I was pleasantly surprised by Blood Entwines by Caroline Healy. It’s a unique take on paranormal young adult fiction that doesn’t appear to include the requisite glittery vampires and sexy werewolves. Instead, there is a faceless man who does devious things and is on the hunt for the two main characters, Kara and Hannah.
Ms. Healy does a great job managing several different threads of the story. We see how different characters view the situation. While some stereotypical teenage storylines do occur (drug use and queen bee manipulation), the unique voices of Kara, Hannah and the Faceless Man come shining through. They are why I kept reading even if the other characters did predictable things that made me roll my eyes. At least Kara and Hannah didn’t get too caught up in it and were able to brush off those events and keep the focus on them.
While the author does juggle several different threads of the story well, at times I felt there were a few too many characters to follow. Ashleigh and Ben were just cogs in the plot to create a normal teen world that was decidedly not normal from the point that Kara awakes after her accident. I would have liked to see them be more be more connected to the main plot or not part of the story at all. Hannah and Kara had enough going on in their lives to forego, in my opinion, the normal teen stuff. With fewer characters muddying the waters, there would have been more time for Kara and Hannah to do research on their unusual skills and how the Faceless Man was connected to them. I was silently urging Kara and Hannah to do a Google search on their skills and get connected with others like them!
I loved the voice of the Faceless Man. Like Kara and Hannah, I have no idea who he is and what his connection is to the plot at large, but he makes my skin crawl. Ms. Healy was able to create a distinct voice for this character that oozes with evil. I had to brace myself each time the font face changed because he gave me the willies!
Blood Entwines is a fresh new look at paranormal fiction. I’m excited by the prospect of learning more about the Faceless Man and Kara’s and Hannah’s unique skills. I just hope the Faceless Man doesn’t haunt MY dreams tonight. Blood Entwines receives a thumbs up.