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» » Bad Blood (Kate Shugak Novels)
Bad Blood (Kate Shugak Novels)


Dana Stabenow


Bad Blood (Kate Shugak Novels)


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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1288 kb

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1366 kb

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Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (February 26, 2013)







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Bad Blood (Kate Shugak Novels) by Dana Stabenow

New York Times bestselling author Dana Stabenow's latest finds Kate Shugak entangled in a bitter tribal rivalry and murder

One hundred years of bad blood between the Alaskan villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne'er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin's prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help. This time, though, her Park relationships may not be enough to sort out the truth hidden in the tales of tragedy and revenge.

I've always loved the Kate Shugak series, but here Stabenow stretches herself as a writer and updates Romeo and Juliet with the tale of two feuding Alaskan villages - one doing well, the other sinking into poverty - and what happens when a girl falls in love with a guy she shouldn't. These are small villages, so everyone knows each other, and the whole thing resembles a certain Shakespearean feud between two families with a bit of the Hatfields and McCoys thrown in. Stabenow opens with a full chapter of history and description, something few writers would do for fear of losing the reader, but Stabenow is good enough to pull it off: we're three chapters in before we see the murder victim and the mystery part kicks into gear, but the writing is so good I didn't mind. It's a challenge for our usual heroes, too, with Kate and Jim operating away from the Park and trying to unravel what happened in a place where everyone closes ranks and keeps their secrets. The descriptions are better than ever - Stabenow, as always, makes a Alaska a living, breathing character - and the mystery takes some surprising turns. A top-shelf entry in the series. The Dolmen
I'm a big Kate Shugak fan and I really enjoy stories set in Alaska, but I was really disappointed by Bad Blood. It is nowhere near the quality of the rest of the series. There is too much exposition in the beginning; there is no need to recap so much from previous books in the series. The plot is not up to the usual tense and exciting quality of Shugak stories; the Romeo and Juliet theme is so obvious, and the many flights back and forth just leave the story disjointed. Worst of all, the characters have changed; they lack the strong personalities, the depth, and the passion they had in previous books. And what a disappointing ending! I agree with the reviewer who said this book seems "phoned in." It left me with the impression that Dana Stabenow was just looking for a way to end the series.
The story was O.K., many writers have been using the "let's shake them up" ploy. I am tired of the cliff hangers, waiting a year for the answers and having books end like it's a given you will buy the next book just for the answer, how about buying the next book because you really like the style and writing?. Also after becoming invested in the main characters, have them totally change or -SPOILER ALERT- kill them off (she did mention the dog/wolf was 10yrs old).The goal might be to keep us talking but how about keeping us reading and enjoying?
After reading several other reviews I know I won't be the only "spoiler" mentioning that Kate and Mutt are shot at the end of this book.

I thought the author has been making each of the books in this series increasingly rich. More Alaska lore, the intricacies of Native relationships and culture, and the complexity of the relationships among the main characters. Unfortunately, this latest one was not rich at all.

The plot was predictable with characters I couldn't really keep straight or care about. The interlude between Kate and Jim seemed merely an OSS (obligatory sex scene).

The feuding folks on either side of the river was plausible and Kate's trip with the young fugitives had a feel like earlier books. So it's a 3 star effort, and therefore disappointing because we've come to expect so much more from this author.

About that ending. The author's fans don't need "cliff-hanger" endings to come back for more. She doesn't usually play games with readers and I hope she doesn't start now.

Begin a new series, perhaps; please don't have Kate alive to mourn Mutt or have the both of them servive the gun shots.
Dana, Dana Dana, What happened, I love your writing and your series (OK the Sci-Fi is a little lame) but your editor seems to be letting you down and not giving constructive criticism. First you killed Jack - I was OK with that, he wasn't really a character that moved the story along for me, and Grandma, well OK her time had come, but then you killed Moses - what did he do to you? and now this cheap TV ending. Either you been outside to often or not enough, or your starting to see Russia from your back yard, but come on this just was bad and it might be a hole even Kate can't climb out of.
I agree with previous reviews -- I think she phoned it in. Almost every character we've grown to love (well, the ones she hasn't already killed) is missing in action. Gone are Johnny, Bernie, Ranger Dan, the Aunties, Bobby's wife and daughter, and the list goes on. In their place, we have mostly-unknown folks from two towns that have never mattered before and that, to be honest, don't matter much now. Kate and Jim behave in ways so off the wall that it's like reading about completely different, and not particularly likable, characters. And then we have the ending...

Had I read the reviews of this book before I purchased the first book in this series (and every book that followed), I never would have done it. I have an abiding, and consuming, dislike of authors who use cliffhanger endings to ensure sales of their next book, and I have nothing but contempt for authors who leap onto the "tired of my characters, tired of writing these books" bandwagon. If this book was the last of the series, it was a despicable ending for excellent characters and shows a complete lack of respect for loyal readers. If there is another Kate Shugak book in the works, it's going to take some fancy footwork on Stabenow's part and, I suspect, a belief in impossible things that would make Lewis Carroll's Queen look like an absolute slacker.

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