The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer (Ava Sykes, #1)

The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer (Ava Sykes, #1)
Kim Falconer

Reviewed by:
On 18 November 2016
Last modified:11 October 2016


An interesting premise, but some of the worldbuilding could have been swapped out for relationship building.

The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer (Ava Sykes, Book 1)An interesting premise, but some of the worldbuilding could have been swapped out for relationship building.

An advance reading copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher.

Vanja Joannidis is passionate, high energy and completely obsessed with finding the next ‘best book I’ve EVER read’. Her lifestyle blog, Vanya Says So, has been published by Huffington Post, and she is now embarking on a new journey to become a published author herself. Vanja loves books with strong female characters that reiterate the importance of girl power, but most of all she loves books with a happy ending, because there is already enough drama in everyday life! @vanyasaysso1 | FB | IG | YT | P

I will tell you that I’m very happy this was not a book about vampires!

All the signs pointed to it — the name, the story, the book cover — but I was pleasantly surprised that we have new mystical creatures roaming the streets of New LA. Yes, New LA.

This is a dystopian story that takes place several years after the ‘Big One’ in LA. The last and biggest earthquake in LA, which changes the city’s topology. What was once marina-side properties are now well and truly under water.

This story is about Ava Sykes, a university student studying immunology and blood mutations to determine her biological background and how to treat her very unique immune disorder. She was orphaned during the big one, and through luck, meets an LAPD detective who takes her under his wing and teaches her martial arts, which she uses in her day job — or I should say night job — as a club bouncer.

Life is tough for Ava, who is supporting herself financially through uni, but her luck suddenly turns when she is headhunted to work a well-paid job as security at the hottest club in town, Poseidon.

It isn’t until her second night at the club when things take a turn for the very dangerous. Ava accidentally ventures into the VIP area of Poseidon, where it seems that humans are on the menu.

Afterwards, her charismatic boss explains the scene away as simply a visual stunt. On her way home that night, Ava is attacked and ends up in hospital where she is desperately trying to understand what is happening to her and what it really was that she witnessed at the club.

Honestly, I wasn’t crash hot reading the start of this book, mainly because I was dreading the fact that I was reading yet another vampire story. But it turns out that there are other creatures ruling the world, and with that I opened myself to the story.

This is the first book I have ever read by Kim Falconer [ T | F | W ]. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness of this story.

The things I liked were New LA, the uniqueness of the creatures in this book, and the ultimate girl power in Ava.

I really like how Ava’s imperfections are actually her perfections and her strengths. The character-building comes complete circle by the end of the book, and you realise how all her flaws work to actually aid her.

As for the book’s flaws, I understand that this is the first book in the series, but I really didn’t like the long, drawn out worldbuilding that went on throughout the whole book. I get it — LA’s topology has changed…let’s move on to the actual story.

I also would have liked to have some type of a love interest. There were several possibilities, but none were even hinted to as an actual emotional tie to Ava. I find it highly impossible that out of three, as-described drop-dead handsome men, Ava didn’t think of one of them as a potential relationship.

In my opinion, some of the worldbuilding could have been swapped out for relationship building.

I would read the second book just to see what happens next, but I’m really hoping that Ava finds someone she ‘trusts’ to start a relationship with as I think that could make things really interesting.

Content advisory: Lacks romance!

You can find an extract of the book here. Published by Harlequin.

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One comment

  1. merriank says:

    Read this based on your review. Loved the newness of how this UF heroine was created and lived her life. Loved that as a uni student she really studied and was passionate about her goals. Also she had friends and valued her ex. No speshul loner status as she gave back to her comminity in volunteering. I’ll read next to see how story unfolds

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