Book #8 of 2016: Justine’s Blood by M. Kirin


Anabel has found a friend in the most unlikely of places: a mental hospital. Justine is seventeen, a year older than Anabel, but they share the same demons. They help each other, and for a while, Anabel thinks that her life is moving forward.
But there is more to Justine than meets the eye. The bandages that cover her limbs hide wounds that bleed without reason, and rumors about her origin spread like wildfire. People speak of a possible connection between Justine and the infamous Golden-Hour killer.
And then, a detective arrives, meaning to take Justine away.
Anabel doesn’t want to believe the rumors, or lose her only friend, but— something changes. Anabel’s doubts and fears take on a new voice, one that comes from the shadows. It warns her about a great trial that is coming… and the horrible poison Justine carries in her veins.

I had heard of M. Kirin through his tumblr blog. It has amazing writing prompts and his videos show how interesting he is as a writer. Because of that, I decided to take a gander at his own work. I thought Justine’s Blood would be a good start.

Justine’s Blood is actually hard for me to pinpoint. I’m not sure if I would label the book as horror, but there is a feeling of that in the writing style. The book is a paranormal suspense, but the answers only led to more questions. This isn’t a bad thing since there are other books planned out, but it’s a bit depressing because the other books aren’t out yet for me to get a good grasp at everything.

I found the character dynamics interesting and a bit confusing. I have a strong friendship with someone and even had a crush on her at one point (I’ll admit that). So, I could see how Anabel and Justine are very close. However, I have a feeling their friendship borders on love or obsession. I’m not sure I can trust Justine and I don’t know whether or not Anabel has the right frame of mind to be so trusting in Justine.

The book is short and quick to read. The characters are slightly bizarre and I’m not sure how I feel about them. The experience of the book is very much the same as what I would think a facility for mental health would be like. Which isn’t surprising since that is the setting.

I would like to know more as to why Anabel was there. We see why Justine ended up in the facility, but we only get hints at Anabel. There isn’t a right off the bat bad guy and the book feels more psychological than clear cut. It is a book to experience, but I’m not sure if it’s one to buy without having the others available first.

For now, I would label this as an experience and odd, but it doesn’t deter me from the author or furthering the story. There is something dark and imaginative in M. Kirin’s writing. It’s intriguing and thoughtful. I’ll just wait for other books of the Golden Hour series before I pass complete judgement on what I’ve read.

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