Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cursed to Death

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Author: L.A. Banks
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Setting: New Orleans, LA
Types of Werewolves: Normal wolves, bipedal wolf monsters, "Shadow Wolves"
How Lycanthropy is Caused: Genetics, Infection from a bite

Synopsis: Sasha and Hunter are still in New Orleans after their battle with the rival werewolves and the vampire cartel. Now they owe the Fae a favor since they stood by them in court. When two Phoenixes end up murdered, Sir Rodney, the leader of the Fae, sends Sasha and Hunter to investigate. What they discover is a dark curse that causes the Fae to lose their glamour and become visible to average humans. Things go downhill from there after the same curse causes Hunter the Shadow Wolf and Shogun the werewolf to become irrational and territorial over Sasha. As usual, the vampires are the main suspects.

Review: Disappointed in this one. It was mostly about the Fae characters and not the werewolves. Plus, Sasha gets sexually assaulted and nearly sexually assaulted multiple times throughout the book. And most of the characters don't seem to care much about their behavior, even after the dark curse that causes them to act that way is lifted. Because of this, I was left unsure about whether I wanted to continue reading the series or not. It just seemed like such a cop-out excuse to me. And the whole story arc with Hunter and Shogun competing with each other has gotten old, to say the least. There were a few good parts, such as when Sasha and Hunter enter the shadow realm to fight the ethereal demon wolf forms of themselves, but most of it was rather uninteresting.

It's not a complete disaster, but it could have been MUCH better. So, unless you're a hardcore L.A. Banks fan, I'd skip this one. I'll probably read the next in the series and hope that it's an improvement and that the werewolves are a more prominent feature. Also, I'm interested to see the president's response to learning about the supernatural in the next installment. I would also like to see the story arc about the disembodied were-snow leopard fleshed out (no pun intended). But if the next "Crimson Moon" novel is as disappointing as this one, I'll be cutting the series from my reading list.

-Reviewed by: PenningtonBeast

For more info:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wyrm Wolf

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Author: Edo Van Belkom
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy
Setting: San Francisco, California
Types of Werewolves: Different Forms: Bipedal Wolf Monsters, Normal Wolves, Larger Than Normal Wolves
How Lycanthropy is Caused: Heredity

Synopsis: Father Oldman, a werewolf posing as a Catholic priest, runs a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in the "Tenderloin" area of San Francisco. When gruesome murders of the local homeless start occurring, he suspects it's the work of a werewolf, or "Garou", who has succumbed to the evils of the Wyrm.

Review: I enjoyed Edo Van Belkom's werewolf series for teens and was excited to see his take on Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Wyrm Wolf definitely has the author's unique way of taking monstrous creatures and making them noble and humane. Father Oldman's great concern for the homeless is an example. This book was different from the other Werewolf: The Apocalypse novels in that the characters never crossed over into the spirit world, the Umbra, which is a major component of the Garou's existence. Also, I thought the Garou in the forest were too lenient with the reporter in showing her their caern, it seemed like an uncharacteristic thing for them to do. The only thing I would have liked to improve would be for the evil werewolf, Wingnut, to have more frequent gory scenes.

-Reviewed by : PenningtonBeast

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Pack: Winter Kill

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Author: Mike Oliveri
Illustrator: Dirk Shearer
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Crime
Setting: Rural Minnesota
Types of Werewolves: Bipedal Wolf Monsters
How Lycanthropy is Caused: Heredity?

Synopsis: A gun smuggler named Rod and his cronies meet up with a gang of skinheads out in the Minnesota wilderness. The deal goes bad when two hiker stumble upon them and end up shot to death by the skinheads, and Rod's pilot gets killed in the crossfire. This sets off an investigation by FBI agent Angela Wallace and her partner. She suspects that something strange is going on with the Tyler's, the family that owns the nearby cabins and lodge. The story takes place two years after the events in the comic Werewolves: Call of the Wild by Moonstone Press.

Review: The Pack: Winter Kill is a promising start to a new series, even though the majority of the first novel doesn't offer much information on the werewolf family and is rather brief in length. The parts where the werewolves feature, though, are delightfully bloody and vicious. I think the character Angela could have used some more attention and backstory since it appears that she will be a central character in the upcoming installments.

However, what I'm not thrilled about is the fact that the next installment of the story is going to be in graphic novel form. It's not that I dislike graphic novels, but the switch back and forth between print and pictures seems like it will make the story inconsistent and be less effective. I would rather the series be in all print or in all comic form. It also bothers me that part of the stort revolves around the events from the author's previous comic release, Werewolves: Call of the Wild. I think it would have been helpful for the readers who haven't read the comic to have a prologue about the events with Will Tyler and his wife. Hopefully, the graphic novel will be illustrated by the same artist who did the cover art for Winter Kill.

-Reviewed by: PenningtonBeast

For more Info:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Evil Moon

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Author: Harrison Ray
Genre: Horror, Crime, Mystery
Setting: Lincoln, Nebraska; Manitou Springs, Colorado
Types of Werewolves: Bipedal wolf monsters
How Lycanthropy is Caused: By a magic curse, Transmitted by a bite.

Synopsis: Davis Veoh, a police officer from Lincoln, Nebraska, is searching for a wild animal that has attacked and killed several young girls in the area. Things take a turn when he discovers that the only survivor of the attacks is his own daughter. Meanwhile a wealthy ex-safari hunter, Randolph Wetstone Jr., is trying to make a bid for senate in the next election, while also trafficking drugs with the local motorcycle gang, the Necromancers. There's also more to Wetstone than meets the eye.

Review: While Evil Moon is an entertaining read, there are some major flaws with the novel. First of all, there are WAY too many spelling and grammatical errors. Mostly it's extra commas inserted in the middle of sentences and the incorrect uses of "to", "too", and "two". Quotation marks are sometimes left out when the characters are speaking. Another problem with the story is the abrupt cut-off of some of the story arcs, such as the conflict with the terrorist militia and the discovery of Randolph's mother. I think a lot of that could have been cut out to reduce the overall length of the story. There are almost too many minor characters to keep track of. The author should definitely hire a editor if he chooses to submit Evil Moon to a major publisher in the future, or if he is considering a sequel.
Other than that, Evil Moon is an enjoyable read with interesting characters and plenty of horror action. This author has a lot of potential, and it would be good to see a sequel to Evil Moon in the future, as long as the same mistakes aren't made twice.

-Reviewed by: PenningtonBeast

For more info, Visit: