With its franchise setting and vampire-heavy cast, the titled-with-a-trilogy-in-mind novel "Bloodborn" could have easily been a mess of overused fantasy tropes, forgettable characters, and stock action sequences set to a telegraphed plot. Instead, author Long produces an admirable fantasy-themed mystery with sympathetic characters who live beyond their roles. The cast follows a trail to its cinematically minded climax, for sure, but it's a finale paired with an ending whose impact few would expect from a genre novel. The emotional conflicts are engaging without being overwrought, and there is more than one character readers will be sad to leave behind. Recommended for fantasy fans who might otherwise feel sheepish for picking this one off the shelf.