Ian Healy has written a novel that might make you wrinkle your brow a bit when I tell you about it. I know I did! Blood on the Ice seems like an appropriate title for a hockey book, and so it is, but this one refers more to the vampires that also happen to be hockey players in this fun romp in small town Canada.
One thing I should point out is that I’m not much of a vampire fan, in fact I think I can count on one hand the number of vampire books I’ve read, ever. So don’t expect any kind of deep analysis of the vampires. You won’t need that anyway. Healy treats the vampire aspects rather lightly and you should be laughing out loud, as I was through out this book.
So if I’m not a vampire fan why read it? I asked myself that but gave it a chance nonetheless; it is about hockey too, right? Right! The hockey story is as strong as it gets, great scenes on the ice of the camaraderie and the minor league hockey lifestyle. Hammie, our hero is well developed and I was drawn into the story by him quickly.
The vampire story develops slowly and it isn’t like you don’t see it coming. What I didn’t see coming was Healy’s origin of the vampires as a race/species, whatever. With a Da Vinci Code sorta twist, it whacked me in the head. I have no idea if it’s been done before but I really liked it and I think he could expand on that in a future (short?) story. He barely touches on it but it seems like there could be more there.
One of the most entertaining aspects of the book is the narrator butting in here and there with comments. At first I was a bit nonplussed by it but it grew on me to the point that I looked forward to it. Besides, the narrator gets in one of the best jabs at the French that I’ve ever heard. Hilarious. Healy’s portrayal of the vampires is tongue-in-cheek for sure and I thought his depiction of the vampires as pests was amusing. If you have a vampire infestation, who do you call?
Overall it’s an entertaining read with some inventive use of matzoh balls, great imagery of small town Canada, young guys playing hockey for the love of the game, quirky characters and yes, just a bit of blood and vampire-ish gore to round it all out.
Blood on the Ice is available as an ebook Amazon and Smashwords.
-From the Point