THE LIVING BLOOD by Tananarive Due


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Due follows The Black Rose (2000), a novel written from Alex Haley's posthumous notes, with this sequel to her gripping My Soul to Keep (1997).

Miami reporter Jessica Jacobs, married to David Wolde for six years, doesn't know that he's actually over 500 years old, having fathered many families and watched them die. David belongs to The Immortals, ruled by Khaldun, who since drinking the blood of Christ has gathered The Immortals about him by transfusing his blood into theirs. Only David knows Khaldun's secret ritual, which must accompany such a transfusion to promote not just relief from all illnesses but immortality as well. David disappears, shot dead by the police, but then rises from the Miami morgue and goes his way, leaving Jessica, whom he's made immortal, and their three-year-old daughter Beatrice behind. Beatrice has fantastic gifts. After drowning in a bathtub, she too rises from the dead, reborn as Fana at the behest of Khaldun, with whom she has a telepathic tie. At the same time, Jessica and her physician sister Alexis have gone to South Africa to set up a clinic where a serum made from Jessica's blood cures terminal illnesses among many children. Then the sisters try to hide out in Botswana. But their new clinic also becomes swamped. Meanwhile, a black market arises in the famous blood drawn from children Jessica cured. And Khaldun and The Immortals oppose Jessica's meddling with immortality. Will Jessica persuade The Immortals that The Living Blood can be used for the greater good of mankind? Will David return and help her?

My Soul to Keep is already underway as a film, and probably as a series. Clearly Due plans a third volume, focused most likely on Fana. This installment is enriched by its large cast of appealing characters tied by blood, and by its author's abiding humanity.

Pub Date: April 10th, 2001
ISBN: 0-671-04083-9
Page count: 518pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2001


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