Review: Bleed by Dax Varley

BLEED - Dax Varley

The story follows several different POV’s. We have five protagonists whose lives have lead them to converge on the same school, a school that’s been recently experiencing a bout of suicides and have taken on the moniker of Suicide High. After working their way into forming a group, they eventually figured out they’re dealing with a Demon that’s been terrorizing civilization for centuries and it’s always been their job to send it back to hell.


After a little prologue peek into the story, we start out following Miranda on her first day at a new school after relocating from a very small town, where her father was disgraced. Miranda was nervous, not just because she’s the new girl, but also because of her affliction as a Stigmata. The meaning of a Stigmata was re-imagined for the plot of this story, so I won’t go into what that actually is, just that it means that Miranda bleeds from holes in her palms when she comes in contact with overwhelming, I’m gonna say, situations, it varies. Right away Miranda meets Jake and then later received a threatening letter that would make me march immediately to the administrative office to turn it in. Well, that didn’t happen, so the story continues.


Then we have Jake, the confused Psychic and Miranda’s love interest. He was the level headed task master of the group. At first I couldn’t understand Jake’s psychic abilities, he seemed confused too, when it was explained it did actually makes sense and is sort of a new way to see psychic abilities. He basically has Deja Vu Psychic abilities. Very surprised the others weren’t more frustrated with him for not just being a plain old psychic. 


Sam’s the Sin Eater and all around flirt and funny one in the group. The first time I heard of a Sin Eater was from a TV show, so that wasn’t new to me, but it was to the group. It caused a lot of problems for Sam, it cramped his style majorly, especially his flirting.


Healer, nerd and the one with the saddest past of the group. Topher was reluctant to join the group, but with everyone needing constant healing and his need to help, he kept getting pulled back in.


Last but not least, we have Xyan, snarky and full of attitude, and even more reluctant to be a part of the group. Xyan was the Linguist or the Speaker of Tongues, no specific title was given for her ability. She can speak any language, but probably wishes English would be there when she needs it most.


I really like this ensemble, there were a few other secondary characters that these characters were able to play off of really well. A parent or two made appearances, but since approximately 85% of the story took place in the school, those characters were teachers and students, obviously the demon would have to be one of those. I think the author did a good job throwing me off the scent of the culprit, when I thought of who that might be, it seemed too obvious, and decided to just be surprised. I was surprised and not surprised, meaning that the twist and turns got me all turned around and made me not so sure, but my original guess was correct. The romance wasn’t all-consuming, but I thought Miranda’s and Jakes romance was very sweet and tender.


The creepy and grossed parts were when the guys had their confrontations with the demon, he terrorized them and tried to take them down one by one, and even if it was creeptastic and gross, it brought the horror and action to the story. The negative thing about this story was the naiveté of the characters. I tried to understand that they were new to this and didn’t know better. A good example that did have me scratching my head was when the guys thought that they might have found the culprit, they had him arrested and thought, good, job done. I was yelling at them, don’t be foolish, it’s a freaking demon your dealing with, you need to banish it, that means killing it. Other than that I really liked these guys and the story as a whole. I felt that the characters and more about the demon aspect could have been delved into more, but it’s a Stand-Alone and with that, it was still a really fulfilling story, and I’m left with wanting more.