Meet Siobhan Quinn—Half vampire, half werewolf, and retired monster hunter. Or so she thought…
Three years have passed since Quinn turned her back on Providence, Rhode Island’s seedy supernatural underbelly, walking out on Mr. B. and taking a bus headed anywhere. She hoped her escape would give her some peace from the endless parade of horrors. But a dead girl who quarrels with the moon can’t catch a break, and, on the streets of Manhattan, Quinn finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place. Again.
What do you do when you’re stuck in the middle of a three-million-year-old grudge match between the ghouls and the djinn, accidentally in possession of a hellish artifact that could turn the tide of the war, all the while being hunted by depraved half-ghoul twins intent on taking the object and ushering in a terrifying Dark Age?
Especially when you’ve fallen in love with the woman who got you into this mess—and you ain’t nobody’s hero…
Cherry Bomb is the third and final installment in Caitlín R. Kiernan’s (writing as Kathleen Tierney) series about a vampire-werewolf named Quinn. This series seeks to ‘re-fang’ the paranormal genre, as it were, one gorey and expletive-heavy passage at a time. It both mocks the romantic niche that vampires have been crammed into like ill-fitting coffins, and is both unabashedly sexual and intolerant of anyone who seeks to lie to themselves about price one pays to live forever.
The book opens three years after Quinn walked out on Mean Mr. B. and Rhode Island both, and she now resides in New York. She settles, as much as is possible for her, into a relationship, which she chafes and, this is short-lived, pun fully intended, when she meets Selwyn Throckmorton, an antiquities dealer one night in a BDSM club.
Unfortunately, it seems that the very thing that drew Selwyn to approach someone she knew wasn’t human has also lead to her getting involved in trading ghoul artifacts with individuals one would do well to avoid. Nobody with any sense would wander into a feud between ghouls and the djinn, but then, this is Quinn’s life, and these things happen to her as a rule.
Unlike the previous books in this series, Quinn’s dry sense of humor has a distinctly darker tone, which makes sense given what’s happened to her, but it also ties into the rest of the story, which is much more aggressive as progressively more unpleasant things happen to people and creatures who may or may not deserve what happens to them.
It’s essential to remember that as a protagonist, Quinn is not intended to be admirable, and she is aware of how far from the role of a traditional hero she walks. On the other hand, Quinn is definitely not infallible, and even though the audience may be able to see Selwyn as the trouble she most assuredly is, Quinn, from time to time, allows emotion to get the better of her.
On the one hand, it’s a shame that this series has ended, but it is preferable for it to end strongly, rather than drag on for years, with characters becoming progressively unrecognizable. At the end of the day, the audience knows Quinn, inside and out, as well as anyone can know a character who would sneer at them, swear, and spit her defiance, and that is in and of itself satisfying.
(Received a copy from the publisher)