- Purify Your Blood, by Jasper Black
Purify Your Blood, by Jasper Black
James was not even aware that he had been breathing until it stopped.
I very rarely give EVERY book in a series 5* ratings. I often find myself disillusioned after a while, the story drags, or the characters change to accommodate some illogical plot twist. That doesn't happen here. Jasper Black is an author who knows how to write a long-game plot and keep it interesting with every new scene, new chapter and new book. I will never not love a Jasper Black story. Every time I finish a book, I find myself feeling that it just wasn't long enough. I want more. Every. Single. Time. And, I'm not a horror girl. Never. I am so stupidly squeamish. But these books are just so brilliantly written that I don't even notice the gore factor. It's not done to be gory and gross. It's clever and necessary and fitted to the characters and completely in line with the mood of a gothic, victoriana story, involving demons.
I love that there are so many characters, but it never feels overwhelming. Each story intermingles and flows from one to the next, with a connecting link that makes your fingers twitch at the near misses, makes you want to shout at them to just go this way to end up meeting someone, and gives enough suspense to keep you reading. It's delightfully infuriating to know that Henry is trapped in Hell, but to not get to see anything of him until much later in the book. It's tantalizing to see something interesting happen and then not return to that character again for a few scenes of chapters.
The added growth of characters, and their relationships and reactions to each other, over time gives it a little extra something that makes it special. The growing companionship between James and Virgil; the spike of long-hidden feelings that grow between James and Henry, during their time apart; the spark of jealousy in Lady, that is so unexpected, when Francis and Archie are reunited. Each piece adds another layer to an already well crafted world.
Purify Your Soul is a comfortable blend of horror, romance, the paranormal, and a quest that takes you on emotional highs and lows that keep you perpetually invested in the story. The characters are at times violent and vicious, while charming, cheeky and completely relatable. They're human in a way that some non-demon characters fail to be, when written by other authors. That's the skill of Black's writing – everyone has a story, everyone is important, and no matter their nature, everyone can feel and will make you feel, right alongside them.
“Lady scowled and considered swatting him, but he didn't. “Francis Hislop.” He sucked in a deep breath. “You should know by now that I will never leave you behind.””