Armintrout continues to impress with her plotting and characterization in the third installment of her Blood Ties series, and her use of Carrie's first-person point of view works even better than before. Readers who appreciate a touch of humor with their gore should love this -- but at least read book two first, because the recap's a bit sketchy.

After a month apart, Dr. Carrie Ames and her lover, renegade vampire hunter Nathan Grant, have greater concerns than their romantic woes. Carrie's first sire, Cyrus Kendrick, hasn't forgiven Carrie for the demise of his beloved, and Cyrus may be the key to finding his father, the Soul Eater.

On top of that, the headquarters of the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement has recently been destroyed by the Oracle, a centuries-old vampire. The Oracle has a serious and bloody agenda -- one that may include a dark pact with the Soul Eater. With the Movement in disarray, it falls to Carrie, Nathan and their friends to stop her -- if they can.

(MIRA, Aug., 384 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer