Blood Kin (Blood Lines)
by Maria Lima
Review by Gayle Surrette
Pocket Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781439156766
Date: 27 October 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Keira Kelley completed her Change as a result of her near-death experience in Blood Bargain. She's years early and has her full powers, along with a fear that she might hurt someone if she's not trained in their use. So, she's being called back to the family compound north of Vancouver. Keira knows she has to go, but while her brother Tucker will travel with her along with his lover Nico, her lover, Adam will remain behind. Wouldn't it be great if that was the worst problem she had to deal with? But you know it's not.
Keira has come into her full powers early. She'd expected to become a shapeshifter just like her brothers. To her surprise and horror, she got all the powers and is the Kelley heir. Luckily, Gigi, the Kelly matriarch, is healthy and in no danger of turning power over the Keira. But Gigi has requested, which translates to ordered, Keira to come to the family compound north of Vancouver.
Keira thinks that the worst part of this is being separated from Adam Walker, her vampire lover, since he can't accompany her. Since her brother Tucker and Adam's second Nico will go with her, she'll have to accept Adam's decision. Then her Sidhe cousin on her mother's side, Daffy dap Geraint, decides he must come with her. Since you can't argue with a Sidhe determined to do something, he's added to the party.
So, more people to travel with, that's not so bad. Then there are strange calls from her father and aunt, no communication with the compound, a storm that keeps them from flying to the compound and stopping in Vancouver until it clears, a missing Sidhe, and a number of deaths among the homeless during a folk festival. Keira is up to the end of her tether in conundrums and weirdness. What's happening and who is involved is something she and her merry band of travelers must discover.
This is Lima's third installment in the Blood Lines series. With each book the world gets richer in texture and detail. Keira, our main point of view character, has been developing and growing with each book. Her powers may be growing but they have limits and there is a cost to their use. This is no escalating series where the level of power, danger, and opponents grows exponentially with each book. The rules were set in book one and they still hold strong, keeping the stories grounded so that readers can believe in the world between the pages.
Blood Kin is true to its title in many ways. While Keira is on a quest to get the blessings of her matriarch and training for her powers, the book is really about family -- kin. We all have families -- the ones we're born to and the ones we make for ourselves. Keira comes from a huge extended family of Kellys. However, she also is half Sidhe and her memories of her early childhood among the Sidhe are not pleasant ones. How do you relate to kin when you don't like them? Can you turn your back? Must you always do as your elders tell you? What are your responsibilities to your kin -- older and younger, beholden and in service to you, related but barely known? Lima manages to tell an interesting mystery while dealing with many of these issues.