Blood Bank is technically the last book of the Blood Ties series by Tanya Huff, and the introduction begins with this rather depressing statement:
“Because the Blood books were as much about the relationship between the three protagonists as they were about the metaphysical or the mystery, and because in Blood Debt I had wrapped these relationships up definitely, there will be no more Vicki Nelson books. I have now said everything I have to say about these people. This is it. The end.”
It’s a hell of a way to begin the collection of all the short stories about these characters (and in the later edition I read, the script that Tanya Huff wrote for the short-lived television series). I did know that this was the case, but seeing that pronouncement in print did bring a finality of the ending of the series that I hadn’t felt before. On the one hand, I appreciate when something I love ends on a high note, when I still love it. On the other hand, I was starting to get a real kick out of reading Vicki Nelson’s life as a vampire, and I wish Tanya Huff could have brought me a little more of that. But at least this book is a bit of wish fulfillment in that direction.
About half the stories in the book are about Mike and Vicki after she’s become a vampire and returned to Toronto. There’s the tale of the vampire she has to kill to defend her territory (which was briefly mentioned in Blood Debt), which was a nice side story to see, but my favorite of these stories was “The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeaka”, where Mike and Vicki head out to the country to investigate the disappearance of a surveyor who was working to put a resort next a lake that may or may not be the home of a Nessie-like lake monster. That part of the story is fun in a hokey lake monster sort of way, but what I really enjoyed was how Mike and Vicki worked together to solve the mystery now that Vicki’s a vampire, and has both advantages and disadvantages from that. It was fun, and I found myself wishing for a novel-sized story where the two of them could work together again in that timeframe.
The other half of the stories are stories of Henry, both past and present. My favorite of those is “What Manner of Man”, which the author notes was inspired by Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels. What can I say, I love a good Regency-era novel, so this story was right up my alley. Another place where I wanted more when I was done.
This edition of the book ended with the script for “Stone Cold”, and Tanya Huff’s thoughts on writing it. It was a fascinating window into the process of creating scripts for a series, and well worth the read for anyone curious about that process.
All and all, I enjoyed this book immensely, but I definitely read it with a bit of sadness. I’m sorry that I have no new Blood books to look forward to.