Blood Singer #4: The Isis Collar

Uhhh… about the title. Funny, isn’t it, how new events can change the connotations of old words. In any case, the Isis referred to in the title is the Egyptian goddess, not the terrorist organization. Though the book does happen to be about terrorist attacks by religious extremists… You know what, forget it, let’s just get to reviewing The Isis Collar, by Cat Adams.

Synopsis:

Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.

Warned of a magical “bomb” at a local elementary school, Celia forces an evacuation. Oddly, the explosion seems to have no effect, puzzling both Celia and the FBI. Two weeks later, a strangely persistent bruise on Celia’s leg turns out to be the first sign of a magical zombie plague.

Finding the source of the plague isn’t Celia’s only concern. Her alcoholic mother has broken out of prison on the Sirens’ island; her little sister’s ghost has possessed a young girl; and one of Celia’s boyfriends, a powerful mage, has disappeared.

Source: Goodreads

SPOILERS BELOW

Just what trouble has Celia Graves gotten herself into this time? Well, she’s had the misfortune to stumble into the middle of a massive terror attack using a magical bio-weapon; a zombie plague that has been unleashed on schools across the country. With the lives of countless children at stake, only Celia can unravel the conspiracy and expose the perpetrator! …But, unfortunately, the truth turns out to be, well, kind of stupid. See, the terrorists were actually given the bio-weapon by a pharmaceutical company looking to make money by selling the cure. Yep. That’s not just stupid, that’s made-for-TV movie stupid; in fact, I’m pretty sure I once saw a really shitty one with that exact plot. Robert Ludlum’s Covert One: The Hades Factor, or some bullshit like that.

What about the titular Isis Collar? Well, it’s a powerful magic artifact owned by the villain behind the terrorism; but she seems to be using it for a second, completely unrelated evil scheme at the same time. Even as she’s doing this bioterrorism thing to earn lots of money on selling the cure, she’s also using the Isis Collar to steal magic power from other mages and add it to her own. Some villains want money, some want power; I guess this one wants both and is too impatient to go after them one at a time?

And just for a bonus: literal deus ex machina ending. Because a third-rate villainous plot deserves a third-rate resolution.

Well, at least I can say that the running subplots are interesting. Celia is still having major family issues with her alcoholic mother and enabling grandmother. Ivy’s ghost is possessing a young spirit medium, which isn’t really psychologically healthy for either of them. And desperate circumstances force Celia to promise a favor to a mysterious spirit entity. All good and interesting stuff. There’s also a continuing love-triangle subplot with Celia, Bruno, and Creede, but I can’t say I care about that. It’s dragged on for so long that I’ve completely lost interest.

You know what does interest me? The introduction of an FBI agent who’s a shapeshifting demon spawn. Now there’s a character I wouldn’t mind reading more about. A member of a species considered inherently evil, going against her nature and striving to good in the world… sounds intriguing, right? But I know better than to actually hope to ever see Indira Matumbo again. My past experiences with Zoe Takano and Dru Cristoffer have taught me not to get my expectations up, because the characters I find the most interesting always turn out to be extremely minor one-shot bit characters.

So, overall, The Isis Collar is a flawed but decent entry in the Blood Singer series.

Final Rating: 3/5

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