Half the Blood of Brooklyn – A Joe Pill Novel by Charlie Huston
Published by Orbit and Out Now
He’s back. Actually Joe’s been back since I wrote the last review in February 2008. Now this might sound a little strange seeing as I enjoyed the last one so much. And you might be right but before I started blogging about books my usual way of reading was to always have the next one in reserve. The next one, Every Last Drop, has just been released so on this occasion I’ve fallen into my old habits and now I’m back to having Every Last Drop to look forward to.
Half the Blood of Brooklyn changes the game for Joe Pitt in lots of ways and from what I can tell none of them are that positive.
It seems a war is coming. Manhattan is getting crowded. New alliances are needed. So Joe Pitt’s next assignment is to escort someone over the bridge to Brooklyn to see a Clan called The Freaks. This is very much alien territory for both the series and Pitt.
Huston introduces another aspect of religion to the series which is a surprising twist for a series based on the fact that the Vampires here are infected with vyrus, which is seen as something that science can cure but at the same time seen by some as something that has a more spiritual base.
So there is a strange clash going on between science and religion. Pitt’s status quo is tested severely and he has some choices to make.
For a novel of 221 pages of mostly dialogue and sparse description it’s denser and more packed than novels of 3 or 4 times its size. Huston has a mastery of dialogue, storytelling and atmosphere that a lot of other writers could learn a lot form when creating lean and crisp prose.
I’m sorry that I waited so long to read this but the great news is that Every Last Drop is out now and I’m not waiting that long again before reading more Charlie Huston.
Reviews of the previous episodes in this wicked series:
Already Dead, Book 1
There are writers you slip into and writers you have to work at and Charlie Huston is as smooth as warm butter. I was hooked from the opening line, ‘I smell them before I see them’. That’s how we’re introduced to the Vampyre and P.I. Joe Pitt though he doesn’t have a licence and I don’t think they have a licence for what he does.
In this series opener, Already Dead, he has to find a missing girl who just happens to have very rich parents and likes hanging out in places where 14-yeard old girl shouldn’t go. He also has a mess to clear up. And people aren’t making it easy for him.
It’s a compulsive read. He’s created a believable underworld of Manhattan where Vampyre clans have carved-up the island and have ways of keeping their existence out of the sunlight. One of those ways is Pitt.
Huston doesn’t let up with the action but still manages to slip in moments of reflection from Pitt’s recent and not so recent history. For a blood feasting Vampyre Pitt has a quite a heart.
I sucked this book dry and I’m craving my next fix.
No Dominion, Book 2
You gotta feel sorry for Joe Pitt. He can’t seem to help finding himself in serious trouble. Out of blood and out of cash and being behind on the rent Pitt needs a job. Though being a Vampyre and a Rogue it can’t be a 9-5 gig. Unfortunately he’s in the wrong place and the wrong time and a job finds him and it involves a trip Uptown.
Carrying on from the sucked dry Already Dead Charlie Huston delves deeper into the Vampyre Clans on Manhattan. Huston keeps it simple. We see it all from inside Joe’s head as follows the trail set out in front of him. But Huston isn’t a simple storyteller not by a long shot. He’s created a deep, dangerous and moral man in Pitt and throws that up against the different Clans who are more establishment than Pitt likes getting close to. And Huston plays on this tension, as well as tensions from the hunger for blood and from his girlfriend who needs him a lot right now.
Huston is a master of set-up and pay-off even if the payoff isn’t what it first appears and in most cases isn’t a pay-off at all but another set-up. Something is about to go down.
I can’t wait to get my teeth into Half the Blood of Brooklyn, which happens to be out now from Orbit.
Promo of Every Last Drop, Book 4
After a year hiding out in the Bronx, Joe Pitt is given an assignment he can’t refuse. One Clan needs Joe to inform on another, but he’s playing them both while keeping his eye on the main prize: his girl Evie is on the Island somewhere and he’ll do anything to get her back. And in this case, ‘anything’ means coming face to face with the horrendous secret that lies beneath the Vampyre world. It’s a quest that will drive him to the heart of the two most perplexing mysteries of the Vampyre community: how were the Clans originally formed, and where do the powerful ones get all that blood? The search for the answer takes Joe to a dark corner of Queens, puts him face to face with a mythic and savage Clan, and leaves him in possession of a vision he’ll never scrape off his retinas – as well as a bargaining chip that redefines his place in the Vampyre universe.