Category: werewolves


Not Even a Proper Meeting

Not sure how effective it’ll actually be, given that spirits are ephemera rather than solid, but I found a gym that offers boxing classes. If nothing else I feel a little better about if we ever have to fight a possessed person again.

And it fills the time.

Keeps my mind off the fact that we let a couple of heavily TB infected Uratha wonder back into Pearly Oaks where vulnerable humans live nice and crammed close together. Which I didn’t even think of after the fight and we would have never learned about if Skip and I hadn’t headed over to see if we could learn more from them. So many people getting sick while Brook and _ had recovered completely.

Even more than Brook vibrating after drinking anything with caffeine in it or having seen their wolf forms running off after the fight, that really drives home how not human the Uratha are. Which adds an extra flavor of weird to Alpha Storm seeming interested in Viv’s health but not seeming to care at all what had happened to Louis. Not sure what’s going on there.

Brook asked if Louis was doing better. Maybe the others just seem odd by comparison to her since we interact with her more than the rest of them?

I suggested that maybe we should meet somewhere else where there was less of a risk of anyone getting infected but all anyone would say to that was that they were too busy keeping order at Pearly Oaks for anyone to leave. Didn’t seem too orderly to me, but who am I to say? Maybe Storm figures that with Consumption out of Viv it isn’t our business anymore. Maybe he figures that they don’t need us anymore. He’s wrong on either count but I’ve seen people be more stubborn over dumber things.

I’m not going to go risk getting infected to try and learn things they don’t want to teach me. I can always hit up the forums that I first found the First Speak in.

Which I have since then, of course, there’s an item that might help us keep tracking Consumption, the Judge’s Eye, it seems like it should be some kind of lens for scrying through. It’s smoked with an incense that I’m just not familiar with the ingredients for. Not sure if that’s a matter of it being common things with names that the Uratha use that just don’t translate well or if they’re something completely new that I’ve just never heard of. Google isn’t any help either way because of the First Speak. It also mentioned needing a “gift of essence” as part of its crafting and needing to be smoked in the incense beyond the Gauntlet. I’m assuming that the Gauntlet and the veil are the same thing, which might be dangerous, but the context seems to bear that out. Talking to Viv about it, “essence” is what Consumption called the stuff it took from ghosts. Might be some kind of needed sacrifice?

Both of those leave me with no clear idea of how to continue. I’m sure there’s a way to get the essence for this, but I’m not sure what it is or if it needs to be freely given to qualify as a “gift”. Likewise, for this thing to exist and have as much information available as it did, there has to be a way to cross the Gauntlet or veil or whatever you want to call it, do the ritual, and come back all while still alive.

When I talked to Jimmy about it he thought it might be more trouble than it’s worth, that maybe I should go back to working on that spell to see spirits. That would work for me, but only for me. The Eye should work for anyone who uses it.

At any rate, Jimmy’s running a class tonight with some of the other more experienced magic users in the alternate religion side of the club about warding and spiritual protections. He invited me to come help and I think that Skip and Matt are coming too. I might have more to add on that later.

Meeting 7

Right, just not talking about the danger doesn’t work for either of you. Got it. You guys are worried that I’ll get myself into something I can’t come back from.

Maybe have a seat or do some breathing exorcises before reading this one?

So, lot of research, same as ever. Skip and Louis worked on their weapons, something to get another charge out of the stun baton and a drive for the detector grid to store data for later going over. I think at least. I could really have asked better questions on that, but I was kind of burning up my own research.

Got a big copy of a map of the city from the library. Working from sites mentioned in local folklore and place that Brook, our Uratha contact, scoped out for us. Those give me a solid idea of which places had ghosts, which had spirits, and which were busts from the start. Between those and Brook reporting which places she’s been that were already hit, we figured out where it’s headed and that we can probably get ahead of it and trap it.

Like, Skip figured that it probably doesn’t have a base of operations. It doesn’t seem to be doubling back or staying in any one area long, and it’s moving fast. The more or less direct line it’s going in suggests that it’s just grabbing everything it can as fast as it can, which could tell us that it’s got a plan to put into place that it wants the power. Maybe it’s worried about the Uratha catching it.

I don’t think it plans on them catching it any time soon either way, so I lean towards it having a plan. I don’t think it’s counting on us being a threat to it, so that plays in our favor.

The fact that our current plan has us bringing the Uratha with us and making use of their exorcism ritual and greater experience should just tilt things more in our favor. They should be able to separate Consumption from Viv, assuming that the fusion hasn’t gone too far, leaving us able to attack it without hurting her.

Our general plan is to find a place in the line Consumption is traveling in to set our tap. A site with a powerful enough ghost to definitely be on its radar but also easy enough to lock down that it can’t make a break for it and double back or change directions and leave us having to track it down again. That would risk Viv way more than I think any of us are comfortable thinking about.

Side bar, my research turned up something called a Shadowblind Cloak that, if we can get our hands on one, should make ghosts and spirits less interested in Viv once we’ve gotten her free. I asked Brook about it, but she didn’t know anything about it. Though I’ve apparently been digging into things that concern her. I mean, I know that Google doesn’t like some of my research, especially the First Speak, but Brook’s reaction suggests that I might be getting further into things that regular mortals aren’t meant to know than is safe. But then none of this is safe, is it? Best not to think on that too much just yet.

Back on track though.

Skip, Louis, and I are going to go scout out the three likely locations we’ve found for setting our trap. While we do that, Matt and Brook will head back to Pearly Oaks and collect the Uratha who’ll be helping us. Once we’ve picked the location and let Matt know, we’ll get the trap set. Then it’ll just be a matter of getting everyone settled in and waiting for Consumption to kick the plan into action.

I think Skip’s excited to be looking into the locations we zeroed in on. He called it a job that seemed made for him.

All three are historic locations. The Underground Meat Marker has a new butcher shop built over it, so there’s no telling if we could even get in. It isn’t like Consumption hasn’t broken into places with proper doors and locks and all before, but it hasn’t really broken into a business yet. Might be too much trouble for it.

The Crumbling Pioneer House is a semi-active archaeological site, theoretically we should ask the city for access to it. But then that would take weeks that we don’t really have and most of what was there has already been taken to local museums. There’s a lot of reports of strange activities there, so definitely ghostly things happening. At least, Professor Croft had a lot of stories going weird when she was working there a few years back. She really doesn’t seem entirely the type to make things up just to pull her students’ legs.

The last is the Old Drugstore in the old down town. It’s near some museums and what not. Nothing really big in the area. Most of what I could find about it was reports of mysterious fires.

Full honesty, we’re heading out right after I send this, so try not to worry too much. Hopefully I’ll be able to update you on the situation in a day or so. Just, try not to worry for a little while.

Hey all, sorry for going radio silent again. Odd week. It’s Friday the 13th and I figured what better time to treat you all to an excerpt from a book that, as I hear it, does some really cool stuff with werewolves. The author, Dan O’Brien is re-releasing his entire bibliography, so if you’re interested this could be an awesome time to check him out. Either way, enjoy!

cover

Synopsis: A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined FBI agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could imagine.

An excerpt from Bitten:

THE CREATURE crashed into the sides of its space. Tearing broken, rusted objects from the shelves, it threw them to the ground in angry fits of rage. Tears streamed down its face and the guttural whimper that echoed in the oversized shed was the only shred of humanity that remained.

With each mashed piece of its life, it plunged deeper into madness; closer to the monster it was slowly becoming. The light of the day had all but faded. Reaching out and grasping a light bulb that hung dimly at the center of the shed, it crushed it, allowing the shards to rip apart its hands.

Blood dripped on the work table and the partial husk of Wayne Joyce’s mutilated face. It had stretched out the flesh, drying it and coating it with deer oil. Its cries were crocodile tears; there was no emotion left except rage, hatred. Remorse and guilt long since disappearing into the abyss that was its mind.

The winds howled.

It responded.

Black thread, spooled with a sharp needle, sat beside the human mask. It reached down with one of its mangled hands, lifting the needle and then the flesh. Pressing against its skin, it drove the needle into its own face, drawing blood and an angry snarl. Each time through, there was a growl and a pool of blood. The task was complete: the flesh attached to the monster.

Little folds lifted from its face. The wind whipped against them, drawing its attention. Reaching out to a staple gun, it pressed it against its face. The creature drove thick steel staples into its face, flattening out the macabre mask.

The table was a massacre.

Leftover pieces of the trophies it took were lifeless artifacts of its ascension to death-bringer. Reaching out for the long claw of torture it wore as a glove, the creature groaned. Language was lost. More and more, it felt like an animal, a creature meant to destroy everything.

The rage built like steam. It coursed through its veins, polluting every aspect of humanity that remained. The moon would rise soon––full and omniscient. That would be the moment of its ascension.

It would be its masterpiece.

 

If you love supernatural fiction, a good mystery, and a fun story, then you’ll want to give Bitten a look. Releasing in July as well is the follow-up novella, Drained. The third novella in the series, Frighten, will be released in early 2019.

What readers are saying about Bitten

“Bitten is an extremely well-balanced and engaging novel. It contains mystery, suspense, horror, romance, and best of all – a creative, genre-bending twist on werewolf mythology. The story is quick-paced and dark without being too heavy or overdramatic. The protagonist is a strong and courageous FBI agent who is able to assert herself without casting aside her femininity. She reminds me of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum…. If a sequel follows, I will definitely read it.”

“Author Dan O’Brien left his mark with Bitten. I’ve now read three books by O’Brien, but BITTEN is by far my favorite. It not only showcases his literary skills, but leaves the reader wanting more. What else could an avid reader ask for?”

Get it today on Kindle!

Dan OBrein author picture

Dan O’Brien has over 50 publications to his name––including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam Consulting, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AuthorDanOBrien.

This one is for kind of an older book. I’d actually originally stumbled across this back when I worked at the bookstore. I was hoping to find stuff featuring Batwoman and then here was this. It popped up on my BookBub suggestions not too long ago and I finally had a chance to give it a read. So here’s Alexis Hall’s Iron and Velvet. Enjoy!

Iron and Velvet cover

Private Investigator Kate Kane should know better than to take a job from a vampire, much less a vampire prince. She should know, but bills need paying and jobs are a little thing since her partner died. She’s got a dead werewolf outside a vampire’s nightclub, some kind of horrific ooze, and not a lot of clues to go on. Stepping wrong on this case could lead to a war or, worse, her dead but at least she’s got scotch.

I am mostly happy with Alexis Hall’s Iron and Velvet. The main character is by turns enjoyable and frustrating with an implied back story that I really want to find out more about. The back story elements made for awesome character building without devolving into an angst fest. The parts that did get angsty felt tone appropriate and were generally balanced out with a thread of humor.

There were a couple of rough spots early on, with the cast being introduced, where the writing went off the rails a bit. The initial descriptions for our hedonist vampire prince and lingerie model alpha werewolf got kind of male gaze-y and uncomfortable. That said, the resident incubus got similar treatment and this did improve later on. I did find myself much more into the book after the introductions were past and I got into the meat of the story.

The mystery itself unwinds slowly with a couple of false starts and room to get to know the major players while still holding enough back that it’s still a solid mystery. There’s build to a solution but then there’s more. Kate finds herself trying to solve the problem without making any more problems or setting off a supernatural war. Things get a little fiddly there and while I liked the issues it brought up I feel like more could have been done with it. I would probably say that regardless though, I have a tendency of wanting more out of tense situations where the protagonist is out of their league.

That actually leads me to a big positive I had with this book. Kate was noteably out of her depth at various points and, instead of hard headedly going for it anyway, went for help. She had contacts from her previous P.I. work that she could ask for details and she goes to them when she realizes she needs help. It was super refreshing and I would really like to see more of that.

So, that’s kind of where I’m left with this one. There was some stuff I was iffy on at the start, but then the book rolls on and got really fun. There’s a ton of implied back story that I’m really interested in, possibly more so because it isn’t just spelled out for me. Iron and Velvet gets a four out of five from me. I’m definitely going to go find the second one in the future.

I am so late posting this. So late. Like, I was planning on having this up Wednesday and then work was so much more tiring than usual in the lead up to the store renovation.  This one is courtesy of the author, Michael Okon, this is Monsterland. Enjoy!

Monsterland cover

With zombies, werewolves, and vampires Monsterland promises to be the scariest place on Earth. It might also be the perfect place for Wyatt Baldwin and his friends to finally solve their debate about which is the best monster. Even better, they’ll get a chance to see it all on opening night, with full VIP invites after Wyatt shared a burger with the owner of the park, Vincent Konrad. A park full of monsters, what could possibly go wrong?

Monsterland by Michael Okon reads very much like a first book. There are a lot of good ideas and the frame work is solid but then there are bits that move too quickly. It has some interesting characters and others that don’t quite make it. So, some things work some don’t. That’s every book, and I should clarify, so let’s clarify.

The story for Monsterland is kind of ambitious. We’re started with the werewolves and shown that they didn’t join Monsterland on their own, then we get introduced to our protagonist and the world. It stars a pattern in the story, there’s a monster chapter and then a protagonist chapter. That works really well for me to a point. There’s a weird jump from the monsters as sort of victims of the part and planning to escape to the monsters as monster antagonists. That happens without a lot of build up and feels pretty disjointed. Something similar happens with Wyatt and his friends, they go from super excited about going to the park to thinking it was a bad idea and questioning if it was actually a good thing. Similarly again, we get Vincent jumping from being presented as a force for good to throwing out massive bad guy signals. I would have liked much more build up on all of these things. A slow burn and build and then reveal it. As it stands, while the end isn’t a twist or anything, it also isn’t super satisfying and could have benefited from just a touch more work.

The characters similarly could have benefited from more work. As it stands, they’re more or less sketches of characters rather than being fully realized. Wyatt is interested in zombies and Jade, the cute girl from school, he’s super about Victor Konrad’s plan to save the world with this theme park. His friend Melvin is super into werewolves and messes up his turns of phrase. The other friend is always addressed by his full name and is super smart, he’s afraid of the girl who’s into him. Then there’s background characters, I would have liked a fair deal more with them. It feels like Mr. Okom had a few ideas of what he wanted to work with characters wise, but wasn’t a hundred percent on how he wanted to implement them in the story proper.

I’ve said a fair amount about this needing a touch more work. Thing is, the book is average as it stands, but it has a lot of solid ideas. I liked the one friend’s love interest, Keisha, she had some really interesting moments and I would have really liked to see her do more. Vincent as the villain could have been really good if he was a little more subtle, he just gets a little too cartoony at the end for my taste. The monsters revolting could be built up a little more, show the vampires trying to get in contact with the werewolves. It would have been a fair number of little things, but it could have taken the book from average to good.

That’s pretty well where I’m left with Monsterland, it isn’t bad and it was enjoyable, but it is fairly average. I would read Michael Okon’s next book, and think he’s going to keep improving as a writer. That said, I’m giving Monsterland a three out of five.

So, I’m behind on this whole Halloween thing. I’d blame work and all the other usual things, but it isn’t any of that. It’s this book, this one that I’m reviewing now. I nearly quit. But I kept going and I’m going to keep going.

The Essential World of Darkness cover

The truest enemy of the Garou is the Wyrm, corruption and pollution incarnate. Its spawn hunt the Garou and contaminate Gaia, bringing darkness and filth to the world. Once there were guardians to keep the Wyrm trapped on its side of the Gauntlet and away from the physical world. Once, but that was a long time ago. Now there’s little more than fragments left, the Great Wolf was shattered and one of its fangs lost, the other guarded by an orphaned werewolf who is little more than a child. If she can’t find the lost fang before the moon is full then the Wyrm and all its horrors will invade our world.

Owl Goingback’s Shaman Moon is the second book in The Essential World of Darkness. In a lot of ways I feel like there isn’t really a good way for me to review this one. This book and I started out on the wrong foot. The bulk of the first chapter covers the main character’s tragic back story in a California orphanage, and this section very nearly made me stop reading the book. We’re talking less than five pages in and I was considering quitting. Because of that, this is going to get kind of spoilery.

Let’s start with the bit that I nearly quit the book because of, because the beginning is always a good place to start. See, our character was found in a dumpster near her parents’ murdered bodies and never felt like she belonged in any of the foster homes she wound up in, so she ran away a lot. This wound her up in an orphanage of nightmares run by a woman the kids referred to as the “Iron Maiden”, a woman who only smiled when she was beating one of the girls under her care with a riding crop while calling them terrible names. This woman has a goon squad of older girls who beat the younger girls until they have broken bones and need hospitalization. They don’t get that though, because hospitals would ask questions, no the only medical treatment the girls at the orphanage get is from an elderly pedophile. It goes on and on. The main character makes one friend who, to avoid getting beaten by the goon squad for smoking stolen cigarettes, kisses her and flirts a tiny bit once. Because of this, best friend character is raped by the Iron Maiden and murdered.  Keep in mind, none of this echoes down into the plot itself, our heroine thinks back to the orphanage maybe twice and both times could have been replaced with almost anything.

In addition to the juvenile ideas of what constitutes dark, the writing in Shaman Moon is less than stellar. There are long bits of out of place exposition and clunky bits of environmental statistics. It leads me to wondering just who this was written for. A fan of the Werewolf: the Apocalypse game would already know a lot of the exposition while someone just looking for a werewolf story would get tired of it pretty quickly and look for another book. There’s big repeated bits that keep covering the same ideas, everything is the Wyrm, details about werewolves’ forms, non-werewolves are at best oblivious to the damage they’re doing the planet, this one type of werewolf is bad. It’s stuff that could have been worked in a lot better or glossed over and left to the reader to understand. Left as it is, it feels like Goingback needed to fill his hundred or so pages but only had forty pages of story.

The environmental stuff gets similarly tiresome, there’s only so much statistics I want to deal with in my fiction reading especially when it’s just shoved in there. Yes, pollution is an aspect of the Wyrm, the werewolves one true enemy, but that doesn’t mean that I need statistics about how it’s expected to affect nature in the coming years. It, again, feels like padding and breaks the flow of the story utterly.

I actually don’t have anything good to say about this one. There were ideas there that could have been solid, but they were covered up in padding and bad writing. At the end of the day and idea doesn’t mean much if nothing gets done with it. Shaman Moon gets a one out of five.

So this is an interesting situation.  I did totally intend to have this posted a couple of days ago but haven’t felt well for the last couple of days and more or less ignored it.  Bad at being timely.  Enjoy the review!

Paranormal investigator Savannah Levine is a powerful magic user, but after a case that tore a family apart she would give all her power to fix things.  Something heard her.  Now she stuck dodging witch hunters and searching for answers as a threat to the entire supernatural world rears its head.

When I requested Kelly Armstrong’s Spell Bound for review I didn’t realize that it was part of a series, much less the penultimate book of a thirteen novel series.  That said, it didn’t bother me nearly as much as it usually does to jump into the middle of a series and the book stood quite well on its own.  The characters were, for the most part, quite likeable and written in such a way that it didn’t feel like I was missing major parts of their development having missed several books.  I did find the whole thing with Savannah losing her powers frustrating because of how utterly helpless she thought of herself as being and how much other characters insisted that she wasn’t.  It was a little too real world for what I normally read, but also kind of endearing because people actually have moments like that.

All said and done, I definitely enjoyed Spell Bound, enough even to go back and read the other eleven when I get the chance.  I give it a four out of five for being a totally worthwhile read with a minimum of issues.

After a long and totally undeserved break, I’m back! With summer break just starting an a to read list longer than my arm I should be busy for awhile.  I’m sorting out my library at the moment, so there may be a couple of giveaways down the road for some books that I, unfortunately, just don’t have space for anymore.  It’s good to be back though so, as always, on to the review!

James R. Tuck’s Blood and Bullets is a mix of urban fantasy and action movie with a main character who is a study in over done manly man-ness.  Chalk is a larger than life, gun toting, monster slaying badass and he’s going to tell the reader about it at every chance he gets.  This gets old really quickly.  Chalk is supposed to be the big tough monster hunter who shows up and gets things done, the problem is he reads a lot like a bad self insert from a kid who wants to be the tough guy that solves problems.  This could have still worked out alright if the story had been in third person, the plot itself is fairly solid if a bit underwhelming.  The book is in first person though with the world’s most talkative know it all narrating everything that he does no matter how insignificant it is.  Even with that I would have been alright were it not for the repeat descriptions, Chalk describes his guns and himself at least three times.  His apparent effect on some women is also brought up repeatedly.  I don’t know if Tuck ran out of things to write with these descriptions or just didn’t trust his readers to remember any of it.

The plot, as I said before, is fairly decent.  Good guy gets attacked by more vampires than any of the major players in the city should have been able to put together, discovers the big bad’s existence, and has to figure out how to beat her without losing his rag tag team of monster hunters.  It’s been done, but that doesn’t stop it from working here.  To my mind the things that bring down the plot are, yet again, Chalk’s reiterating things too much, the big bad’s throwing logic out the window because she wants to have sex with Chalk, and the dues ex machina character that shows up towards the end.  I’d have really liked to have seen more of the secondary characters doing what they’re supposed to be good at rather than just taking Chalk’s word for it, it seems like most of them could do pretty well as protagonists on their own.

At the end of the day, the blurb for the next book sounds interesting but this seems like more of a series to borrow from the library than one that I would purchase the rest of.  I’m giving Blood and Bullets a three out of five for decent premise but a miss with the main character.

I’m working on getting my backlog of review copies reviewed and posted so the schedule may be a little wonkier than usual from now until a bit after finals. Things probably won’t get back to what passes for normal here until I’ve got a job for the summer and have gotten my computer checked out for why it’s running slow.

Ana Cordona has been left to defend the remainder of her pack since all the males were killed when someone poisoned their well.  She’s had to fight off the advances of her neighbor, Sean Taggart, another Alpha who wants both her and her land for his own.  When an old flame shows up offering protection for her and her pack it’s enough to accept his conditions and become his mate.

I started reading Katie Reus’ Alpha Instinct expecting a somewhat trashy romance novel with a tough female lead and a thoughtful, maybe a bit sorrowful male lead.  What I got instead was a trashy romance novel with a “strong” female lead and a bull headed male lead who was too wrapped up in being the Alpha and doing what was “right” for Ana to consider how she’d feel or react to his decisions.  The reader is told that Ana has been leading the remainder of her pack fairly well since her father, the previous Alpha, died.  But then Connor Armstrong shows up out of nowhere to claim his woman, his woman who he left for no apparent reason over fifty years ago, and suddenly Ana’s not only not the Alpha of her own pack anymore but she’s also relegated to being a painfully minor character while Connor and his brother go off to hunt down any and all threats.  While the boys are away, Ana stays mostly at home taking care of her sisters and being neurotic about Connor’s actions since he left all those years ago.  She also can’t do anything apparently because he’s the Alpha, this includes sitting down and figuring out what needs to be done to protect all that land that she knows better than he does and has been protecting herself for months.

There was some stuff with the shifters themselves that might have been interesting were it explained better or introduced slower.  There are Alphas, like Connor and some of his men, who are both alphas and warriors and are the one who apparently do all the actual leading.  Then there are alphas, like Ana, who are dominant to betas but aren’t warriors so they can’t lead properly because of something.  It needs to be expanded on a lot before it makes much sense.  Ana can’t complain about Taggart to the werewolves leading body because if she does it means that they’ll send her a man to take over her pack for her, not because she isn’t an Alpha mind but because she’s female, so that’s another thing that needs explaining.  Why are the human with attached animal self werewolves bound by the behaviors of wild animals by their government?

I’m not liking this world of Reus’, its logic doesn’t make all that much sense for me and its characters aren’t terribly likable.  Male wolves here apparently recognize their “destined” mates on sight and that aspect of it isn’t done well enough to keep me from having a knee jerk ick reaction to it.  The male characters take action, and the female characters just are for the most part.  I would read more about the only female in Connor’s pack, Erin, but only if she wasn’t being paired off with some dude as her main role.  I give Alpha Instinct a two out of five.  The writing was pretty average over all, I just couldn’t enjoy it because of the characters.

This might be a bit late.  The last couple of weeks have been a bit wild, trying to get back into classes and then adjusted to a schedule that involves regular sleep and studying.  But I’m back and ready to do stuff, so let’s kick off the new year two weeks late!

She is Lady Death, protector of humans, the enemy of every blood hungry monster around.  But Kat Redding is a vampire, one who fights her very nature, one who desperately wishes she was still human.  When the count of a small house tries to force the local werewolf cult to merge with his house Kat has to stop him.  But with only a few allies and highly illegal weapons will she be able to succeed before her own nature consumes her?

E.S. Moore’s To Walk The Night covers fairly familiar ground in urban fantasy, the monsters have revealed themselves and humanity has adjusted accordingly.  The main differences here are that humanity has been mostly relegated to hiding in the daylight and being preyed upon and there is a stark lack of sympathy for most of the monsters.  The second is quite possibly because of Kat’s own bias as it improves after meeting with the Luna Cult.  I get the feeling that my review for this book would be significantly different if it weren’t for the preview of the next book at the end.   As a standalone novel To Walk The Night falls rather flat, as the beginning of a new series it’s still fairly average but more forgivably so.

I’m going to jump right into the need for more character development and less navel gazing.  This is the kind of book that I would have really enjoyed if Moore could have stopped reminding the reader that Kat is a monster and terrified of losing her humanity every time there was a lull in the action.  Likewise, I liked the Luna Cultists and Ethan, but it felt like there should have been more to them.  I could have also done with either a bit less about her dark and tragic back story or would have liked to see Moore put it off until after Kat’s more developed, it’s something that I’m hoping will tie into the later books but felt like it had too much focus in this one.

On the up side though, Moore managed to do something fairly new with his vampires and werewolves without it feeling forced or gimmicky.  Having the two be different strains of a blood born infection was a pretty awesome way to introduce a bit of science while still keeping it magic.  I’m also kind of counting on the Luna cult dissidents to show up later with their leader as one of the series big bads. He’d be really good in the role just based on his characterization in this book.  It might also be interesting to see Kat have to solve a problem without her weapons since she treats them as her big advantage rather than the skill she has with them.

                I suppose what I’m trying to say is that, while I enjoyed To Walk the Night, it felt very much like a first novel and it moved rather slowly because Kat kept talking about her self hate and doubt.  I’m sure that this will get better in later novels.  The action scenes and the bits with more werewolves than vampires were worth the problems from the rest of the book.  I’m giving it a three out of five and wondering what happens next.