First Drop of Crimson is the first spin-off novel set in Jeanine Frost’s popular Night Huntress universe. It’s a standalone that focuses on Denise and Spade, who are two reoccurring side characters from the main series.
A demon has slowly been killing off members of Denise’s family. After she witnesses the demon murder her cousin, he makes her a deal. Find the relative who skipped out on a bargain with him and she won’t meet the same fate. With Cat and Bones out of country, Denise enlists the assistance of the only other vampires she knows, Spade. With Spade’s help, Denise has to track down her errant relative, who is hidden in the vampire community, before the demon runs out of patience.
It’s been a couple of years since I read a book set in the Night Huntress world. While I adored the early books in the main series and loved Eternal Kiss of Darkness, I can’t say that I felt as strongly about First Drop of Crimson. It fell firmly in the “it was ok” category for me.
The main reason for this is that Spade and Denise were pretty plain characters. They had very little to make them standout when surrounded by memorable characters, like Ian and Mencheres. It didn’t help that the snarky vampire, Ian, was given the best lines or that Bones’ appearance breathed some life into a plot that had started to feel meandering. It got to the point where I was reading more to catch glimpses of the other characters than to find out what would happen to Denise or Spade.
All in all, First Drop of Crimson wasn’t bad, just nothing really stood out about it. This works as a nice side story for fans of the series. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to people who are looking to get into the Night Huntress books. If you’re contemplating starting the series, I would suggest to just take the plunge and begin with the first book,Halfway to the Grave.