Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bloodhound - Review

    Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2)
by Tamora Pierce

Series: Beka Cooper #2 
Genre: YA High Fantasy 
Pgs: 551 (Paperback)
Beka Cooper is no longer a Puppy. She's a Dog now - a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, which keeps the peace in Corus's streets. Beka's natural skills of observation and tenacity are augmented by her unusual magical talents, which allow her to gather information both from pigeons are from the eddies of dirt and dust that swirl on street corners. But even her magic isn't very useful when unrest comes to Tortall's capital in the form of counterfeit coins, which turn up in shops all over the city. Merchants raise prices to cover their losses, and with winter coming on, hikes in food and fuel costs could spell disaster - most of all for the city's poor.

The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeits from Port Caynn - and that the Port Caynn Dogs don't seem to be doing anything about it. Beka and her mentor, Clary Goodwin, are chosen to go undercover in Port Caynn and find out what they can. And wherever Beka goes, so do some of her animals. Departing from Corus with her are the scent hound Achoo, who has been newly assigned to Beka, and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead.

In Port Caynn, Beka and Goodwin delve deep into the gambling world. There Beka meets a charming bank courier, who may be involved in the counterfeiting ring. Things come to a head just as Goodwin returns home to report in Corus. It won't be enough to Beka to be her usual "terrier" self. She'll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals - to be a bloodhound.

When I was suffering from a reading slump that was like a bad cold, it kept coming back, I picked this book up. I am so happy that I did! Unsurprisingly I loved this book. I'm also in the middle of book three, Mastiff, and I am also loving it.

I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Terrier, but I thought it was a little slow to start and the journal format was unbelievable/just didn't work for me at times. This book really improved those two elements and had the great fantasy world I expect from Pierce. There were little things that happened (like Beka falling asleep during an entry) that made the journal format work better. I love Beka and her determination to stay on the right side of the law. She is one of my favorite characters that I've read in a long time. I like how she is still learning things, she forgets things and she stands up for what she believes in (even more strongly in the third books which I'm reading now). It makes her so easy to like and believable.

I was slightly disappointed that Beka was leaving Corus and the Lower City because the character of that area was one of the reasons I loved the first book. I was also sad that Beka's friends wouldn't be in this book as much.  However, Tortall as a whole is so richly developed that the new city, Port Caynn, is just was interesting and detailed as Corus. Beka also makes interesting in this city so my fears were unfounded.

I think its natural that the pacing in this book worked a lot better for me. We have already been introduced to Beka's world and how the Provost's Guard work which makes things start much faster. While counterfeiting doesn't sound like an interesting concept, I promise you it is much more dangerous and thrilling than you would think. Beka gets herself into so many sticky situations while she is hunting down bad coins.

If you are a Tamora Pierce fan, you probably have noticed the Rouge in her stories. Each one is different and has their own way of ruling a Court of Thieves. I found it so interesting to compare all the Rouges we have met in her stories. I think Pearl is the most interesting of them all. She was one heck of a character in this book. I also loved all the "easter eggs" in this book. There are some things introduced in this book that are relevant in series that are set after this. It is really really fun to find those small bits in this series.

I mentioned I'm already reading the final book and I've been forewarned by my best friend that I'm going to cry my eyes out. Therefore I'm taking my time and savoring this final book before I get to whatever gut-wrenching scenes that are ahead.

Rating 5/5

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