Title: Every Last Drop
Author: Charlie Huston
Published by: Orbit
Publication date: 5 March. 2009
Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
Source: Personal Collection
“After a year hiding out in the Bronx, Joe Pitt is given an assignment he can’t refuse.
One Clan needs Joe to inform on another, but he’s playing them both while keeping his eye on the main prize: his girl Evie is on the Island somewhere and he’ll do anything to get her back. And in this case, ‘anything’ means coming face to face with the horrendous secret that lies beneath the Vampyre world. It’s a quest that will drive him to the heart of the two most perplexing mysteries of the Vampyre community: how were the Clans originally formed, and where do the powerful ones get all that blood?
The search for the answer takes Joe to a dark corner of Queens, puts him face to face with a mythic and savage Clan, and leaves him in possession of a vision he’ll never scrape off his retinas – as well as a bargaining chip that redefines his place in the Vampyre universe.”
Every Last Drop is the 4th installment in the Joe Pitt case-files novels by Charlie Huston, you can read my reviews of the previous books on the blog. They are Already Dead, No Dominion and Half the Blood of Brooklyn.
I expressed a bit of disappointment in the previous book in this series but hinted at the end of my previous review that things got better in Every Last Drop. There is a major plot element in this book that really hits the reader in the face with it’s brutality and it’s well worth getting through Half the Blood of Brooklyn for, to call it a game changer for the main character; Joe Pitt is an understatement!
Pitt starts off in exile from Manhattan, but he quickly finds his way back to the ‘mainland’ and starts making trouble with and for himself! In Every Last Drop, we follow Pitt once more on a case working the clans, The Coalition, Society and the new Clan Cure, all at the same time in a rather exciting entanglement to answer some key questions – Does the new clan have what it takes to fulfill their goals? How do the bigger clans sustain themselves? And so on.
A fair chunk of Every Last Drop takes place off Manhattan again and brings a bit more insight to how far the Vampyres and the extended universe travels. Albeit a little limited as this still happens in New York – I do wonder if Charlie Huston ever planned for anything related to this universe that is set further afield – but I am pleased to say that the offerings in Every Last Drop (Wider Universe and not) are much more satisfying than they are in Half the Blood of Brooklyn and I feel that Huston is very much back in track with this 4th installment.
Building upon the near obsession with his girlfriend, Joe Pitt is driven with Evie in mind; who has been holed up with the mysterious Enclave gang for over a year. With the absence of Daniel, he is no longer as welcome among the Enclave as he once was and this presents a new set of challenges for him – which add another dangerous element to the narrative and a bit of a mix-up on the old ‘Joe Pitt gets beaten up and beats up others’ that had become a bit too familiar. Of course, there is an element of this – as the violence has been ramped up and Pitt spends a lot of the novel walking wounded – but it’s forgivable in this offering in the series as there is more to focus on than just seeing the protagonist using his fists. The tensions between the clans and it’s members towards one another is increasing and Every Last Drop points the reader ‘nicely’ to the last book; and who would read the series this far and not see it through to it’s conclusion? While it could be accused as being another ‘filler’ episode/novel in the series I felt it was a lot more satisfying than Half the Blood of Brooklyn in it’s content – especially in relation to the characters involved; with whom we should be well familiar as they all come back around again in their various guises. Of particular note, and I feel I can’t mention these books without mentioning the Enclave clan, is the changes that have taken place within which are both drastic and troubling; especially considering that Evie has been locked up with them for the duration of Pitts exile.
The book follows the same editing format as the previous books and while I didn’t mention it in my review of Half the Blood of Brooklyn, I will add it in here, instead, as there is a bit more varied dialogue between characters. Charlie Huston doesn’t use speech marks in these books and the formatting of them isn’t up to usual standards which can be a little confusing; especially in Every Last Drop as it’s pace is certainly a lot faster than previous books. It can be somewhat harder to follow as there are new characters introduced and some take to the fore so their speech patterns aren’t so easy to pick out and follow as they may have been in previous books.
I am looking forward to reading the final installment in the series; My Dead Body and wrapping up the novels in my final review of the Joe Pitt case-files.