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  • Mandy McHugh

Blood Country, Jonathan Janz: A Review

Jonathan Janz is one of my must-read authors in the horror genre. The Siren and the Specter remains one of my favorite re-reads, and I devoured The Raven like it was my job. I was thrilled to receive an arc of the sequel, Blood Country.



From the publisher via Goodreads: Three years ago the world ended when a group of rogue scientists unleashed a virus that awakened long-dormant strands of human DNA. They awakened the bestial side of humankind: werewolves, satyrs, and all manner of bloodthirsty creatures. Within months, nearly every man, woman, or child was transformed into a monster…or slaughtered by one.


A rare survivor without special powers, Dez McClane has been fighting for his life since mankind fell, including a tense barfight that ended in a cataclysmic inferno. Dez would never have survived the battle without Iris, a woman he’s falling for but can never be with because of the monster inside her. Now Dez’s ex-girlfriend and Iris’s young daughter have been taken hostage by an even greater evil, the dominant species in this hellish new world:


Vampires.


The bloodthirsty creatures have transformed a four-story school building into their fortress, and they’re holding Dez’s ex-girlfriend and Iris’s young daughter captive. To save them, Dez and his friends must risk everything. They must infiltrate the vampires’ stronghold and face unspeakable terrors.


Because death awaits them in the fortress. Or something far worse.


Where do I start?


I loved this so much. Writing a sequel is tricky, the possibility high of being bogged down by summary details or failing to live up to the engagement of the first book. Janz avoided both without disconnecting into standalone territory. Could you read this without knowing The Raven? Absolutely (but why would you want to?). There was enough information to grasp the events of the previous book without it feeling like a school report--and while forming a deeper connection with the characters.


And there is literally no shortage of action. This was a cinematic read from page one that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Dez is a fantastic character, one of the best I've seen in the post-apocalyptic genre, and I couldn't get enough of his journey: the dedication to his quest and loved ones. The clever, steadfast determination to preserve an inch of normalcy from Before.


Bloody Country is the perfect October read. Gore, violence, and expertly-developed characters you won't be able to get enough of, add this immediately to your TBRs.


Huge thanks to Flame Tree and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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