Blood In, Blood Out is the second part in the trilogy for Vampire the Requiem. It takes you out of Elysium and into the streets of Chicago, where it is even colder. A different type of law exists out there, one where civility isn’t found.
It still incorporates the same characters, but the main focus of the story is on a new character, Duce, and his struggle against the status quo of Chicago. Lucian Soulban is the writer for this book, and brings some interesting elements into the story. While his style differs slightly from Greg Stolz, it is easy to continue with the story where it stopped in the first book.
The book broke off slightly from the first book to focus on the new characters and problems that developed. Again, this book gives a great view of the ‘other side’ of the tracks in the World of Darkness. Not every coven is recognized by the Camarilla, and Chicago is a prime example of that. It tails the leader of the Carthians in the city, Duce, and how he is connected to Persephone, childe of Prince Maxwell. It also has a wonderful view on betrayal of covens, and how it comes about.
Some immediate problems I had with the book was I found myself not getting into the characters as much as the first book. The character that was supposed to have the reader relate too seemed a bit too distant for me. Even with the continuation of Persephone, the first books main character, it was hard for me to get into the story. I think the biggest problem was the first book left you with a cliffhanger that wasn’t even continued with the second book. The pacing of the book was another thing. It didn’t flow as well as the first book.
The language and alliterations in the book was also something to be desired. It makes many references to the Black Panthers and other organizations. This is not the problem, it’s the fact that it was littered throughout the book, and almost becoming preachy. While it is a great element to introduce this in a story, it almost seems like Lucian is putting the reader down for everything that has happened in the past. It made me feel like something you accidentally step in on the sidewalk, not a good feeling to take away from a book.
As a stand alone book, Lucian did a wonderful job keeping the life that was breathed into the existing characters when they were first introduced. The new characters in this book, Duce and his friend, took on a life of their own. They offer an outsiders view on Elysium politics and social order. The Carthians definitely have an outside view of the Invictus and Sanctified, and that comes out wonderfully in the novel. This is a great book, especially if you have read the first of the series (which I hope you have). This book is again, a great resource for anybody who is a storyteller. Take the time to appreciate the book as it is. Read it as a stand alone book, not as part of the series. Not only will you enjoy it more, you can take away more from the story as well.