Blood In, Blood Out is the second part of the Vampire: the Requiem trilogy of books – but it’s only (very) loosely connected with the first book. It’s also set in Chicago and features some of the same characters (most in the background), but the front-and-center characters here are quite new. The book focuses on an ex-gangbanger named Duce Carter, now a frontman for the local Carthian faction, trying to negotiate a fragile peace while elements both within the Carthians and within the more powerful faction maneuver to upset the cart. There’s intrigue, quite a bit of “slum gang politics”, and plenty of violence.
It’s not as good as Stolze’s “A Hunger Like Fire”, but neither is it a bad book. The black gangbanger viewpoint, while a bit cliched, is still quite interesting. Duce is somewhat dry as a main character and initially a bit too much of a hero, but some of that flakes off later on.
If you just want a continuation of the initial story and characters in the first book, this book offers little – plotwise, it’s a complete detour. On the other hand, it drops some new characters into the mix and is worth a read, as light entertainment.