Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Trade paperback: 384 pages
Release date: March 13, 2012
Series: Blood Singer #4
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Jenn
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository
Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.
Warned of a magical “bomb” at a local elementary school, Celia forces an evacuation. Oddly, the explosion seems to have no effect, puzzling both Celia and the FBI. Two weeks later, a strangely persistent bruise on Celia’s leg turns out to be the first sign of a magical zombie plague.
Finding the source of the plague isn’t Celia’s only concern. Her alcoholic mother has broken out of prison on the Sirens’ island; her little sister’s ghost has possessed a young girl; and one of Celia’s boyfriends, a powerful mage, has disappeared.
Cathy Clamp and Cie Adams are one of the best writing duos out there. They consistently deliver fantastic urban fantasy and paranormal romance, no matter what pseudonym they use, and THE ISIS COLLAR is yet another example of their wonderful storytelling abilities. Their fans will not be disappointed with THE ISIS COLLAR, the fourth in the Blood Singer series.
Last time I talked about the series, I mentioned how much I loved the nature of Celia's supernatural abilities and the love triangle between Celia, Bruno, and John Creede. I'm not going to talk about Celia's powers this time around but I *have* to comment on the love triangle because it's wonderful. I hate it when books throw in a love triangle for the sake of having a love triangle but I think they're fantastic when you can honestly picture the main character with either of his or her options. Thankfully, the Blood Singer love triangle is more like the latter: I can picture Celia with Bruno or John. Bruno's a great match because they've got a lot of history and have wonderful chemistry. Plus, he's proven his devotion (what with spending five years bleeding himself every day to make Celia's knives). But he tossed Celia aside when he thought he'd gotten someone pregnant and Celia's having a hard time trusting him in a romantic capacity. John Creede is shinier and newer. They've had some sexy moments and their chemistry is off the charts but Celia doesn't know him that well so she's inclined to take it slow, particularly since she's still learning about her abilities. Plus there's a lot of mystery with John, which may or may not be a good thing. Celia's legitimately torn between her two suitors, who also happen to have big respect for each other as mages. It's hard not to want to see more of this!
In terms of the non-romantic plot line, Celia is facing off against a different kind of enemy. She's got to deal with a magical virus, in addition to an unknown foe. And because Celia's afflicted with this mysterious plague, some of the other characters do the heavy lifting. It's a bit of a different image of Celia, since we're used to seeing her as strong and tough, but I think we can all agree that a necrotizing plague is enough to keep even the toughest heroine down.
I really liked the introduction of magical disease because I think it adds a whole new dimension to the world the authors have created. It feels like they push the boundaries of Celia's world just a little further with every novel and I love discovering all of the new elements in the series.
While I do wish the climax had been a little longer (it seemed like the big fight was over before it had begun), I thoroughly enjoyed THE ISIS COLLAR. There are a lot of layers to the novel that harken back to previous instalments in the series, though I think you could probably enjoy THE ISIS COLLAR as a stand alone if you don't mind reading books out of sequence. (The authors do a wonderful job of explaining existing relationships and past events without interrupting the narrative of the current book.) I strongly urge you to head out to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of this book. You won't be sorry!