Blood Born by Matthew Warner

After reading a brief synopsis and a few reviews, I was optimistic about this book and excited to read it. It didn’t turn out as I’d expected it to, but we’ll get to that shortly. The tale begins with a teen girl, Daniella, raped by what appears to be a bigfoot type creature. She is found battered and bruised and taken to the hospital. There, it becomes clear that she is pregnant, and a rapidly accelerating pregnancy at that. She is taken to a special ward where a number of other pregnant women who have been also raped by bigfoot are kept. The first part of the book focuses on the search for a single rapist. The situation escalates as it is revealed that there is not just one rapist bigfoot, but hundreds. The attacks increase as they use fertile women to propagate their species. Full gestation takes a week. Then a little bigfoot is born and devours the mother. That is pretty much the plot in a nutshell. The old cliché of the police state government comes out as they attempt to contain the spread by force.

The major characters are Margaret, Daniella’s mother, who is a doctor at the creepy clinic where, unbeknownst to her, the first bigfoot was bred. Then there is Christina Randall, a female detective. Randall is a likeable character, despite the constant mentions of how tired she is. We get it, she’s tired. Margaret’s constant inner and outer dialogue about finding Daniella gets old very quickly too. They are fairly one-dimensional. The male characters are bland and pretty interchangeable apart from the obnoxious cop, Baker, who adds a little color to the proceedings.

Most of the book is either a bigfoot rape or a game of cat and mouse between law enforcement and the bigfoots. The cycle is repeated over and over and the repetition gets dull. There isn’t much tension and it’s hard to care about the characters. Rape is so grotesque, but the impact is not felt. Where someone like Edward Lee would really take it over the top, they are too matter of fact in this book. As the plot develops, it turns out that the bigfoots are the result of a typical mad scientist, but we never see enough of him. It’s a shame, as he would have been the most interesting character by far. Unfortunately, the descriptions of the bigfoots immediately gave me a mental picture of Harry from Harry and the Hendersons, which is not very scary at all. There was very little gore other than the feeding habits of the baby bigfoots, and that was not in any great detail. The book didn’t hold my attention and I think it would have worked better as a short story. It came across as drawn out with too much filler. Despite all the plodding in this book, the end is wrapped up far too quickly. Our main players discover a way to lure bigfoots and by the next page, the government has used that method to end the threat. Due to the way the book ended, I imagine that a sequel may be on the way. Unless the story gets a whole lot better, I’ll be giving it a miss.

4/10

Book Cover Blurb:

When a rapist stalks the nation’s capital, Detective Christina Randall tries to keep an astounding clue from going public: all the victims become pregnant. The latest victim is teenager Daniella Connolly. Her mother, Margaret, is a doctor at CalPark Fertility Clinic. But Margaret can’t fathom the bizarre conceptions, either. Isolated in a special hospital ward, they all come to term in just one week. Randall learns the rapes are connected to a series of missing-person cases. When a young woman disappears near CalPark — also home to a secretive research lab — suspicion falls on Margaret.
But soon, the rapist returns to claim his progeny. He is not really a he — but an “it.” Worse, the children have appetites just like papa’s. …

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