I have been looking forward to this book for a really long time and signing up for this blitz organised by the very lovely Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours was a no brainer. As it’s a weekend blitz I’m taking part on both days because, well Zoë is an absolutely awesome person as well as a fantastic author and I really wanted to show my support for this book. Today I’m reviewing Blood Bank and tomorrow I have an excerpt and you really won’t want to miss that!
Benjamin is a programmer moonlighting as a security guard at Dystopia, a seedy club that caters to the down-and-outs, the desperates, the addicts. He’s been building his reputation, saving for a way out – but when he rescues a young woman from the nearby estate, he may just have stepped too far out of line…
Lucy is ordinary; a girl with a deadbeat boyfriend, a normal life and college studies. But when her world takes an odd twist, she starts to wonder about the people she’s meeting, the situations she’s in, the odd aversions and attacks happening around her. They’re just coincidences…aren’t they?
And Zack is in deep trouble. He’s losing his girlfriend, drowning in debt, and has dwindling job prospects – and that’s not the worst of it. His debt is to people who won’t ever forget it, and who want the things closest to Zack’s heart: his blood – and his life.
In the heart of Swindon, an ancient order hides in plain sight, spreading their influence through the streets like a disease. But despite their widespread power they are catching up with the modern world: the vampires are going online, and the Order is about to become more powerful than even they would have dreamed…
Zoë Markham told me absolutely ages ago that her next book was about vampires in Swindon. That was all she told me and that was enough to have me chomping at the bit. I love Zoë’s writing style, the way she teases you through the book and leaves you hanging where other authors would fill in gaps.
I sat down to read Blood Bank and immediately got pulled into the seedy underworld in Swindon. Unlike Zoë’s previous books this was aimed at a slightly older audience, definitely more new adult than young adult but it hits the mark and still sits firmly in the horror and paranormal genres.
Taking a unique twist on loan sharks, Zoë Markham has given us a character in Zack who is up to his neck in debt to the vampires. His only way to keep the interest off his debt is by giving blood. But he has no hope of ever clearing his debt, and if he runs away or kills himself his debt will pass to a loved one such as his girlfriend Lucy.
Lucy is sick of Zack, he’s become lazy, uninterested in anything, and now he’s dumped her in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Because that isn’t dangerous at all.
Then there is Ben who is a vampire, he works at the vampire club, but isn’t like most of the vampires, he’s solitary, a coder and prefers to be alone until he rescues a human and feels a connection that makes him go against the boss which could be lethal for him and her.
This is a short book, only 156 pages but a lot happens in those pages to keep you riveted to the page. As these three characters come closer together their stories weaving together the story becomes more terrifying the vampires in this story are not fluffy and sparkly. These are mean and terrifying vampires, the kind who will rip your head off for looking at them the wrong way. They are devious and clever, and not at all kind or sweet. Well with the exception of Ben maybe, who definitely seems to have a pinch of humanity in him.
We meet Zack at a point where he is utterly desperate, it’s hard to like him but it’s also hard to dislike him. I felt desperately sorry for him but he was in a deep hole which he had dug himself and getting out was going to be almost impossible. The problem was he was pulling Lucy into the hole with him.
Lucy is a strong young lady, the youngest character in the book but she in some ways is the strongest and full of gumption. She knows her own mind and is willing to stand up for herself completely.
Ben was my favourite character, because he was a vampire? possibly but I think because he was a little geeky and a little insecure but also had a strength that he didn’t like to show unless it was completely necessary. But when he did it was terrifying and enticing all at once. He was quietly brave and yet he makes some decisions which could make you question whether he is good or evil in the end.
Zoë Markham’s writing didn’t disappoint, as with her previous books, so many questions were raised around morality, mental health, and loyalty. Many weren’t answered directly leaving the reader to decide how this story pans out.
Another excellent offering from Zoë Markham which I enjoyed as much as I expected to! I’m really quite hoping for a sequel to this one.
About Zoë Markham
Mild-mannered editor by day, puppet-master of broken souls by night.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Blood Bank
Author: Zoë Markham
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Vampires | New Adult
Publisher: Kristell Ink
Publication Date: 25 May 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US