Growing up, my reading selections weren’t very diverse. I read mostly fiction – no romance (that was for dreamers), no science-fiction (that was for boys), no horror (real life is scary enough). My mother (who at one time read a book a day) started reading Stephen King and loved it. So I began to read him as well. Eventually I started to branch out in different genres. Then one day, years ago, when I was managing the Truth Bookstore (a Black bookstore in Atlanta – since gone out of business -not my fault) a new book came in called The Between. It told the story of a boy whose grandmother dies while saving his life. As an adult it becomes apparent that he wasn’t supposed to survive and the forces that let him slip away the first time are back to reclaim him. It was the most inventive, and exciting book that I had read in a long time and I handsold (bookselling term) it to every one of my customers. When we hosted Ms. Due for a booksigning, I am sure that I embarrassed myself with all of my gushing. It was the beginning of her career as a novelist and I have read everything she has written and haven’t been disappointed yet.
Blood Colony is the third in a series of books about the “living blood”. This series is hard for me to describe but I will try. The first book, My Soul to Keep, introduces us to the Life Brothers, a group of African men who become immortal after receiving what their leader tells them is the blood of Christ. Realizing that as men who don’t age or die, they can’t really mix with the regular population. You can’t live a normal life and create relationships and father children when the people around you are aging and you are not. So they live together as monks in a colony in Ethiopia and meditate and hone their powers. But one of the Brothers, Dawit, keeps getting restless and leaves. This time he meets and falls in love with Jessica and they have a child. But the Brothers insist that what he is doing is dangerous and he must come home, especially after he has confessed his secret to Jessica (big immortal no-no). The second book, The Living Blood, shows Jessica traveling to Ethiopia to get answers for her daughter, Fana, who is exhibiting strange behavior that she suspects is tied to the Blood. We get more insight into the Life Brothers and the circumstances surrounding their creation. Blood Colony takes place in the not too distant future and Fana is now a young woman who has to be protected because of her gifts. I won’t give much away about this book except to say that it includes the revelation that there are others with the Blood who want to use it to cleanse humanity reign over the world.
Now, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Tananarive Due is my favorite author. If you go to my Shelfari page, you will see that I have read hundreds (maybe thousands) of books and I have always hesitated to pick a favorite. But right now, at this time, and probably for a long time in the future she is my favorite author. She has written other books that aren’t in this series that are equally good. Also, check out her husband, Steven Barnes, who writes great science fiction. They aren’t paying me, I swear.