Stories featuring horses usually revolve around racetracks or young adult infatuations with equines; but Blood Horse is a horse of another color. Its sci-fi revolves around an experimental DNA treatment intended to promote healing from an injury, but which actually supercharges the killer instinct.
In a horse? Read on, because horse action doesn't get any more gripping than this.
The story begins in a familiar way: a teen jockey's horse fails a jump and breaks a leg. Usually this is where the story would become one of a teen's love for her broken steed and her ability to heal it; but Blood Horse takes a different turn when high-tech is applied as a solution and seemingly produces a miracle.
As Christopher Thomas follows the evolution of a mild-mannered, beloved family horse into a killing machine, readers receive a slow build-up into the inevitable that takes a nice turn away from the specter of a girl's love for her horse and moves into the realm of a well-meaning scientific experiment gone awry.
Interestingly, the main characters are young adults, which would seem to peg this read as one recommended for this age group were it not for the Cujo-like horror involved in the horse's altered personality. This means that mature teens to adult readers alike will appreciate the story's premises and direction, finding it an accessible read driven as much by the teens' evolving personalities and relationships as by the story of a DNA experiment gone wrong. (Caveat: there are enough adult themes and references here to keep this from being recommendable for teens below the age of 17. Blood Horse decidedly stands on the cusp of mature teen to new adult and adult readers - and this is a fine audience for it.)
As Sammy runs away during his ongoing evolutionary process, Tina follows, and readers receive a gripping story that offers satisfying changes as she comes to realize her former best friend is deeply changing on psychological and physical levels alike.
Involving and dark, Blood Horse holds adventure and a message and will keep its readers thoroughly on board for a vigorous ride holding plenty of surprises right up to its unexpected ending.