WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD by Stephen Lloyd Jones


From the "String Diaries" series, volume 2
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Leah Wilde, one of the last descendants of the hosszú életek, a mythic Hungarian clan with shape-shifting abilities, risks her life against dark forces in an attempt to save her widely scattered people from extinction.   

In The String Diaries (2014), the first book in this series, Leah and her mother, Hannah, were stalked in America by the monstrous Jakab, a rogue member of the clan. Only then did Hannah discover she had illegitimate blood ties to him. Fifteen years later, she heads up dangerous efforts to produce hosszú életek babies through blood infusions. Meanwhile, Leah confronts ruthless criminals who were banished from the sect to seek their help in the fertility program. The sequel moves between the present, in a variety of European locations—where an evil strain of body snatchers thirsts for fresh blood—and 1870s Hungary. There, an orphaned boy, Izsák, is forever scarred after his family is subjected to horrific punishment rites. He meets a girl, Etienne, who, like him, will leave a mark on the future. Few living writers of supernatural thrillers equal Jones' powers of imagination and overall vision. His first book spent so much energy setting up its premise that it ran out of plot and ideas. The far superior sequel is a complete success, both in narrative terms—it's a page-turner—and in evoking horrific movements in modern European history. There are a few too many cliffhanger-type chapter endings, but Jones delivers on their promise in dramatic, violent fashion.

A superior sequel, Jones' tale of a people struggling for survival is as emotionally compelling as it is frightening.

Pub Date: May 26th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-316-25448-9
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Mulholland Books/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2015


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