Blood Oranges - Kathleen Tierney, Caitlín R. Kiernan 4-4.5 stars. This review originally posted at The BiblioSanctum

Now here's a book that comes with a ton of caveats.

First of all, it seems whenever a title about vampires or werewolves comes out nowadays, most of us tend to automatically think, "Oh geez, not yet another YA urban fantasy." Except I don't know if I'd let any tween of mine get within twenty feet near a book like this. No question about it, it is adult fiction containing a lot of mature themes and very naughty language, though interestingly enough, no sex.

Which is also kind of the perfect segue into my next point: If you are someone who prefers a little paranormal romance in your urban fantasy, then this book is also not for you. Our main protagonist and narrator is one of those gals who would sooner kill a monster than get lovey dovey and make out with one, if you know what I mean. As all tough demon huntresses should be, if you ask me. That she also makes fun of sparkly vampires is a plus.

Actually, if you're still unsure of whether or not this book is for you, just flip through the first few pages of front matter to the author's foreword. Here's my favorite quote from it: "In fact, if you're the sort who believes books should come with warning labels, this book's not for you. Also, please note: Siobhan Quinn is not a very good writer. Fair notice."

Yes, fair and pretty much accurate. Good thing my sensibilities are not easily offended, because this book was a lot of fun and a riot to read. It actually made me laugh out loud a few times. There's just something about the gritty writing style and Quinn's sarcastic cynicism and that devil-may-care attitude of hers that makes me really like her. She reminds me of a female Sandman Slim.

Yeah, Siobhan Quinn is definitely not your run-of-the-mill urban fantasy heroine. Not at all. The two monster-kills that that first led her onto the demon-hunting path were complete flukes, the products of her clumsiness and sheer dumb luck. She's a foul-mouthed street-kid drug addict with serious issues who gets bitten by a werewolf and a vampire -- both in a single night! -- but her "werepire-ness" has not left her any prettier, any more cheerful, or improved her hygienic habits one whit. Not to mention she's also a junkie, a self-admitted coward and compulsive liar, and a terribly unreliable narrator.

But perhaps the thing I liked most about her character is the fact she breaks the urban fantasy female protagonist mold, in a way that's almost borderline satire. That along with the book's departure from the norm offers a refreshing change of pace for those of us who are wearying of the same-old-same-old genre tropes, and who might be looking for something different to stir things up.

By the way, Kathleen Tierney is the nom de plume of Caitlín R. Kiernan, whom I found out only after I finished this book is quite a well-known author of horror fiction. Though I have not read any of her other works, after Blood Oranges, I think I might want to.