Blood Lines is the third novel in the Blood Books series. In previous novels, Tanya Huff has tackled vampires (obviously), werewolves, and demons, and in Blood Lines, she wanders into the realms of ancient Egypt and mummies.
In the slow-burn start to the book, a new sarcophagus is found by Dr. Rax, curator of the Royal Ontario Museum, and brought to Toronto. After a series of mysterious deaths, police officer Mike Celluci starts to believe that a reanimated mummy might be haunting the streets of Toronto. When he is pulled from the case, he asks Vicki to investigate on his behalf. Eventually Vicki pulls together the threads to realize that the people of Toronto are in mortal danger and time is running out for the mummy to be stopped.
I have to confess, this was my least favourite of the books so far. The plot takes a long time to get started properly — for a while it‘s too bogged down in the Egyptology — and the subplot concerning Henry and his fear of going mad because of his dreams is dull. I disliked the period in the book that Vicki spent in jail, since it had a huge effect on the pacing, and the ending was a bit of a letdown and a copout.
I didn’t enjoy the characters as much this time, either. Considering he is an all-powerful immortal who walks the night, Henry is incredibly whiny and vulnerable in this book. Mike is just annoying. And Vicki seemed once more pushed to the sidelines (as I felt she was in Blood Trail). Although she features in much of the book, she just isn’t growing as a character. She is merely reacting to those around her, and much of the spiky character that I enjoyed in the first book is absent. All we have now is a pushy and argumentative individual with little charm to recommend her.
And how I dislike her reactions to the two men in her life! For one thing, she is flitting between them (Mike by day and Henry by night) without a qualm or a pang of conscience. Henry declares his love for her, and she shrugs it off as a given — in fact, moans at him for even having said it. When Mike says he wants to discuss the love triangle situation they find themselves in, she considers him a pain in the ass for doing so. She is distinctly unlovable on these occasions.
I enjoyed parts of Blood Lines, and some moments were incredibly tense, but I found the overall plot less than entertaining and the relationships between the characters annoying. I’ll read on to book four, but I’m definitely less enamoured with this series than I once was.