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P. 1
Hellbent

Hellbent

Ratings:

3.97

(76)
|Views: 822|Likes:
BAD TO THE BONE Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths.  Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?From the Trade Paperback edition.
BAD TO THE BONE Vampire thief Raylene Pendle doesn’t need more complications in her life. Her Seattle home is already overrun by a band of misfits, including Ian Stott, a blind vampire, and Adrian deJesus, an ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen. But Raylene still can’t resist an old pal’s request: seek out and steal a bizarre set of artifacts. Also on the hunt is a brilliant but certifiably crazy sorceress determined to stomp anyone who gets in her way. But Raylene’s biggest problem is that the death of Ian’s vaunted patriarch appears to have made him the next target of some blood-sucking sociopaths.  Now Raylene must snatch up the potent relics, solve a murder, and keep Ian safe—all while fending off a psychotic sorceress. But at least she won’t be alone. A girl could do a lot worse for a partner than an ass-kicking drag queen—right?From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Publish date: Sep 6, 2011
Added to Scribd: Dec 15, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780345520630
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mlleehreen reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I was thrilled when HELLBENT came up on Netgalley because I read BLOODSHOT, the first book in the Cheshire Red series, and I enjoyed it, but I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to continue with the series. I figured a free read of HELLBENT would answer all my questions but it didn't, really. HELLBENT has all the same pros and cons as BLOODSHOT, in almost exactly the same quantities.

The pros: It's clever, entertaining and smart. The twist at the end, especially, let me shut HELLBENT with a big smile on my face. I like the motley cast of characters. And I like Raylene, a neurotic criminal with a surprisingly soft heart.

The cons: It's wordy (Raylene's inner monologues go on and on and on) and while Priest sets up a lot of conflicts that have the potential to ratchet up into some really scary, heart-in-the-throat moments, they don't. I never feel like Raylene is really in peril; she's prudent and competent, and when she's caught off-guard the threat never turns out to be half as scary as she herself is.

Here's an example of the wordy inner monologue: "Adrian had called a cab and it was waiting for us downstairs. We could've driven and left the car at the airport -- but if he wanted a cab, that was fine with me. Besides, parking at SeaTac is nothing short of extortion. So in retrospect, good on Adrian for thinking of it, especially since we expected to be gone for several days at the very least." - it's not that I mind the running patter, I find Raylene to be an interesting and intelligent narrator, and her chattiness gives us constant proof of her OCD nature, but that example is typical. It takes a paragraph to call a cab. And it takes many, many paragraphs to get anything significant done.

So the pacing is pretty slow, but, and to give Priest credit, sometimes the attention to detail results in brilliant little gems, like her description of solar-powered lawn lights at a vampire's house, "one every few yards, on both sides. That had to count as irony in some universe, right?" It's exactly the kind of detail that a less obsessive compulsive vampire narrator would miss, and that would be a shame.

So I'm finishing HELLBENT on the fence. I was pretty frustrated with the wordiness and also with the low tension level, but I was also happy to spend time with Raylene and her crew, and the writing is smarter than the average. I'd say this is a 3.5 star book and usually I round based on whether or not I think I'll read another book by the author. I'm not sure the answer is yes, but I wouldn't avoid one, so...four stars it is.
purlewe reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Vampires and drag queens? Yes please! Cherie Priest has a great way of writing that I enjoy. Yes, it is fluff, but it is good fluff.
jeremypreacher reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I am not going to try to claim that this is a Serious Novel, but for urban fantasy it's just fantastic.

I have a serious weakness for brilliant, neurotic women, and Cheshire Red fits that description perfectly. The writing style is extremely chatty - it may as well be a series of Cherie Priest's blog posts. (I love Cherie Priest's blog possibly more than her books, so that works perfectly for me.) Direct asides to the reader, fashion digressions, defensive explanations of Red's OCD, etc - I love it all.

And that's before we get to the actual story, which is entertaining and moves the worldbuilding along nicely, but mostly serves to showcase the various awesome secondary characters - most notably the ex-Navy SEAL/drag queen, who is the best sidekick EVER, but also the schizophrenic rocket scientist/magician, various vampires, precocious and adorable waifs, and the kitten. I love the kitten.

I would cheerfully recommend this to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy/vampires, and really anyone who's interested in some funny, light reading.
jbronderblogs_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Raylene’s little family is growing, including their problems. Ian’s house just lost the leader, Ian father. Now Ian’s brother Max is trying to get him to come back to the house and run it or publicly announces that he doesn’t want the position. Unfortunately, if he shows up he will be killed because of his blindness.Then Horace calls Raylene with a job. A box of interesting artifacts that have a lot of magical powers has been discovered but Horace couldn’t get them. When Raylene goes on the hunt, she is almost killed by a witch with the power to call lightning. The witch believes that, with the artifacts, she can undo mistakes in her past.Raylene also has Adrian to work with since she promised him that she would find his missing sister, Isabelle. When an opportunity comes up to go to Atlanta, to find out what happened to Ian’s father, Adrien is all on board to come along and help Raylene and try to find his sister.I really like this series. For a vampire that hates to be around people, Ray is getting an odd assortment in her little family. There is a lot of action and I have to laugh as how Ray seems to be played by Adrian but goes along with it.I will admit that I was not impressed with the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I think that was a great ending, it was just way to blunt. I felt that there should have been a little more explanation or follow up with what happens afterwards.This book was great. If you like science fiction and vampires, you would like this book. I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
7hir7een_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Hellbent is another fun, witty joyride from Cherie Priest. Raylene Pendle makes a massively entertaining vampiric narrator with sticky-fingered tendencies. If you like a good urban fantasy adventure with some different vampires than you're used to and a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, this is right up your alley. However, if your sense of humor doesn't match up with Priest's writing, you will probably want to skip this one. Pendle's personality stays consistent through the book. If you enjoyed the first novel and its narration, then you won't want to miss this one.
jjbooklvr reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I just finished this. It is book 2 in her Cheshire Red Reports series. Before this I had only known her steampunk books. I really enjoyed this one. There are vampires, but don’t hold that against it. Fun, fast read with a lot of humor and quirky characters.
g33kgrrl reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The second in a series, Hellbent follows Bloodshot in the story of Raylene, our lovable OCD-thief-vampire narrator. The story picks up an acceptable amount of time after the last book, and brings us on to further adventures - some completely new to this story (magical penis-bones!) and some predicted by the last book (working to find Adrian's sister and work on keeping Ian safe) - while there are of course delightful cameos by Pepper and Domino, everyone's favorite street urchins. I really enjoy these books. The mysteries are fun, the action is enjoyable but not hard to follow, and the characters are people I like. The book is a quick read, which is what I wanted from it, and I was quite gratified to see a character with schizophrenia treated as someone who could function normally in a given society. I am still intrigued by Raylene's backstory and hope to have the opportunity to read more, especially since I live in Chicago.The one thing I didn't like about this book is the same thing I had a problem with in Bloodshot: namely, a lot of the big events, especially at the end, were easily predicted. I had already guessed Raylene's big reveal in the end and that kind of drives me nuts. I like being surprised or at least being a little tense, wondering what is going to happen. (The scene in Houston, for example, when [possible spoiler?] Raylene confronts Elizabeth - I didn't know how Raylene was going to approach her, and I appreciated that.)My other nitpick is that there [another possible spoiler] is, from what I can recall, absolutely no follow-up mention of what damage was done by the earthquake. I imagine there must have been some human cost, and I don't think it's out of the realm of Raylene's character to not notice or care (although it did surprise me that she was so cavalier about the deaths in Houston), but I would have thought Adrian or Horace would have at least mentioned the outcome of the earthquake. Plus, I want to know.These two things aren't enough to make me not want to read the next, if there is one - in fact, I'll be excited to do so - but I would love it if they became a little less predictable.
titania86_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Raylene Pendle, accomplished thief and vampire, has a pretty complicated life. Her collection of strays has grown to include orphan siblings Domino and Pepper and blind vampire Ian Stott living in her apartment plus drag queen and ex-Navy SEAL Adrian deJesus, even though he lives elsewhere. Supporting so many people plus the huge move when she was forced from her previous building proves to be expensive. When Horace Bishop contacts her with a very lucrative job, she accepts despite the weirdness factor. The items of great value are actually penis bones, or bacula, of fantastical creatures, such as werewolves and unicorns and they are worth millions. She knows the job is more complicated than it seems, but is still surprised when someone steals them first and then destroys the house with lightning. To further complicate matters, the leader of Ian's House is killed, leaving him in charge. He can't risk returning because of his disability, but can't ignore his responsibilities to his family. Raylene resolves to solve his problem by finding out what really happened to his father and takes Adrian with her to pose as her ghoul. Can she wrestle the bacula from a powerful, crazy woman AND save Ian from certain death also known as vampire politics?Hellbent is the second installment of Cherie Priest's Cheshire Red series and proves to be just as good as the first one. Raylene is a unique protagonist. Her narrative is colored by her humor and her interesting view of the world. Underneath her veneer of being a perfect, hard as nails thief, she's actually quite human. Her collection of strays betrays her loneliness and need for other people. She really cares about her makeshift family and, although they sometimes drive her crazy, she will do anything in her power to keep them safe. One of the cutest scenes in the book was when Raylene found a kitten at a murder scene and couldn't just leave it there where it would probably die. I found the scene endearing and cute. She is painfully OCD at times, obsessively overpreparing for every conceivable situation and loading up on extra equipment just in case. Although she goes overboard, her OCD is one of the reasons why she's still alive. Her vampiric powers aren't unrealistic or godlike. They just make her tougher and faster than a human with weak psychic powers. More of her regenerative powers and psychic connection to those who drink her blood are explored.The other characters are just as engaging. What's not to like about a drag queen who was also a Navy SEAL? Hellbent gives Raylene and her friends added depth and more background. Raylene's past involvement with a House is discovered as well as Ian's vampire family and more details about Adrian. Their three story lines come together in unexpected ways that kept me guessing. The plot is very twisty and it would go in completely different directions than I predicted, which is refreshing. The story is funny, fast paced, suspenseful, and fun. Romance is only hinted and doesn't overpower or interrupt the action as it does in fantasy so often. I hope Raylene eventually has a relationship with someone, but the issues at hand are a little bit more important.Hellbent is a really fun paranormal read that combines mystery, humor, action, and fantasy. I can't wait for the next book in the Chesire Red series!
girlmisanthrope reviewed this
Rated 4/5
A great sequel. I thought Priest really found Raylene's "voice" in this installment. A theme going through the book is that Raylene, once a lone wolf, has assembled a family of sorts. These are the folks she rescued her helped in the first book. And she just might so unexpectedly collect more!There are a few great adventures here, but mostly I enjoyed how Raylene's relationships are developing. Highly recommend and can't wait for the next one. (No pressure, Cherie!)
thehistorychic reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Received from NetGalleyOverall Rating 4.00Story Rating 3.75Character Rating 4.25NOTE: I read this out of order but will be going back to pick up Bloodshot. Cherie Priest did an excellent job of making me feel like I had not missed a thing but I loved her writing so I must pick up the first one!What I Loved: Quips, Action, Smart Leading Ladies, and a Motley Crew of misfits---this books was right up my alley! Seriously I was between giggling and cheering most of Hellbent. Plus the whole "P*nis Bones" side caper was just the right balance of action/lightness.What I Liked: The main story of tracking Adrian's sister and getting Ian out trouble was pretty good. I think this is probably where not reading the books in order probably had me a little disconnected. However, it was really well balanced and I was happy with how it all turned out.Complaints: NoneWhy I gave it a 4: I was really surprised at how much I really liked Hellbent. I will be continuing this series and can't wait to pick up book 1 to catch up!

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Hellbent