Blog Tour (Book Review): Bloodlines (The Guardian of Empire City #1) – Peter Hartog


Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Bloodlines’ by Peter Hartog organised by Storytellers on Tour. There is also an International Giveaway at the end of this post where you have the chance to win a signed paperback of this fantastic book for yourself.

I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).

*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*

Book Summary:

When former hotshot homicide detective Tom “”Doc”” Holliday is recruited to join Special Crimes, he trades in his boring desk job for a second chance to do what he does best, hunt down killers. And his first case doesn’t disappoint: a murdered woman with a bogus past, her body drained of blood, and two eyewitnesses wasted on the designer drug goldjoy claiming a vampire did it.

For Holliday is no stranger to the unusual. He wields the Insight, a fickle clairvoyance that allows him to see the dark and terrible things that hide upon his world. After all, when you live in Empire City, where magic and technology co-exist, and humanity endures behind walls of stone and spell-forged steel, anything is possible.

Saddled with a team whose past is as checkered as his own, Holliday embarks upon an investigation that pits them against bio-engineered vampires, interdimensional parasites and the magical masterminds behind it all.

From nightclubs and skyscrapers, to underground drug labs and coffee shops, Holliday’s search for the truth will uncover a shadowy conspiracy that spans the ages, and forces him to confront a destiny he never wanted.

Bloodlines is Peter Hartog’s debut novel, the first in the Empire City Special Crimes series. Scroll up to order your copy, and start reading today!

The Review:

Oh, this was such a joy to read. Science Fantasy was where my love of SFF was born, so it was an absolute delight to dive into this fascinating blend of fantastical elements with advanced technology and cybernetics, and even more so when it was paired with a crime thriller. I had been looking forward to this one, and I have to say that I was pretty much sold from the first line which had me snorting aloud, and when we got the first hint of something unnatural, I was hooked and flew through the pages of this book.

    Bloodlines straddles the boundary between multiple genres, and Hartog does a fantastic job of balancing the different aspects to create an intricate and cohesive whole without losing the strengths and charms of those individual elements. The world is vividly realised, from looking at the fate of a future Earth that has undergone a massive transformation due to various crisis – some of which are possibly a little too close to home now -to the inventive use of technology to adapt to this new world, and ways for humans to survive and thrive, as well as the questions that arise from such technology. What I particularly enjoyed was that this was balanced with surviving ‘old world’ elements, which gave a sense of history and maintained a strong thread of humanity in a world where technology could threaten that, and that played well into the ‘crime thriller’ aspect which gave the world a grounded feeling, even amongst the technological marvels and the supernatural elements which became more prevalent throughout the book from shadow parasites, to preternatural insight and vampires. It was a delicate balancing act, one that could have gone astray and which the author has instead crafted into a truly memorable world.

    The investigation aspect was beautifully handled, and even with a lot happening just within the world itself, we are given hints and clues and red herrings. The twists and turns, with moments of clarity for the characters and the reader, kept me on the edge of my seat, especially as it became clear that the characters were dealing with more than a murder case. The pacing and tension, paired with this, had my mind racing and trying to work out who or what was responsible, as everything built towards the crescendo.

     The characters were as well-written as the world itself and ‘Doc’ Holliday undoubtedly steals the show as our main POV, and it was impossible not to appreciate his unique character voice that bled through into everything he did, and it added so much to the story that I really couldn’t imagine it having been narrated by anyone else. He has a charm and appeal all of his own, from the fact that his nickname comes not from the famous gunslinger but from the fact he has a PhD in classical literature to his humour, as well as a past and experience that could have played into the stereotypical ‘detective’ but while it undoubtedly shaped him, he does not fall into that easy type and it was a delight to follow him. The rest of the cast were just as well written, although there were a few that I might have liked to have known more about, but they were still well-fleshed out, with unique voices that made them each stand out. Leyla was a favourite – I have a certain weakness for characters who are hackers – and again is a wonderful example of the intersection of the different elements of this world, as she can use magic as well. I also really liked Deacon as a character and enjoyed his relationship with Holliday. (Also, because Birmingham was mentioned near the start, I now imagine Deacon’s accent as Brummie… even though I know it’s a different Birmingham!)

     I had so much fun with this book from start to finish, and that ending!! This is the perfect read for anyone who loves science fantasy or wants to lose themselves in a wonderful, gripping, multi-genre read. I can’t wait to see what else Peter Hartog does within this world, and I will definitely be picking up any future books.

About the Author:

A native son of Massachusetts, Peter has been living in the Deep South for over 25 years. By day, he’s an insurance professional, saving the world one policy at a time. But at night, well, no one really wants to see him fighting crime in his Spider-Man onesie. Instead, Peter develops new worlds of adventure, influenced by his love of science fiction, mysteries, music and fantasy. Whether it’s running role-playing games for his long-time friends, watching his beloved New England sporting teams, or just chilling with a movie, his wife, two boys, one puppy and three cats, Peter’s imagination is always on the move. It’s the reason why his stories are an eclectic blend of intrigue, excitement, humor and magic, all drawn from four decade’s worth of television, film, novels, and comic books. You can learn more about Peter and his writing projects at, or send him a tweet @althazyr.

Social Media:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US



Prize: A signed paperback of Bloodlines by Peter Hartog –INTERNATIONAL!

Starts: April 18th, 2021 at 12:00am EST

Ends: April 25th, 2021 at 11:59pm EST

You can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.


8 thoughts on “Blog Tour (Book Review): Bloodlines (The Guardian of Empire City #1) – Peter Hartog

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