Mar. 24th, 2011

naomi_jay: (save the werewolves)

 
I feel like this is really a book of two halves. On the one hand, you've got this intense, animalistic depiction of werewolves and pack life that I loved - the use of lupine body language and behaviour was very strong, and the lack of a mental division between the "wolf side" and the "human side" really worked for me. Raand's werewolves are pretty damn primal about pretty much everything (although that does make me wonder how they managed to stay hidden in society for so long - Sylvan, the Alpha, is constantly leaping over desks and changing into a wolf mid-sentence, and she's the one with the best control. So God knows how the rest of the pack managed. But I digress).

On the other hand, we have a love story that stretches my credulity. Sylvan and Drake, a human medic, only have two real encounters before they're lusting over each other so badly they can't even wear clothes or something. One is when they meet in the ER and are scrapping over the best way to treat a fatally wounded werewolf. The other is over breakfast. It's not the stuff great love affairs are made of, but they're both so instantly obsessed with each other it's a bit ridiculous. The book avoids openly saying it's a "fated to mate" scenario, but it's there and I never like that trope. It just feels lazy to me. Why bother developing a relationship if people can just smell nice, right? Right, Edward? Right?

Anyway. Since the "romance" (sorry, but it's hot sex. Hot sex is great, but it's not the same as love, and Sylvan and Drake really don't spend enough time together when they're not angsting, hallucinating, or shagging for me to believe they're in love)... Where was I going? Oh yeah. Since the "romance" is a driving factor of this book, I ended up with mixed feelings. There's a very interesting plot here revolving around supernatural politics - the supernatural community of this world has only recently emerged, and are fighting for rights and economic strength - but it gets swamped by Sylvan and Drake's raging hormones. There are some fascinating side characters, like vampire police officer, Jody Gates and human reporter Becca Land, and there is some wonderful writing.

But it all gets a bit lost, and short shrift is given to the underlying plot of humans showing up infected with were fever, and the potential damage this could cause to the fragile balance between humans and supernaturals. The big climactic fight with the baddy was over so fast and so easy I pretty much missed it, and we're left with Sylvan and Drake all loved-up. Which is fine, but I would have liked more external conflict to match the internal angsting.

Ultimately, this is a book that displays all the strengths and weaknesses of the genre. Intriguing world-building and vivid writing, coupled with an over-reliance on sex. I'm almost certainly going to buy the sequel, Blood Hunt, as it appears to focus more on Jody and Becca, who I loved. I didn't hate Sylvan and Drake by any means, but I can't help feeling after a couple of weeks of hot sex, they're probably going to be all like, "so, do you like ... stuff?" and then sit there with nothing to say to each other and it'll be really awkward. 



 
5 / 24 words. 21% done!

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Dirty Little Whirlwind

December 2011

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