If you're interested in learning more about the previous three books in the series, you can read about all of them here. My review of the first novel, Matt Archer: Monster Hunter, is also there if you want to check that out too.
Now, back to Bloodlines!
BEWARE OF THIS SYNOPSIS FOR SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN.
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Matt Archer: Bloodlines by Kendra C. Highley
When seventeen-year-old Matt Archer set out on his last mission in the Australian Outback, he thought it would be like every other hunt.
Not even close.
After only two days on the ground, his best friend is possessed, a long-lost family member has returned and hidden truths have come to the surface. Add in a coven of witches bent on bringing about the end of the world and, well, this trip has started to suck. Badly.
As his power and strength continue to grow, so does Matt’s concern that he’s becoming more and more like the creatures he’s been charged to hunt: a monster.
Faced with some of his biggest challenges to date, Matt has to decide what he needs to protect most—his family, his team…or himself.
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
Now I'm seventeen, and the fault, a man once said, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Or in my case, my blood. Which is why I was chosen... and why I have to fight.
My name is Matt Archer. And I am my father's son."
This series just keeps getting better and better! The plot is fantastic, the character development is phenomenal, and the battle scenes actually seem realistic! Well, as realistic as they can be with Tink and Coach Shaw (the knife spirits) shooting Matt and Will up with their special brand of other-worldly mumbo jumbo. Oh, and then there's the witches. You can't forget the witches.
Bloodlines is probably my favorite of the Matt Archer series so far. All of the characters have come such a long way from the beginning of Monster Hunter, and I loved watching them change this whole time. Bloodlines shows us entirely different sides of many of the characters, and we even get to meet a few more special ones as well. While the end of Legend briefly (and I mean very briefly) introduced us to a very important new character, there are some other ones that we've never heard from before. Such as those witches I was talking about.
The novel is filled with the perfect twist of action, adventure, comedy, mystery, and that little bit of romance that I've come to love in this series, and I'm so glad the story is continuing. For some reason, while I was reading this, I had thought that it was the last book, and you have no idea how excited I am to be wrong! There's still one more left, and I'll definitely be reading it as soon as I can!
The novel starts up right where Legend left off, which is definitely a good thing because that was certainly a cliff hanger. Kendra C. Highley seems to have a habit of ending her books that way, but I'm very happy to report that this ending wasn't quite as nerve-wracking as the others. Kendra seems to have mastered the perfect balance between enough suspense at the end to keep the readers pining for the last book and substantial closure to make sure they don't want to tear the book in half at the end. Which would be kind of unfortunate for me because I was reading Bloodlines on my Kindle.
Probably my favorite part of the book were the new monsters, especially the bears at the end. I can't really tell you what they do, but I will let you know that it is equal parts amazing and heart-breaking. We saw part of that side of some of the other monsters in earlier books (I think it was with the Cats?), but it's so much stronger here. To say that the monsters have developed with each eclipse would be an understatement, and it's incredible to see what they're capable of now. I can't tell you any more than that, so you'll just have to read the book to see what I'm talking about! Trust me, it's worth it.
Probably the biggest surprise of the novel is the identity of the next shaman. I really didn't see that one coming (I was personally voting for him/her either being from China or Australia), but when I think about it, it really makes sense. I was definitely shocked, but I can't deny that it fits, and I really think that it furthers the story. Sometimes in books that I read, big reveals just kind of annoy me because all they're there for is the shock factor. That was certainly there with this next shaman, but I am completely convinced that the story is going to be better because of it. I just can't wait to see where it takes us.
"You know, just when I think you're this ultra-logical super-brain, you whip out some girlie sappy stuff and that picture is totally wrecked."
She gave me a pretty hard shove for a person whose idea of exercise was taking the stairs instead of the elevator at U of M. "I am a girl, silly. You and Brent may not notice, but guys on campus do."
I clutched my chest, feigning a heart attack. "If one of them ever touches you - even with your consent - I'm going to kill him with my bare hands. I'm completely serious."
Mamie laughed, but it sounded a little sad. "Don't worry. I'm saving myself for something special."
"The convent?" I asked hopefully.