Peace, Blood, and Understanding by Molly Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
OK, if you are this far into the series, you should know what to expect. There's going to be sarcastic, witty dialogue, quirky and wonderful characters, and some form of mystery that needs to get solved. This story fits the bill, and goes back to the combination I'm not really fond of: annoying jerk + brand new character. I guess at some point we run out of characters to pull from, but I was slightly less invested in this story than the others, especially since Erik wasn't my favorite.
Meadow is a relatively new joiner to Half-Moon Hollow. She is on probation due to some badness and anger issues right after her rather traumatic turn. She's been taken on by Jane, because she's awesome and still co-runs the council here with Dick. As part of her new start, she's focusing on being a pacifist, working soothing teas that leverages her vampire skill, and avoiding her parents. She went so far as to change her name to avoid discovery from the evil parents that ended up getting her turned. All these stories have parent issues, which are very relatable.
All seems to be going well until an auditor for the council shows up in the form of a big jerk named Erik. I get it, we're supposed to see him change and get redeemed but... I don't think we really ever get there. While there is attraction and romance, I wasn't really sold on his redemption story. Meadow ends up doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship, her personal life, and solving the mystery of incidents happening at the council building (and she's not even mentioned in the book blurb!). Overall, this still is my happy place, where we get to visit with our familiar friends and characters, but it left me feeling a little ... sad? Meadow grows but I almost wish she ended up alone, single, and awesome, rather than strapped to this jerk.
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