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"Chilling . . . A neo-gothic treat; original, richly imagined, and powerfully told." --The Guardian (UK) for The String Diaries See the girl. Leah Wilde is twenty-four, a runaway on a black motorbike, hunting for answers while changing her identity with each new Central European town. See the man, having come of age in extraordinary suffering and tragedy in nineteenth-ce "Chilling . . . A neo-gothic treat; original, richly imagined, and powerfully told." --The Guardian (UK) for The String Diaries See the girl. Leah Wilde is twenty-four, a runaway on a black motorbike, hunting for answers while changing her identity with each new Central European town. See the man, having come of age in extraordinary suffering and tragedy in nineteenth-century Budapest; witness to horror, to love, to death, and the wrath of a true monster. Izsák still lives in the present day, impossibly middle-aged. He's driven not only to hunt this immortal evil but to find his daughter, stolen from an Arctic cabin and grown into the thing Izsák has sworn to kill. See the monster, a beautiful, seemingly young woman who stalks the American West, seeking the young and the strong to feed upon, desperate to return to Europe where her coven calls. Written in the Blood is the epic thriller of the year, a blazing and dexterous saga spanning generations, and threading the lives of five individuals driven by love, by sacrifice, by hunger and by fear. They seek to save a race--or to extinguish it forever.


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"Chilling . . . A neo-gothic treat; original, richly imagined, and powerfully told." --The Guardian (UK) for The String Diaries See the girl. Leah Wilde is twenty-four, a runaway on a black motorbike, hunting for answers while changing her identity with each new Central European town. See the man, having come of age in extraordinary suffering and tragedy in nineteenth-ce "Chilling . . . A neo-gothic treat; original, richly imagined, and powerfully told." --The Guardian (UK) for The String Diaries See the girl. Leah Wilde is twenty-four, a runaway on a black motorbike, hunting for answers while changing her identity with each new Central European town. See the man, having come of age in extraordinary suffering and tragedy in nineteenth-century Budapest; witness to horror, to love, to death, and the wrath of a true monster. Izsák still lives in the present day, impossibly middle-aged. He's driven not only to hunt this immortal evil but to find his daughter, stolen from an Arctic cabin and grown into the thing Izsák has sworn to kill. See the monster, a beautiful, seemingly young woman who stalks the American West, seeking the young and the strong to feed upon, desperate to return to Europe where her coven calls. Written in the Blood is the epic thriller of the year, a blazing and dexterous saga spanning generations, and threading the lives of five individuals driven by love, by sacrifice, by hunger and by fear. They seek to save a race--or to extinguish it forever.

30 review for Written in the Blood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Before I start the review I would note for Readers: I Highly Recommend that you read “The String Diaries” prior to “Written in the Blood” it will enhance the reading experience! I loved The String Diaries, the first instalment in this absolutely brilliantly imaginative story and with Written in the Blood the author takes it up a notch – several notches in fact – and delivers a fantastic and often heart pounding tale steeped in an intelligently drawn mythology which he expands and improves upon ma Before I start the review I would note for Readers: I Highly Recommend that you read “The String Diaries” prior to “Written in the Blood” it will enhance the reading experience! I loved The String Diaries, the first instalment in this absolutely brilliantly imaginative story and with Written in the Blood the author takes it up a notch – several notches in fact – and delivers a fantastic and often heart pounding tale steeped in an intelligently drawn mythology which he expands and improves upon making this an absolute page turner. Here we find Leah, determined to find a way to help her people, entering dangerous territory in order to obtain support – but what she finds is not quite what she expects and as we move between past and present, discovering old alliances and events, it becomes more and more fascinating. I hesitate to say too much about the actual plot because the joy of this one is very much in the world building and the characters and the strange lineage that Leah has discovered she is a part of. Whilst The String Diaries set up this world beautifully, focussing very much on the thrill of the chase, Written in the Blood takes a step back and fills in some of the blanks, gives the characters a greater depth and pulls you further into a hidden world which is often frightening yet always beautiful. I am very fond of Leah but my heart was with Izsak throughout this one, all the characters are really well drawn and everyone will have their favourites, both old and new. The tension builds throughout, there is a magnificent finale and I really really hope that there is more to come. Its not often that a sequel beats an original hands down, but I think in this case I would have to say that it has happened here. Whilst The String Diaries was dazzling and nicely original in its concept, Written in the Blood has outdone it by quite a clear margin for me. Stephen Lloyd Jones has been added to my “must read” list and I simply cannot wait for the next novel. No pressure Mr Lloyd Jones! Highly Recommended Happy Reading Folks!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I enjoyed the String Diaries last year, a decent story with a good layer of the supernatural. I was curious to see how it would be followed up, more of the same would have been a good thing but this book goes well beyond the first part. Again the author writes a decent plot with interesting characters and very dark nasty twists and turns but here he takes the myths and supernatural elements begun in String Diaries and develops and expands into a fascinating society and associated dangers. The addit I enjoyed the String Diaries last year, a decent story with a good layer of the supernatural. I was curious to see how it would be followed up, more of the same would have been a good thing but this book goes well beyond the first part. Again the author writes a decent plot with interesting characters and very dark nasty twists and turns but here he takes the myths and supernatural elements begun in String Diaries and develops and expands into a fascinating society and associated dangers. The additional elements added work really well and parts of the book really left me on edge , the pave being easily adjusted to increase tension when needed. The shifting of POV in certain chapters was manipulated nicely to develop and highlight certain aspects, one POV being set up for a nasty impact to get the reader to see how nasty things are. I was quite surprised by the book as it avoided a lot of the second novel issues. As I was reading through I was trying to place what else I had read that would be similar and I think Anne Rice might be the closest fit, with something between Vampire Chronicles and the Taltos books, taking a mythological creature, developing a deep and meaningful history and culture then planting them in the modern period. Definitely interested to see how the author follows up this duology

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    I enjoyed String Diaries, certainly enough to check out its sequel, though normally I'm very much against series of any sort. Objectively this was a perfectly decent and completely unnecessary sequel. Jones did all the proper things, expanded on the world of his long living beings, introduced a new fiend on the scene, further complicating the already complicated the human/shapeshifters/lifedrainers dynamics, expanded on the past, but...the novelty (this being a sequel) now gone, the story really I enjoyed String Diaries, certainly enough to check out its sequel, though normally I'm very much against series of any sort. Objectively this was a perfectly decent and completely unnecessary sequel. Jones did all the proper things, expanded on the world of his long living beings, introduced a new fiend on the scene, further complicating the already complicated the human/shapeshifters/lifedrainers dynamics, expanded on the past, but...the novelty (this being a sequel) now gone, the story really needed more oomph. Instead too much time is spend on the exhaustive internecine conflicts of the hosszú életek and the breeding program. Itzak was an interesting character, but his story was the only excursion into the fascinating past. Most of the novel was set firmly, albeit internationally, in the much less fascinating present. Jones also overwrote the book somewhat, it's fatter than the original, although it still reads very fast. It's still quite an entertaining read, but one sincerely hopes the author can leave the shapeshifters well enough alone and try his considerably talented hand at something new. Imagine the possibilities.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really enjoyed “The String Diaries,” so I was eager to read the sequel. It is set fifteen years after the events which saw Hannah Wilde and her daughter Leah confront Jakab. As in the first novel, part of the storyline is set in 1873 Hungary, and looks at the events which saw the hosszu elet (shapeshifters) suffering the attempt to wipe them out and left those remaining going underground. The hosszu elet live long lives, but their numbers are declining and Hannah and Leah are attempting to hel I really enjoyed “The String Diaries,” so I was eager to read the sequel. It is set fifteen years after the events which saw Hannah Wilde and her daughter Leah confront Jakab. As in the first novel, part of the storyline is set in 1873 Hungary, and looks at the events which saw the hosszu elet (shapeshifters) suffering the attempt to wipe them out and left those remaining going underground. The hosszu elet live long lives, but their numbers are declining and Hannah and Leah are attempting to help them do the seemingly impossible and repopulate their numbers. However, the remaining members are widespread, often in disagreement and they are always in danger. In the previous novel, the author kept the suspense by having Jakab hunting Hannah and Leah and this book incorporates much of this feeling of impending danger. As well as disagreements within the hosszu elet elite, there are new characters – most notably Jakab’s younger brother Izsack and his childhood friend Etienne. To add to the action, there are the lelek tolvajok; the soul stealers, who wander the pages smelling of rotting flesh and leaving behind the image of sheer evil. The book ranges from 1878 Budapest, through to 1929 New York and on to the present, with coups, abductions (plus one of the creepiest scenes I have ever read, which takes place during an innocuous camping trip) and sees Leah now a young woman who is still in danger, still hunted and who finds her world under threat. This novel took a little longer for me to get involved in and the story did not throw you immediately into the action as “The String Diaries” did. Obviously, the author needs to set the scene for those readers who have not read the first novel, but I feel that it is essential they are read in order. If you tackle this without understanding the background story and events, this will make little sense. Some previous characters I loved hardly appear and new characters obviously take their place. However, this is still very much a sequel and it was interesting to see how Leah had developed. Once the book gets going, the story picks up pace and just gallops towards the ending, taking us from a diner in the US to a castle in Switzerland, a mansion in London, an orphanage in Hungary, through Germany and through different time periods. Yet, the author cleverly ties the storylines and characters together and even gives us the promise of a further book in what is becoming a series. If so, it is one I am looking forward to following. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Let me start by saying, if you are the type of reader who doesn't mind reading a series out of order, I strongly recommend you don't take that approach with this series. This book started out slow for me and it took me longer to finish than normal, but eventually got to a point where it grabbed my attention. Chapters alternate between different points in time, past and present, and varying characters and viewpoints, but I enjoyed learning how they were all connected and interwoven near the end. I Let me start by saying, if you are the type of reader who doesn't mind reading a series out of order, I strongly recommend you don't take that approach with this series. This book started out slow for me and it took me longer to finish than normal, but eventually got to a point where it grabbed my attention. Chapters alternate between different points in time, past and present, and varying characters and viewpoints, but I enjoyed learning how they were all connected and interwoven near the end. I also appreciated meeting the person Leah had become and seeing how her character had developed. The first book in this series, The String Diaries, was a solid five stars for me (review here), but this followup didn't reach out and grab me in the same way. Although I liked seeing how the different storylines were related, it takes a long while to get there. The climax of the book was full of action and some surprises, but the last few pages were wrapped neatly in a box that left me feeling slightly betrayed. Even though this book didn't resonate with me as much as the first, I'm glad I read this sequel to followup with these characters and continue their story. This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Originally posted on bluchickenninja.com. I got a copy of this book from the publisher via bookbridgr. In the small amount of research I did I saw no mention of the fact that it is a sequel. If I had known it was a sequel I would not have requested it. This book does not explain what is going on in this world. It assumes that the reader has read the first book; The String Diaries. The book focuses on the mysterious people known as the hosszu eletek but never actually explains what the hosszu elete Originally posted on bluchickenninja.com. I got a copy of this book from the publisher via bookbridgr. In the small amount of research I did I saw no mention of the fact that it is a sequel. If I had known it was a sequel I would not have requested it. This book does not explain what is going on in this world. It assumes that the reader has read the first book; The String Diaries. The book focuses on the mysterious people known as the hosszu eletek but never actually explains what the hosszu eletek actually are. Some parts of the book simply don’t make any sense and others refer back to The String Diaries without ever explaining fully what happened. I tried to read this without reading The String Diaries and got very confused. Having gone back to read the first book I will say that this was mildly interesting. I was just pissed that I had to go read another book just to understand what was going on.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    maybe 2 stars, if i was kinder... alas, i am not... prepare for a bit of a rant, and i don't care if you agree, or like it, or disagree, or despise me for it, or anything (but if you want to discuss the whys and wherefores send me an email)... i HATE it when authors can't do a book properly, and REALLY HATE it when an author chooses to do two books because they can't do the first one properly... there is a lot going on in SLJ world of The Long Lives (i will skip the Hungarian because i an, and b maybe 2 stars, if i was kinder... alas, i am not... prepare for a bit of a rant, and i don't care if you agree, or like it, or disagree, or despise me for it, or anything (but if you want to discuss the whys and wherefores send me an email)... i HATE it when authors can't do a book properly, and REALLY HATE it when an author chooses to do two books because they can't do the first one properly... there is a lot going on in SLJ world of The Long Lives (i will skip the Hungarian because i an, and because i thought it was overused and smacked of "i know something you don't"), so one could argue for two books... go ahead... the first book was great, not horror, more thriller (and not in the Michael Jackson sense), and should have been the end BECAUSE SLJ could have just made ONE book, albeit longer, possibly 700 or so pages though likely about 500 or so, and done the concept properly... instead he writes a second book that doesn't actually require reading the first but merely a list of terms and cast of characters since lots of book 2 was in book one... fluff... that could be book 2's title... an addendum, another title... taking advantage of my fan base, possibly... so much to love about this, but so much to hate about its delivery... nowhere near enough ABOUT The Long Lives, just a jumble of things that require some sort of Excel spreadsheet (or Leah's OCD; um, where the hell does THAT come in and matter?!?!?) to collect and collate and understand... a mess... too many POVs (PsOV??), and why so many consecutive chapter headings that STAYED IN THE SAME PLACE??? aarrrggggghhhhh... anyone who has read both books could do some reorganizing and probably improve this superbly... i just didn't give a shite about Leah, and how in the absolute fuckallwhatthefuck does the egg thing just get dropped in?!?!? maybe that's my central gripe (no eye-rolling please) there is just too much randomness, so many add-ins and other things and unbelievable happenings (yep, i can accept The Long Lives/Hungarian VampireMonsters, but reanimating characters to tug at readers heart-strings is just stupid and trite and lacks any tiny iota of necessary... if you can viciously murder and dismember and slashify someone, then be OK with the gutwrenching emotional/psychological human element that results... un-killing is stupid, trying to convince your reader "they didn't ACTUALLY die 'cuz you saw how i tricked you so many times about who was who and when that who was who when they were actually not who you thought they were when you thought they were who you wanted them to be" is insulting and sophomoric (notice how i managed to sneak in 'sophomoric' into the review of the second book?!?!? hahahahaha! anyway... just too long of a review, huh? color me BADD, um, wait, unhappy, yeah, color me unhappy...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    I really, really enjoyed "The String Diaries," but for whatever reason, just could not get into this sequel. The plot thread about the hosszu eletek struggle to continue the species into the next generation really did not interest me at all. This book dragged on and on, and finally, 6 weeks into it, I forced myself to finish it. I don't know why it took me so long; it might be just a general all-around malaise, lock down fatigue, and having to continue to work online for the foreseeable future. I really, really enjoyed "The String Diaries," but for whatever reason, just could not get into this sequel. The plot thread about the hosszu eletek struggle to continue the species into the next generation really did not interest me at all. This book dragged on and on, and finally, 6 weeks into it, I forced myself to finish it. I don't know why it took me so long; it might be just a general all-around malaise, lock down fatigue, and having to continue to work online for the foreseeable future. The climax was certainly exciting, and in the last 100 pages, some surprising twists happened. If you read and enjoyed "The String Diaries" this is definitely worth reading. For me, it was 3 stars, but for most people wanting a sequel to TSD, it would probably be a 4 or 5.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexia Chantel

    This book is a great conclusion to the housszú életek story that began with THE STRING DIARIES. Jones continues the plot from book one and adds in a terrifying component only hinted at in the first one, the lélek tolvajok. Hannah survived the fire, but is blind, and she has made a life with Gabe. Her daughter, Leah, is grown and as the story opens, is traveling to meet a dangerous person. She's taking a calculated risk, one she sees as necessary for her mother's work to continue. Because Hannah h This book is a great conclusion to the housszú életek story that began with THE STRING DIARIES. Jones continues the plot from book one and adds in a terrifying component only hinted at in the first one, the lélek tolvajok. Hannah survived the fire, but is blind, and she has made a life with Gabe. Her daughter, Leah, is grown and as the story opens, is traveling to meet a dangerous person. She's taking a calculated risk, one she sees as necessary for her mother's work to continue. Because Hannah has found a way for the housszú életek to have children once again, but it's costly and they're running out of time. So we are taken to Switzerland, where the forests are dark and filled with horrible creatures. Leah is convincing and sways some powerful people to their cause. But as the youngest housszú életek, she's being hunted, and not only by the people that don't agree with her, the lélek tolvajok are dying and Leah would make a perfect host. WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD is told the same way THE STRING DIARIES was, with chapters jumping from present to past, and we still get a POV from a Balázs, but this time instead of Jakob it's Izsák. The shift to the younger Balázs brother was a good move and gives the reader a fresh perspective on the events of 1880. Which, well done Jones, comes into play near the end of the book. A great surprise! If you're in the mood for a thrilling mystery with hints of the paranormal, you should pick up THE STRING DIARIES and WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Storm

    Ok, so here we have a fantasy thriller. Not a genre I would usually have much interest in, but I do like to broaden the old horizons and such, and the synopsis sounded very promising, so I gritted my teeth and jumped in… Well, my teeth remained as expected for a fair while. I find a good read can become very disheartening when half the time is spent trying to pronounce unfamiliar (or possibly completely made-up) words; and here I had an awful lot of words with just far too many consonants for my Ok, so here we have a fantasy thriller. Not a genre I would usually have much interest in, but I do like to broaden the old horizons and such, and the synopsis sounded very promising, so I gritted my teeth and jumped in… Well, my teeth remained as expected for a fair while. I find a good read can become very disheartening when half the time is spent trying to pronounce unfamiliar (or possibly completely made-up) words; and here I had an awful lot of words with just far too many consonants for my liking! ‘Written in the Blood’ tells us the story of Leah Wilde, a young girl from the ‘thingymawhatsit’ race whose skills include being able to change their own features in order to look like absolutely anybody, as well as this whole super long lifespan thing. Unfortunately, Leah’s people are on the brink of extinction, and so she decides to embark on the extremely dangerous task of seeking out women from the ‘whatchamacallit’ people; those originally from the ‘thingymawhatsits’ but outcast due to not abiding by the laws in the ‘doobeychat-thingy’ book… Ok you see what I’m getting at here. Anyway, all these whatsits and thingums and such meant that it took me roughly a week to get to Chapter 10. That is page 104! It was just such hard work, and I had no clue what they were talking about half the time! Now to be fair I appreciate that there are some people who would positively thrive on all this, those that care for your Eorlingas and Galadrims and Isildurs (Yes, yes I Googled those words!) But now please sympathise with me, because not only was I trying to read all of these fantasy-nonsense words; I was trying to read Hungarian fantasy-nonsense words! It was really quite painstaking. Nevertheless, I’m a stubborn mare and so I continued. And I must confess, once I decided to start thinking of everyone as the Smiths and the Jones’, it did pave the way for some rather beautiful storytelling. I mean, this book was just a sensory overload! Smells and sounds are given particular emphasis, I think because heightened senses may have been a ‘thingymajig’ power, but the author really was an artist with the descriptives. The prose, in the main, was poetic and majestic, as well as dark, creepy, and unsettling; and the imagery was captivating. And switching attention between Leah and her mission, and corresponding people and events elsewhere in the world, as well as a very intriguing back-story that pulls you back to Budapest in the 1800’s, was very well done and kept things fresh. It did actually all get a bit exciting as we drew towards the climax. It was really action-packed and I could finally say I was enjoying the book – albeit there were a few things that were left either unexplained or not given enough attention, such as Leah’s not-as-scandalous-as-alluded-to bloodline, oh and her apparent OCD; the Éjszakai Sikolyok being the least dramatic genocide I have ever read of; and being given no real explanation for the lélek tolvajok other than that they are essentially the bogeyman – they’re going to kill you, end of. Unfortunately I was left with just an overwhelming feeling of relief that I had actually managed to finish the book. Relief that turned into a rage that was accompanied by a whole manner of expletives when I turned the final page of the story… and found the bloody glossary!!! In all fairness, I liked it enough to know that fans of the genre will love this book. I, as initially suspected, am not a fan of the genre. My thanks to the publisher for providing this book for review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Artemiz

    Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones was just like the first book of the series - The String Diaries - really brutal and with no hope for a happy ending but extremely enrapturing and interesting. If in first book the story is mainly about Jackab and Hannah and hossuzu eletek, then in this book there is Leah, Izsak, lelek tolvajok, kirekesztett and Jackab and Hannah and some other crucial characters. And the story is not any more just in Europe and England, it goes also to America and to Ca Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones was just like the first book of the series - The String Diaries - really brutal and with no hope for a happy ending but extremely enrapturing and interesting. If in first book the story is mainly about Jackab and Hannah and hossuzu eletek, then in this book there is Leah, Izsak, lelek tolvajok, kirekesztett and Jackab and Hannah and some other crucial characters. And the story is not any more just in Europe and England, it goes also to America and to Canada. So fifteen years has gone by since Hannah and Leah found out their heritage and since then has Hannah done everything in her power to stop hossuzu eletek's fading. But if there is somebody who wants to do something good, then there are ten of those who want to stop them. Leah decides to search help from those who are rejected by pure hossuzu's - the kiretesztett. But nobody has told her about the lelek tolvajoks. If ones are long dwellers, then the others are body thiefs and what petter place to relocate a soul than a long dweller. So Leah visits the outcast woman, Izsak is remembering his story after he's brothers crime and looking for his daughter, snatchers are hunting for Leah and other young long dwellers, Leah meets many interesting new people and discovers another unexpected surprise, Hannah is continuing her mission and when the time comes they all once again prove that they are strong and people can always surprise you when you leas expect it. Despite all the cruelty and horrors, it was an really interesting story. A very good read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Publication Date: 29th January 2015 Publisher: Headline ISBN: 978-1472204721 Source: Bookbridgr/Netgalley Rating: 2/5 Synopsis: High in the mountains of the Swiss Alps Leah Wilde is about to gamble her life to bring a powerful man an offer. A promise. Leah has heard the dark stories about him and knows she is walking into the lion's den. But her options are running out. Her rare lineage, kept secret for years, is under terrible threat. That is, unless Leah and her mother Hannah are prepared to join up Publication Date: 29th January 2015 Publisher: Headline ISBN: 978-1472204721 Source: Bookbridgr/Netgalley Rating: 2/5 Synopsis: High in the mountains of the Swiss Alps Leah Wilde is about to gamble her life to bring a powerful man an offer. A promise. Leah has heard the dark stories about him and knows she is walking into the lion's den. But her options are running out. Her rare lineage, kept secret for years, is under terrible threat. That is, unless Leah and her mother Hannah are prepared to join up with their once deadly enemies. Should the prey ever trust the predator? Is hope for future generations ever enough to wash away the sins of the past? With a new and chilling danger stalking them all, and the survival of their society at stake, they may have little choice... Review: I was so excited when I heard about this book and I really wanted to read it. It sounded brilliant, so I was really pleased to receive it. But, I was so disappointed! Now I've read reviews from other readers, I can only conclude that it's me. Maybe I just didn't get it?; perhaps I should have read the prequel, The String Diaries, first? Whatever the reason, I abandoned it after reading 50%. There were aspects I liked. I found Leah an interesting character and I enjoyed some interactions. I'll give it another go at some point and update my review if I change my mind.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This is one of those books where you read about 10 pages and think, "Yes! This is going to be fun!" Written in the Blood is the sequel to The String Diaries, which I read last year and really enjoyed. Not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to this one, but now that i have, I can report that it's just as good as it's predecessor. As with the first book, it's about an ancient race of shape-changing Hungarians. I've made it sound shit there, haven't I? OK...it's a really cool, exciting, wel This is one of those books where you read about 10 pages and think, "Yes! This is going to be fun!" Written in the Blood is the sequel to The String Diaries, which I read last year and really enjoyed. Not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to this one, but now that i have, I can report that it's just as good as it's predecessor. As with the first book, it's about an ancient race of shape-changing Hungarians. I've made it sound shit there, haven't I? OK...it's a really cool, exciting, well-written book about ancient shape-changing Hungarians. With me now? OK, let's continue... The story kind of seemed finished at the end of the last book but the author finds a way to expand on the world he'd created and introduce bigger, badder baddies. It's kind of part horror, part thriller. Not massively scary (or maybe I'm just really hard :-) )but a page-turning rollercoaster full of cliffhangers and with a cracking host of returning and new characters (I really liked Etienne and Iszak in particular). I'm not sure why Stephen Lloyd Jones isn't better known. I've decided to push on and read another of his books next. My advice to him is to write a mainstream thriller, make millions, then come back to writing great genre fiction like this!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gabor Hernadi

    The second book of the series wasn’t a disappointment. Although the author would have been asked a Hungarian speaker’s help because some incorrect use of the Hungarian words were annoying. The biggest problem in my opinion is the typical ‘sequel illness ‘ of the book, when it desperately tries to be more and better than the previous one. Next to a ‘tanács’ coup we have the ‘lélektolvajok’ (yes it’s one word) just out of the blue and (in the lamest tradition of sequels) it turns out that someone The second book of the series wasn’t a disappointment. Although the author would have been asked a Hungarian speaker’s help because some incorrect use of the Hungarian words were annoying. The biggest problem in my opinion is the typical ‘sequel illness ‘ of the book, when it desperately tries to be more and better than the previous one. Next to a ‘tanács’ coup we have the ‘lélektolvajok’ (yes it’s one word) just out of the blue and (in the lamest tradition of sequels) it turns out that someone believed to be dead, isn’t so.... Apart from all of these what we have is a very interesting and exciting page turner. ( )

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Literary Hoarders)

    Another excellent page-burner from Stephen Lloyd Jones! Could not put this one down. What a treat to read a sequel that is just as thrilling and fascinating as the first novel. Now I have to see how long we must wait for his next story...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Oscar Flores

    As good as the first book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leisa

    Fantastic sequel to The String Diaries. Stephen Lloyd Jones takes this story deeper, and gives the characters great new depths. I loved it and I hope it's not the end. Fantastic sequel to The String Diaries. Stephen Lloyd Jones takes this story deeper, and gives the characters great new depths. I loved it and I hope it's not the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Robinson

    Okay, I quite literally just realized that this was the second book in the series so I guess that's probably why I was uber confused the entire time. Still DNF. Okay, I quite literally just realized that this was the second book in the series so I guess that's probably why I was uber confused the entire time. Still DNF.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fae

    This book suffered from the Superhero Movie Sequel Curse... way too many plot lines that just didn't really come together in the end. Should have just stuck with the first book! This book suffered from the Superhero Movie Sequel Curse... way too many plot lines that just didn't really come together in the end. Should have just stuck with the first book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel S

    not my favorite book but intresting. i like that there is some hungarian in it and i could learn some new words in another languge.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Graham Downs

    This book started with so much promise. I remember pointing out in my review of the last one that it started kind of slowly, and it was several chapters before I figured out what was going on. In Written in the Blood, it’s the opposite: by chapter two, you know exactly what’s happening, and the premise is amazing! You can’t wait to find out what happens. The thing is, whereas The String Diaries started slowly, and got better and better before ending on a massive high, Written in the Blood just g This book started with so much promise. I remember pointing out in my review of the last one that it started kind of slowly, and it was several chapters before I figured out what was going on. In Written in the Blood, it’s the opposite: by chapter two, you know exactly what’s happening, and the premise is amazing! You can’t wait to find out what happens. The thing is, whereas The String Diaries started slowly, and got better and better before ending on a massive high, Written in the Blood just goes downhill after the amazing introduction. About 70% in, all it is is wanton, gratuitous violence for its own sake, reminding me of some low-budget gory horror fliek. There are some groundbreaking revelations, and some symbolism from the first book returns and is explained, but it’s overshadowed by all that bloodshed; whereas The String Diaries was creepy and frightening, with a healthy dose of blood and gore thrown in, this one’s mostly blood and gore, and very little in the way of fright or scare. The copy-editing’s not as good as in the first book either, with missing, confused, and swapped-around words all over the place, as if the author was rushed to get it out, or the editing budget was way lower than the first book, or both. I guess, after such scathing words, it’s possible that I’m being too lenient by giving this book three stars (which in my system means “I liked it”). Maybe I should’ve given it two stars instead, especially since on more than a few occasions, I almost gave up and DNFed it. But the beginning was really that good, the ending was more-or-less satisfying, and there are some interesting twists and revelations. Plus, I’m still a huge fan of the whole premise of both books, and that was enough to coast the number of stars up from two to three. I’m glad there are only two of these books, though: I doubt I’d bother to read a third! Click here to find out where you can get your hands on a copy: https://books2read.com/u/mYpxkG * Note: That's an affiliate link, so if you click through to a store and end up buying anything, I might earn a commission from your purchase.

  22. 5 out of 5

    April

    I was afraid to read this for a while. Sequels have burned me so many times, so I didn't read this for FIVE FUCKING YEARS! I decided that I still think the first book is better than this one, don't get me wrong I'm absolutely giving this book 5 stars. It's an exciting tale. Seriously, who do I write a letter to so that HBO picks this series up?? BUT. I like the more linear story from String Diaries a little better. There's a LOT going on in this book and while I loved where we find all our main cha I was afraid to read this for a while. Sequels have burned me so many times, so I didn't read this for FIVE FUCKING YEARS! I decided that I still think the first book is better than this one, don't get me wrong I'm absolutely giving this book 5 stars. It's an exciting tale. Seriously, who do I write a letter to so that HBO picks this series up?? BUT. I like the more linear story from String Diaries a little better. There's a LOT going on in this book and while I loved where we find all our main characters and especially loved going back to parts of the story in book 1 but from another character's perspective, I feel like it was a little tough to follow, especially since the Hungarian names for things were out of control in this sequel. *FYI* THERE'S A GLOSSARY IN THE BACK! I REALLY wish I had known that before I got to the end of the book. I was trying to Google Hungarian words, Google was like this isn't real Hungarian, you're reading fiction, leave me alone. In conclusion, I love a fiction lore that doesn't feel like a knock off of something already popular. Unlike so many dystopian, fantasy novels out there, there's something fresh about this series. So, I do recommend these books. And I love that this author's thing is describing smiles and how their teeth and lips and skin were. EVERY TIME WE MEET A CHARACTER. I'd follow a Reddit list of the smiles and mouths described in these 2 books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    I hate reading series novels out of order. I was too far gone into this book before becoming aware that The String Diaries was the first novel and that I should have read that beforehand! Otherwise this would have got 5 stars from me. This was a slick read that was complex, sophisticated, violent and utterly compelling. I was really able to visualise the characters and could see this as a TV series - with stunning special effects and some spectacular European scenery for good measure. This fanta I hate reading series novels out of order. I was too far gone into this book before becoming aware that The String Diaries was the first novel and that I should have read that beforehand! Otherwise this would have got 5 stars from me. This was a slick read that was complex, sophisticated, violent and utterly compelling. I was really able to visualise the characters and could see this as a TV series - with stunning special effects and some spectacular European scenery for good measure. This fantasy ranges from medieval torture to surrogacy and contemporary high tech firearms. The plot is unpredictable; the characters are complicated, with some superhuman attributes - yet their paths cross and collide in unimaginable ways. Again I just wish I'd read the first book before this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alaura

    My only regret about Written in the blood is having to wait so long to read it. I nearly forgot all of the details. I did listen to the audio, Gemma Whelan made it kind of difficult to enjoy the book though. I think she may have had a cold, you could hear her swallow and breathing. It was a bit uncomfortable. I did enjoy the added build on previous characters and the introduction of new characters. Though, I do feel as of the author does harbor some unresolved emotions. These emotions, I'm sure, My only regret about Written in the blood is having to wait so long to read it. I nearly forgot all of the details. I did listen to the audio, Gemma Whelan made it kind of difficult to enjoy the book though. I think she may have had a cold, you could hear her swallow and breathing. It was a bit uncomfortable. I did enjoy the added build on previous characters and the introduction of new characters. Though, I do feel as of the author does harbor some unresolved emotions. These emotions, I'm sure, helped build the book though. Without spoiling to much, the relationships that build and twist are well played. Though, the reasons are a bit weird. Still loved the book though!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    Okay well I guess T E C H N I C A L L Y this book isn't as tight or structured as the first, but I promise you there is nothing in between these two covers that you won't enjoy, especially if you devoured the first volume as voraciously as myself. With everything tied together in a neat little bow, I am left crossing my fingers for a third book so that I won't have to say goodbye to these lovely, fractured individuals. And by the way, Mr. Jones is REALLY good at writing strong, nuanced female ch Okay well I guess T E C H N I C A L L Y this book isn't as tight or structured as the first, but I promise you there is nothing in between these two covers that you won't enjoy, especially if you devoured the first volume as voraciously as myself. With everything tied together in a neat little bow, I am left crossing my fingers for a third book so that I won't have to say goodbye to these lovely, fractured individuals. And by the way, Mr. Jones is REALLY good at writing strong, nuanced female characters. Like scary good. And he never seems to run out of ideas. That's always a plus.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    For me this was a page turner- very inventive and exciting. I ranked it a five for how hard it was for me to put down in addition to the way the author paints these beautiful descriptive moments into the prose. I found myself reading a line, stopping, then going back to read it again because I was not expecting to find something so lovely it was almost tactile in the middle of a harrowing scene. The story is at times very violent so if things like that bother you I would not recommend this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nick Milinazzo

    The storyline here is fairly complex: a race of semi-immortal shapeshifters who are dying out, an equally immortal clan of parasites, and a handful of individuals trying to ensure said clan is able to repopulate. While I preferred the first book ("The String Diaries"), this one did eventually hook me. An entertaining horror-thriller for fans of the genre. The storyline here is fairly complex: a race of semi-immortal shapeshifters who are dying out, an equally immortal clan of parasites, and a handful of individuals trying to ensure said clan is able to repopulate. While I preferred the first book ("The String Diaries"), this one did eventually hook me. An entertaining horror-thriller for fans of the genre.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    3.5 to 4 .. Very good all the way through, with a bit of a let down at the end. All sealed a bit too cutely for my liking. But some truly gripping sections and beautiful writing throughout. Can’t help but think both books could’ve been condensed into one long book though.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Interestingly written, and I mean that in a good way. I loved it when there wasn't a speaking role. It's not that the speaking roles are bad, its more because of a punctuation thing. Not a bad book at all. Interestingly written, and I mean that in a good way. I loved it when there wasn't a speaking role. It's not that the speaking roles are bad, its more because of a punctuation thing. Not a bad book at all.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    Enjoyed it...not as much as the first...but still an interesting read.

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