Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood #BookReview #DarkFantasy #ThrillerThursday

A thrilling new fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood!

Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Since she was kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.

When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.

Thorn is everything Victoria isn’t – confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide – is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?

A fierce, lush fantasy by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood, Wildblood tells the story of a girl who must find the strength to defeat the demons of the jungle as well as her own to find where she truly belongs.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood is a dark fantasy story about magic wielders called Wildbloods and their job leading people through the dangerous jungles of Jamaica.

Reading Experience:

This story kept me on my toes, trying to guess what would happen at each juncture. The thrills kept the pages flipping faster and faster, making the book so hard to put down even when I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I love these qualities in a dark fantasy as much as in any thriller.

The magic system, albeit vague, is fascinating and unique. I had the gist, even if I didn’t understand the specifics. The world-building, however, is very detailed and immerses me in the jungle immediately. I could feel the humidity and smell the smoke that distracted the insects. The world-building is pretty exceptional.

The only issue I had with the story was the romance – how fast it began and progressed. I wanted more of a happily ever after, but no path would have taken this story to that happy place. It reminded me of Pocahontas’ story in many ways, as it had no direction that would have led to that romantic happily ever after.


Victoria is a very intriguing character, and the more and more I learned about her, the more fascinating she became. Her backstory is slowly unveiled as the tale progresses. However, I still had questions and wanted to know more about her early years before she came to the touring company. She is strong in character and magic, unwaveringly loyal and fearless, and no one is more determined

Narration & Pacing:

The pacing is quick from beginning to end. All of the dangers helped to keep it that way, as the characters faced challenge after challenge as they got further into the jungle. The POV stays on Victoria as she narrates the story in first person. As I said before, she is an intriguing character. That quality bleeds through to her narration giving the story a magical quality it wouldn’t have otherwise had.


The story is set in Jamaica during the Victorian era, but most of the time, the story feels outside of time and place. In the jungle, there is no such thing as social conventions that dictate clothing styles and other acceptable ways of life. The jungle is full of dangers- lethal animals, angry spirits, and a goddess who wants people out of her jungle. There is no end to the dangers.

Read if you like:

  • Dark fantasies (significant thriller component)
  • Magic
  • Strong female characters

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing Quality10
Character Development9
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness7
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

18 Replies to “Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood #BookReview #DarkFantasy #ThrillerThursday”

  1. I haven’t read many books set in a jungle. This does sound interesting. Nice review, Tessa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very interesting. I think it might be the first book I’ve read of any genre set on a Caribbean Island.


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