Blood In, Blood Out is one of those novels that really strikes a chord. Its dark, unapologetic look at urban vampires trapped between the politically cutthroat world of the Kindred and social dynamism is profoundly and accuratly compared with the struggle for equal rights that has plagued America since the first slaves were shipped over from Africa.
Lucien Soulban immerses his readers in a world where loyalties ride the same fine line that keeps a vampire's Hunger at bay. Stark prose and unflinching dialog steeped in an honest urban portrayal make this novel a MUST READ, not only amongst Vampire and World of Darkness fans, but also as a powerful literary interest. The charactesr are very well thought out and detailed. Motivations are made clear and political backstabbing is met with a deep philosophical outlook as the main character struggles with who he was before The Kiss and who he is now.
For those who want to compare this with Greg Stolze's fantastic first novel...don't. They are two completely different animals (aside from the technical variants). While Stolze took one into the very minds of his characters from their own unique perspectives, Soulban gives us an outsider's glimpse into the underpinnings of Kindred politics and social avenues. He allows us to see The Invictus and The Sanctified as the Carthians may see them. This, in an of itself, is a great reason to read this novel. That it also masterfully captures the essence of the World of Darkness in a beautiful, literary fashion, seals the deal.
[5 of 5 Stars!]