’s culture, and how Jessica fits into modern society as a new part of that culture. It’s brilliantly paired with a single widower searching for Jessica as the miracle cure for his son, who is dying of leukemia. Due takes us through the heartache and turmoil of having a sick child, and having to make the decision to leave that child behind to find a cure, knowing he may die before he can return. It’s harrowing in a way that’s not usually seen in standard horror.

The story here is more expansive, and feels more epic, than My Soul to Keep. I enjoyed that book, but The Living Blood gives it more depth to make it more important, more significant. Soul looks at the idea of immortal Africans on a personal level, while Blood looks at it from a larger perspective. The two books together make a nice duology, which will make for interesting reading since there are two more books in this series.

Less horror and more dark fantasy, The Living Blood is an excellent continuation of Jessica’s story from My Soul to Keep. I can see this book appealing to a wide audience — horror readers, fantasy readers, even readers of alternate history — and it’s easy to see that its roots lie in horror, but Due rises above the tropes of the genre with this book. It even has hints of the scope of A Song of Ice and Fire, especially if she continues down the path she’s forged here. I’ll be an eager reader of the rest of the series.

Started: February 11, 2018
Finished: February 25, 2018

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