This feels like Not a Real Review because “Blood Song” is a short prequel to Robert Mullin’s series that starts properly with “Bid the Gods Arise.” Why didn’t I do that instead? “Blood Song” was free for Kindle as a promotion that I only found out about because we have some internet acquaintances in common.
This story is serviceable. That’s about all I have to say about it.
It has decent cover art, which is a vast improvement over a lot of tiny publishing houses. I can’t quite say the same about the font choices, but decent art for iffy font seems like an okay trade-off.
Uh, here, look at this Amazon review:
That is a succinct and relatively accurate summary, but I quibble on whether Mullin can write female characters all THAT well. Yeah, he avoids a lot of oblivious mistakes that a lot of dude writers do when writing women characters, but if you were to compare him with Ursula K. Le Guin or Margaret Atwater….
Well, that’s pretty unfair because both of those authors have been writing for decades longer than he has, and also they have lived experience of being women.
Basically, the theme of this story is about Dania’s urge to survive in the face of exploitation. But a lot of the psychological aspects aren’t really delved into, and that missed opportunity is what puts this in the “serviceable” rather than “good” category.
Mullin had one good observation about the difference between deception and betrayal, but there was plenty of room for more stuff like that, like the difference between seduction and survival sex. Yeah, book blurb, it’s pretty gross to imply that sex within such a power differential is “seduction.” Just no.
Also I found out he’s done “research” on the mokele-mbembe cryptoid, and that just makes me think he’s even more whitebread and dorky than my internet-acquaintance had lead me to believe. I have this inexplicable urge to steal his lunch money. But at least I get to make a Mikakunin de Shinkoukei reference?