Gory and relentlessly tense, this sequel to Moody's neo-zombie thriller, Hater, maintains the innovative tautness that landed that self-published e-book on Guillermo del Toro's film production slate, but suffers from middle-child status. The second book in a proposed trilogy, it follows its predecessor's narrator, Danny McCoyne, now a "Hater," one of the growing portion of humanity consumed with destroying the "Unchanged." Danny's quest to find his Hater daughter drives much of the book's action, but is problematic as a focal point. While it's fascinating to observe the mind of a Hater like Danny, it's also hard to invest in the emotions of a monster, especially one whose descriptions of killing are so thoroughly, gruesomely chronicled. The Unchanged interludes, featuring characters like the pathetic Mark Tillotsen-who, along with his family and hoards of others, huddles in a city under siege-offer little relief or distraction. With both build-up and conclusion of this tale confined to separate volumes, Dog Blood's tension feels turgid, despite all the action, at times tipping the tone from thrilling to unpleasant and crying out for the release of what one hopes is a soon-to-follow sequel.
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