Friday, November 28, 2008

Review: Shadows of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Quite frankly, I think I've given up on Sherrilyn Kenyon's dark-hunters and dream-hunters series. I mean, when I hear of her upcoming books, I just can't sum up any excitement. Sadly, Acheron is still sitting on the shelf and it seems less likely that I'll ever read it... However, it's an entirely different story when it comes to the were-hunters. Especially, the ones that she has already introduced. Ever since the release of Night Play 4 years ago, I've been waiting for Fury and Fang's stories... separately if possible :P

Well I got my wish, because Fury's story came out or actually, will come out this week in the anthology Dead After Dark. Booooo because it's only a short story :( And apparently, Fang and Aimée's story will be her next full-length were-hunter book... I think. So yesterday, got my hand on the anthology and quickly devoured Fury's story. Here's what I thought...

Shadows of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon
published by St. Martin's Press in December 2008
Angelia has fought her entire life to make herself strong. Now, with her patria under fire, she has to protect her people from Fury and his werewolf clan. Vowing to bring him to justice, Angelia sets out alone…until the hunter becomes the hunted, and the only way for her to survive is to trust the very wolf she’s sworn to kill.

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Dark-Hunters/Were-Hunters, book #?

The Story: Ugh!! I've just read the back blurb now and that is bull!!! This is probably the worst synopsis I've ever-read... So misleading and untrue!!! Seriously, did the person writing the blurb even read the story? So here is the actual story...

Fury is at the Sanctuary doing a favor to Fang (helping to smuggle a note to Aimée - awww) when he learns of a Katagari were-lion who was attacked and shot by a tessera of Arcadian were-hunters. The problem is that the Arcadian were-hunters are using a new weapon and once shot, the Katagari were is stuck into his based form (animal) and no longer able to use its magick.
Fury offers his help to track down the attackers and is sniffing the lion for scents when he catches one that is very familiar to him... a wolfswan that he's been trying to forget for centuries. At the same moment, Dare (Fury's brother) and Angelia - the wolfswan - appear at the Sanctuary. Fight ensues and long story short, Fury is "kidnapped" and tortured for information. Angelia is unable to withstand the view of Fury being tortured and "saves" him. Fury then turns on her and brings her back to Vane's house.

My Opinion: I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I totally loved it for Fury. He's such a great character :D Still as sarcastic as usual and tough... he mouth is quick to deliver insults and his attitude... just priceless. He was a great hero. He is still getting used to having a family and people that will stand by him no matter what. Loved the interactions between the three brothers: Vane, Fang and Fury. His interaction with Bride and his nephew Trace were as cute LOL :) Uncle Furry!! That was definitively priceless!!

What I liked less? Angelia. She's an okay heroine, but I'm not sure she deserves Fury. She made some very bad decisions in her life... and I thought she was a bit selfish. She put herself first - in the past and even in this story... However, what annoyed me most is that she found excuses... well to excuse herself. To justify why she did what she did and seriously, I thought she was stupid. Worst is that a lot of it was due to ignorance and it was kind of appalling. She tried to be this tough chick, but in the end, Bride was tougher and smarter. Also, I don't like how she got out free from the whole tessera thingie. She was part of the tessera, she should have been punished. No discussion. Personally, I don't care if she didn't shoot. She was part of them, helping them do whatever they were doing. Of course, in the end, it's Fury that saved her derriere... my problem is that I don't think she felt much remorse... and not being punished for her actions, well it feels like there was no regret on her part.

Another thing that annoyed me is when Ms Kenyon writes about the Katagaria and Arcadian's behaviors. I think that she got it right when she describes what's animal behavior and what's human... The problem is that she will say that animals don't do this because they're animals and it's actually a human trait. Then, two lines later, the animals will be doing exactly what she said they didn't do and rationalize it a different way. Example is that it is said that Katagria don't attack or kill for revenge... Then, you had the whole situation between Fury and Dare where Dare told everyone that Fury was a wolf as soon as he found out and then, they brutalized Fury and almost killed him. Fury is still very bitter about that and he'd like to give it back to Dare ten-fold. Ugh, sorry, but that sounds like revenge to me? Or the lions are out for blood and are tracking down the Arcadians that killed one of theirs and injured another... I'm sorry, but even if you say it's in order to protect their families, well it still sounds like revenge for me. So Ms Kenyon walks a very fine line and again, tries to rationalize some actions... but it just ring false.

What about the love story between Fury and Angelia? I think it was kind of sweet... Fury and Angelia grew up together and you can tell that Fury was smitten by Angelia... but then, she turned on him when she discovered he was a wolf and although she has psychological reasons, Fury definitively has all the rights to be bitter. So they meet centuries later and it's pretty much tug and war between them, with Fury doing a lot of sweet things for Angelia... She keeps rejecting him till she falls in bed with him. Conclusion? I didn't buy it. I know that deep down, Angelia probably loved Fury as well, but I didn't buy that she could throw away all her beliefs after half a day, sleep with Fury and discover that they're supposed to be mates and not go bonkers... At least, feel something like denial or refusal for it.

Personally, I feel that if the book has been a full novel instead of a novella, there's no doubt that Ms Kenyon would have pulled it off. However, as a short story, the love story happened way too fast to be believable and satisfying. I think that Ms Kenyon had a great original idea and kudos for being able to develop the story as much as she did... however, it was just not enough. What definitively saves the story are all the scenes with Bride, Vane, their son Trace and Fang as well as Fury's personality.

For those who want to know who appear in the book... well we have the whole Peltiers family, Carson and his nurse, Sasha (Astrid's wolf companion), Zarek, Savitar, Paris Sebastien as well as almost the whole Kattalakis family. My question is when did Zarek becomes so close with Vane and his family? I am really happy that Fang and Aimee will finally have their story (hopefully, full-length novel)... and I'm very intrigued by Sasha. I would like to learn more about him as well :D

My Grade: This is a tough one to grade... For enjoyment, this is definitively a B. Love Fury after all :) Objectively though, the grade should be much lower... but who cares about objectively, right? In the end, it's how much did you enjoy it :P

PS. For those who wonder, no I'm not planning to read the rest of the anthology.


  1. Lord love a duck. I can't read Kenyon any more which is a shame because I loved her early Dark Hunter books, I really did.

  2. Have not gotten myself to read Archeron either. Though I bought One Silent Night the other day for a dollar from the library.
    Sorry you did not like the heroine more. I have been curious from Fang and Fury stories as well. I am glad that she is getting to them.
    Question: Is the JR Ward story a BDB story?

  3. I too have Acheron waiting to be read but I think it'll wait till one day when I'm really, really bored.
    I used to like the Kenyons, but unfortunately, as you describe, the author is becoming an unreliable narrator, and that puts me off - I cannot be doing with books where I'm constantly going WTF, that occurrence / statement breaks the internal logic of the books (or the characters).

    I've noted this is a problem in long running paranormal/romance series - J. R. Ward comes to mind, as does LKH, and Lora Leigh. I suspect (perhaps unfairly) that it's because all these series started as a 'neat idea' and became so successful that the authors were asked for more books than the premise would support. So, they create further plot twists and new bad guys, but unfortunately, (due to the lack of a central, pre-determined schema) in the process, extend the suspension of disbelief past the ability of the anti-gravity of the reader's imagination to sustain; causing the series to plummet. Rather like my metaphor, in fact. ;)

  4. Rosie - Isn't it sad when you just can't read an author anymore? Me too, I love her early Dark-Hunters... but the new ones? Ugh. If you were planning to get this anthology for another author though, you should read Fury's story :P

    Kris - Okay, one dollar is really a bargain, no wonder you got it LOL :) Hey, you can read it one day you're really, really bored :P

    I'm glad that we finally get Fang and Fury's stories as well :) I think of the lot, the were-hunters are the best :D

    and the JR Ward story doesn't seem to be part of BDB. I just skimmed through it to see if it was indicated somewhere... and I read Micheal and Luke as names... that doesn't sound like BDB names, right? LOL :P So my guess is no, it's not.

    FD - Thing is, I'm not even sure that Acheron will save you from boredom :P

    I mainly agree with you. Many series seem to lose steam once it hits a number of books and it's probably for the reasons you state. I totally agree with you about the further plot twists and new bad guys. A reason I stopped reading the Dark Hunter series is because Ms Kenyon kept making her plot even more complex without resolving the previous problems. Also, in this book, I think Ms Kenyon just walked a fine line... It's similar to Ms Singh's Psy-changelings books. Psy are supposed to be emotionless... but it's really hard to write a character that is really emotionless. Anyway, it seems that authors get into their series and just forget what they wrote in the beginnings... therefore WTF :(

  5. I'm so glad you reviewed this. Now that you mention it, I'll probably continue to read the were books also. I'm completely 100% over the Dark Hunters, but I am curious about the weres.

    I'm not sure about the heroine in this know how I feel about them. And I'm not entirely sure about the length of the story, either. I'm sure I'll probably pick it up, though.

    The inconsistencies are what put me off her to begin with. I just can't read a series where the characters are bound by certain rules one paragraph and not bound by them in another. I have no desire to read another Dark Hunter book, including Acheron. Oh well, I don't think I'm missing out on much.

  6. Holly - I think you should give it a try. Perhaps not buy the whole anthology, but the e-book of the short story only? Fury was definitively worth it...

    Yeah, I'm done with the Dark Hunters :(

  7. i can see why ur upset about fury, i really wanted to have a full book on him as well but i want to tell u, if u have the book Acheron READ IT.... i was so into the book i stop playing my computer the only time that i thought was slow is when he was in the now, but it got better and i have to say its a Great book, just reading when he was human what happened to him was so sad and moving u could feel saddness and i would say if a writer can make u feel things, their a good writer ... give it a chance