"Blood Gamble" continues the walking disaster that is Scarlet Bernard's life as a Null: a human who cancels out the magic of supernaturals in her presence, vampires and werewolves become human and witches' spell bounce off her.
This book takes Scarlet out of LA, where she is supported by people she trusts, and into Las Vegas, a city she has a bad history with and where she has to fall back on her own resources. She is made more vulnerable by the fact that her cover story for being in Las Vegas is to attend her sister-in-law's belated hen-party weekend. This gives her enemies potential targets. It also gives us the fun of her seeing her suffer through various girly rituals that she has no wish to take part in.
It was refreshing to see Scarlet in a new environment. I thought the tacky-but-hard-to-look-away-from nature of Vegas was captured well. The plot was original, held a few surprises, gave me a few laughs and made just enough (mostly remote) use of well-loved characters from earlier books to keep continuity.
Scarlet did a lot of growing up in the last book, "Midnight Curse", finally pulling herself out from her victim status and becoming an actor in her own right. She continues that here, for the most part, acting independently and often quite aggressively. She is dragged into her past again by another Null that she met when she was a teenager and who she is sympathetic towards, despite his flaws because she sees that she could easily have become what he now is.
This is a well done, first person account, that works because Scarlet is a mostly ordinary, mostly nice person who keeps finding herself with life and death choices. What could be more engaging than that?
Read this if you're in the mood for an urban supernatural adventure that's heavy on snark and attitude that hides a heart of gold.
I recommend the audiobook version as Amy McFadden is the perfect narrator for Scarlet's books.
Try a sample for yourself by clicking on the link below.