Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book: Kindle Worlds (The 100) Blood Bound by Linnea Lund

Full Disclosure: Though I have never met LL, I do know her fairly well through fandom. I am an alpha or beta reader on most of her original fiction books, and have edited many of them. This was not one of those.

I finished binge-watching the first two seasons of The 100 recently, and wanted something more about the characters, just in case the show doesn't return. What is available on AO3 wasn't really satisfying my need to learn more about the characters. I had read and enjoyed a couple of Lund's The 100 works on AO3, before I knew this was a pseudonym for someone I knew.

Lund's characterization of Clarke in Blood Bound is wonderfully in line with the canon portrayal, and Clarke's personal growth over the course of the story is perfectly ordinary, and yet unexpected at the same time.

The book picks up with Clarke when she walks away from the compound at the end of season two.

When Clarke and Bellamy finally see each other again, it's real, not perfect, and their reunion isn't the end of the book. There's so much more to their story, and the slow, steady pace of their romantic relationship is by turns frustrating and delightful.

By the end, Clarke and Bellamy are the adults I always knew they could be, and I believe they can take Earth's inhabitants into the future with their sensible leadership and ability to negotiate.

In addition to Clarke and Bellamy, Lund weaves in canon and non-canon characters I didn't expect, and takes them all in directions I would never have considered.

None of them get out of this free of the grief of losing people they love, but they do walk out into the figurative sunshine at least planning for the future. The hopeful ending is hard-won and worth every moment of reading.

All that said, there were a LOT of mistakes, making me wish I HAD edited the book. I love her work, but she doesn't get an auto-pass on editing just because I know her.