Inside Drops of Crimson


Inside Drops of Crimson


Red by Jordan Summers
Review by Naomi Clark


You get a spoiler warning because I'm going to find it very hard to talk about this book without giving anything way. However, I don't think I'll be giving away anything people won't figure out for themselves, so... You’ve been warned.

Gina "Red" Santiago is viewed with suspicion by most of her colleagues at the International Police Tactical Team, and in a world where anyone different is potentially dangerous, this doesn't make her many friends. After discovering the mutilated body of a young girl, Red puts her career on hold to travel to the town of Nuria and track down the killer. But Nuria is hiding plenty besides a murderer, and Red comes face-to-face with her own life-changing secret while she's there.

If pushed, I'd say this was more of a post-apocalyptic romance than a werewolf novel. Not that that's in any way a bad thing. Post-apocalyptic landscapes are awesome, and Summers has created a very believable world that I'm excited to read more about. War has torn apart the USA and most of it is now divided into republics and off-limit "no man's land" areas. These off-limit areas are home to the Others, creatures left over from the war and capable of supernatural feats. Towns like Nuria are on the borders of these areas, and usually ignored by the IPTT.

Werewolves and vampires are a big part of that world, though, and I suspect we might see some other monsters cropping up in future books. It's revealed fairly early on that most of the town are werewolves, with sheriff Morgan Hunter as the alpha male. When Red enters the town, she immediately attracts attention as an "unattached female." So even though Red doesn't know what she is, the reader will figure it out pretty quickly.

Once the reader does know Red's secret, the dramatic irony is sometimes too much to bear. Red seems pretty in denial to me, given the evidence surrounding her. Her grandfather frequently refers to her as his "special one," and she has keener senses than the average human. Oh, and she keeps waking up covered in other people’s blood. Don't get me wrong - I think Summers handles Red's dual nature well, but it's stretching credibility that Red could have reached her late twenties without ever cottoning on.

I do like Summers' evolution process for her werewolves - scientifically created super-soldiers are always going to please me. And I like that she took the traditional mythology and put it into such a dramatic new context. She mixes Red's POV with that of our killer very effectively, although again, it probably won't take the reader long to figure out who the killer is. This doesn't really hamper your enjoyment of the tale though, because as I said, this is really a romance novel. And it's a hot romance. Morgan and Red sizzle together. The fact that he knows she's a werewolf adds to the tension between them, and I'm sure it will be a point of contention in the sequel.

What I want to see in the next book is more pack-related action. Morgan is the leader of Nuria's werewolves, and there seem to be a lot of them. Therefore it would make sense to open this world up a bit more, especially now Red is in the thick of it. With such a fascinating backdrop to work with, I'd bet Summers has plenty of new twists planned.

  Naomi Clark loves writing but hates writing bios. To find out more, visit her blog at  or her livejournal.
  You can pick up Red through the Drops of Crimson bookshop powered by Amazon.
Copyright (c) 2008 Drops of Crimson. All rights reserved.