Tara Moss has long been one of my favourite adult crime authors, so when I heard she was moving into Paranormal fiction I let out a little (okay–a big) fan girl squeal. And Pandora English certainly doesn’t disappoint; she is such a delight.
Pandora has always been labelled the weird kid, seeing things and knowing things she really shouldn’t; and, in a small town like Gretchenville, doing stuff that gets you noticed for all the wrong reasons. Pandora sets off to follow her dream of working as a writer at a fashion magazine in fabulous New York, thanks to a generous offer from her Great Aunt Celia to come and stay. The only thing is that there’s something weird going on: for an elderly lady, Celia sure does seem young and spritely– and what’s with the veil she constantly wears? Also, the suburb they live in doesn’t appear on maps and no one has heard of it. Unfortunately, no one has explained the family history to Pandora, let alone the fact that out of a line of gifted women, she’s extra special.
The Blood Countess has a little bit of everything to get your heart pumping: crushes on century old ghosts, vampires with an obsessive need to count, villains guarded by zombies, and the unconfirmed goblin neighbourhood grocer. This is all backdropped by Pandora trying to make it in New York, and the conspiracy surrounding the latest greatest skincare product to hit the market.
I had trouble picking a favourite character from the two mains: both are well developed and very believable. The plot line flows along at just the right speed, leaving you holding your breath from chapter to chapter as the action and mystery unfold. Quite honestly, The Blood Countess has made it into my top 5 across all genres for the year; it’s fun, fresh and gripping, dark without any over-the-top morbidity. It’s a great good-versus-evil tale, and the fact that we are finding out the truth that hides in the darkness of night at the same time as Pandora made it all the more enjoyable.
The next book following Pandora’s adventures, The Spider Countess, is out 2011. All I can say is write fast Tara!
The very mysterious trailer
The Blood Countess – Tara Moss
1 November, 2010 by Pan Macmillan
Paperback, 394 Pages