Review: Retribution by Jeanne C. Stein

Retribution by Jeanne C. Stein
Book 5, Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009
Pages: 296

My Ramblings:
I've been an Anna Strong fan ever since I started reading these books earlier this year, so when Retribution, the fifth book in this series released, I dropped what I was reading to read it instead.

In Retribution, Anna Strong is still dealing with her two sided nature, her vampire and human sides and trying to accept her new life as a vampire, which I think she starting to come around to, evident in her new-found relationship with another vampire who is also a super hot underwear model, Lance. Warren Williams, San Diego's ex police chief and her ex-mentor now the leader of the local supernaturals, is pressing Anna to help find the person responsible for draining newly turned vampires of their blood. Anna is resistant at first because she still feels a boat load of resentment towards Williams for having a part in her family move to a winery in France, even though it's the safest place for them to be, away from the dangers surrounding Anna's supernatural world.

As a bounty hunter, Anna has to be cunning and part sleuth in finding criminals on the run. These skills as a bounty hunter come in handy while she tries to track down Belinda Burke, a very powerful black witch who has put a death spell on one of her close shape shifting friends, Culebra. Culebra owns Beso de la Muerte (Kiss of Death), a bar in the deserts of Mexico that caters to the supernatural and when he shows up at his own bar near death with Belinda Burke's name the last words he speaks, the clock starts ticking for Anna to find Belinda.

Anna has always been a cocky, hard-edged gal with a strong stubborn streak, who has always been quick to speak her mind and never takes any bull from anyone but she's always had a soft heart inside the tough exterior she shows world.

Anna speaking to a bail jumper:
"Save your breath, sweetie," I whisper in her ear. "The last glimpse I had of Hank, he was hopping in the back of a pickup. He's long gone."
I reach down and haul her to her feet. I use one hand as if she weighs twenty-five pounds instead of two-fifty. "Looks like it's just you and me."
Hilda is looking at me bleary-eyed with confusion and alcohol. "How did you —? What did you—? Where did you—?"
I pat her head and push her toward my own car. "Don't try to figure it out, Hilda. You'll hurt yourself."

I've enjoyed reading about the situations she always seems to get herself into but this time there was a spot in the story line that really bothered me and I didn't like Anna's reaction, which I can't say anything about without giving out spoilers. I felt her behavior wasn't inline with her character. It was the only low spot in the book for me.

I love the characteristics of the witches in this book and their ability to conjure magic with just a wave of a hand. The witches here can be very powerful beings and they have a whole world of possibilities and dimensions. One of the witches in Retribution has a short story in the anthology Many Bloody Returns, the story gives a insightful look into the world of witches that live in Anna's world. It's not necessary to read it before Retribution but it would give you a better understanding of the witches here and it's a good quick read.

I really enjoy Jeanne Stein's writing style, her words easily flow off the page bringing you into her world of paranormals. The paranormal world she has created around Anna Strong is unique one with many surprises, that has intrigued and entertained me throughout reading the Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles. Ms. Stein always adds an occurrence with an element of harsh realism in her books, they always leave me with deep thoughts on these matters. I like it when an author is not afraid to add an element that could shock and make me think long after I have finished reading a book.

Overall, I enjoyed the mystery and the fast pace set in Retribution. The main plot line gets tied up real nice with subtle hints into Anna's role in the supernatural world as the chosen, the one. I liked this book with the exception I noted and I'll be looking forward to the next book, which I hope will shed some light on Anna's role as the one. I think fans of the Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles will happy with this latest installment, aptly named Retribution. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes stories based in an urban, supernatural world with an air of mystery.

Synopsis from book cover:
With her partner out of town, her family abroad, and her mentor estranged, newly-turned vampire Anna Strong is keeping a low profile.

But now young vampires are turning up dead, completely drained of their life force. And though Anna wants to say no when Williams, her former teacher and now leader of a supernatural enforcement squad, asks for her help, she can't. But soon, she'll wish she did.

Read an excerpt | Author's web site | Blog

Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles Series Order:
  1. The Becoming
  2. Blood Drive
  3. The Watcher
  4. Legacy
  5. Many Bloody Returns Anthology - contains a story from the Anna Strong world.
  6. Retribution

Other Reviews:


Leontine said...

Hi Donna, this sounds like a great UF to sink your teeth in. I am gradually adding some more UF to my shelves and this author will end up there sooner or later (probably sooner LOL)

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I finally broke down and got two from the library. :) I can't wait to sink my teeth into this series..

Donna said...

Leontine - I actually didn't start reading UF until last year about this time. Now it seems I can't get enough of it. Hope you give this series a try sooner. :)

Colette - I hope you like this series, lots action and I really like the paranormals in it.

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Donna,
Great review, you sure makes me wanna read it. I really shouldn't give in to another series though ;)

Donna said...

Blodeuedd - Ah, come know you want to!! Seriously though, this series is full of action, quick reads. :)

Mandi said...

I am definitely interested in this series. Like you said, it is nice when an author does something a bit shocking that leaves you thinking about the book for days.

How much romance is in this book? Just curious..I don't need lots, but I like at least a little romantic tension ;)

Donna said...

Mandi - The first four books has more of romantic tension atmosphere to them then this one did. In Retribution the romance is more about the building towards a more solid relationship with Lance. Hope this helps, I don't want to give too much away. :)

Mandi said...

No - that sounds great! Thanks!

Donna said...

Mandi - I thought about your question and I think you are asking how much romance period. Sorry, it's been a long day. There are a few scenes in this book, and they glazes over the sex scenes but you get a real sense of what will/did happen and how good it was.

Mandi said...

No, I think I was asking more about the general feel of the romance.

Am I even making sense? LOL. Your first answer answered me.

Alexia561 said...

Read the first few in the series and enjoyed them. Will have to pick this one up as well! Thanks for reminding me it was out there!

Donna said...

Mandi - Okay, got it. Will stop typing now. ;)

Alexia - Yes, do pick it up!!

Lea said...

Good morning Donna!

Great review, I've heard so much about this author's work and she does seem to be developing the paranormal world for her characters with just the right momentum.

Glad you enjoyed and thanks for sharing.


Donna said...

Hi Lea - I really enjoy Ms. Stein's work, her writing style is very easy to follow and gives me something to think about.

Thanks for stopping by, I'm always happy to see here. :)

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi Donna - Great review! I'm a big fan of this series. :)

Anonymous said...

I think I know what part was the low spot for you. And I agree it was out of character. But I think its to build up for what may happen in future books with the character that ran the bar..(does that make sense,i don't want to give spoilers away either)

overall I really like this book. great series.

Donna said...

Hi Kimberly - Thanks!! Big fan here also.

elaing8 - I'm so ready for the next book, this series is one of my favorites. I feel like things are at a turning point too - at least I hope so. Thanks for coming by. :)

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