I did a little bit of everything this week-end: read, sleep, eat yummy stuff, clean my room, vacuum, shelve my books and add books to my excel spreadsheet. Productive week-end, of course, I'd have preferred to read a little bit more. LOL, but I feel there's going to be plenty of time for that this week :)
Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon
published by St.Martin's Press in August 2009
A stunning and suspenseful new landscape emerges in the thrilling Dark-Hunter world - a world where nothing will ever be the same again...
Fang Kattalakis isn't just a wolf. He is the brother of two of the most powerful members of the Omegrion: the ruling council that enforces the laws of the Were-Hunters. And when war erupts among the lycanthropes, sides must be chosen. Enemies are forced into shaky alliances. And when the woman Fang loves is accused of betraying her people, her only hope is that Fang believes in her. Yet in order to save her, Fang must break the law of his people and the faith of his brothers. That breech could very well spell the end of both their races and change their world forever.
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Dark-Hunter series, Book #28 (according to Fantastic Fiction) but Book #17 according to Ms Kenyon's website.
The Story: Ugh, talk about a vague back blurb! Bad Moon Rising takes us back in time and begins in 2003 when Fang and Vane along with their pack arrived to New Orleans (Night Embrace - Talon's story) and basically catches up to the present. Of course, it only focuses on events relevant to Fang and Aimee - such as Fang and Vane coming to the Sanctuary for the first time and meeting Aimee. Then, Anya - Fang and Vane's sister - dying during a Daimons attack basically resulting to Fang and Vane getting kicked out of the Pack and left for death. Another Daimons attack which left Fang comatose... His recovery to his stay at the Sanctuary afterwards. Then, Fang getting banned from Sanctuary for "kidnapping" Aimee and saving Wren's life, etc. to now.
Of course, Ms Kenyon doesn't only re-write these scenes to present Aimee and Fang's point of view. She has to add a twist to it, if not, why go back, right? Well it turns out that Fang wasn't really in a catatonic state after his sister's death and the daimons' attack: his soul was stuck in another dimensions and was hunted and tortured by demons. The only way to save him was to kill those 9 Daimons that got a bite at him... Only, Vane didn't respond to Fang subliminal message in dreams, so Fang had to turn to Aimee who ends up saving him. Of course, Fang ended up paying a price in order to keep Aimee safe, he became a Hellchaser - another elite group of warriors (ugh) and during some of his work as a Hellchaser, he gets possessed by a demon... and let say it's not fun...
Aside from adding the demons tidbits, Ms Kenyon also shows us the unshown scenes between Fang and Aimee, i.e. how they met, their connection from the beginnging. Ever wondered what Fang and Aimee were doing before they bursted out of Aimee's room when Wren came to attack Nicolette in Unleash the Night? Yeah... Readers also make an interesting discovery about the the Peltiers: Nicolette Peltier is the Katagari Regis for the bears, but she is mated to an Arcadian bear! This is kept under wrap or else, it could jeopardize her seat. We also discover why Aimee is so important - aside from being the only daughter in the family, she's also Nicolette's heir since the werebears are a matriarchal clan. Of course, Aimee has an even bigger secret: she was born Katagari, but turned Arcadian at puberty... not only that, but she's an Aristos, i.e. the highest level of magic user among the Weres... Yes, uh oh. So she's been keeping this secret to herself, in fear that it would get her killed by her mother. Her hope is to find a mate, give birth to a couple of baby girls that will remain Katagari and who could inherit the Regis seat, passing over her generation. Of course, there's the danger that her Katagari mate, upon discovering her identity as an Arcadian would want to kill her, but details, details... Only problem, she has to find a mate, but she's not attracted to any of the bears that are introduced to her. Instead, the one who makes her blood hot is Fang - a wolf!! Totally unsuitable and impossible match! How can a wolf and bear mate? Despite logic, Fang and Aimee can't ignore their feelings and sneak around. However, everything starts crumbling when Aimee defies Savitar by saving Fang from his death warrant resulting in Savitar revoking the Sanctuary's limani license so the bar is no longer a sanctuary... and becomes the target of all of the Peltier's enemies...
My Opinion: I was really excited to get this book. I mean, we've all been waiting so long for Aimee and Fang story... but to me, it was a bit of a disappointment :( I haven't read any Sherrilyn Kenyon's book since Upon the Midnight Clear. Oh, I have Acheron, but didn't feel like reading it... and I did read Fury's story, but that doesn't count because it was a novella. Bad Moon Rising reminds me exactly why I've decided to stop reading this series.
As a whole, Fang and Aimee story wasn't so bad. I enjoyed having glimpses of their regular lives, when they were not doing anything dangerous or on the run. Seeing Aimee interact with her brothers was really a highlight for me. Talk about a dysfunctional family, seriously!! Everyone keeping secrets from each other... however, there's no doubt that they all love each other. It's weird because I was eager to read Bad Moon Rising to see Fang interact with his brothers, Fury and Vane... and there weren't that many scenes of them together :( It felt like Vane and Fury already got their stories, so no need to focus on them anymore. It felt wrong to me, because there were so much emphasis in their brother relationships... I was eager to see how Fang would adapt to the discovery that Fury was his brother... and it didn't really happen... which bring me to another problem I had... Fang and Aimee's characterizations.
Fang comes across at very angry - which I guess, I understand. He feels like his brother has let him down and he is jealous of the bond that was formed with Fury. Then, there's the fact that Fang should have become the leader of the Pack, not Fury. So angry, I can understand... but at the same time, I felt he was very whiny. It seems like he felt Vane and Fury owned him and so, he lashed out at them, had tantrums, ignored their feelings and sulk. As for Aimee, I felt her characterization wasn't very consistent with previous books... The confident bearswain was gone, instead, you had a heroine that was perpertually afraid, scared and strangely vulnerable. However, whenever Fang needed her, she'd stepped up to the plate. Use those powers that she was afraid to use. Then all the guilt about causing her brothers' deaths... I just wanted her to stand up for herself, assume responsibilities, take her own decisions... instead of cowering from her mother.
To me, Bad Moon Rising would have been much better if it focused on solving the issues. I mean, the story did focus on Fang and Aimee, but I felt nothing really got resolved. The big brouhaha in the first half of the book was how could a wolf and a bear mate? What would be the repercussions? What kind of children would that produce? Well the answers are not in this book. At the end, Fang and Aimee finally have sex and tada, the mating sign appears on their hands and they bond. Okay, so what was the big deal, aside from diluting the bloodline? I mean, there's a scene where Aimee goes to Carson, the vet, and asks him if it was normal to feel attracted to another species... and he answers he's never heard about it, never heard about such a mating... and suddenly, it happens just like that? Also, I could have done without all the demons business and going back in the timeline to explain why Fang was comatose. I mean, yes, it was fun to see some of the scenes from Fang and Aimee's point of view, but it didn't really help their story. Ms Kenyon has already spent so much time buidling Fang and Aimee's relationship, readers didn't really need a review of it. It would have been more productive to give readers new material.
Aside from that, I really didn't care about the rest of the story. Demons, Hellchasers? Bleh. Just another excuse to expand the series and introduce new characters - all more badass than the previous. Varyk, Zeke, Wynter? Also, Ms Kenyon is adding a lot of new thread and expanding the storylines of some of the recurring characters which we don't know if they'll ever have their own books and when - Sascha, Constantine. The sequel baiting is getting really old and tiring. Like I said previously, it'd be good if Ms Kenyon was tying up some loose ends before introducing new ones.
My Grade: C. Overall, Bad Moon Rising was okay... but somehow, I feel cheated out of Fang and Aimee's story. Also, I think this is going to be my last book by this author... the series just doesn't do it for me anymore :(