Thursday, August 8, 2013

A dark prophecy may be coming true after all

Werewolves are male. Her twin brother is male. Her father, the Alpha of the northern section of North America is male. Her best friends in the pack are male. Werewolves have always been men, gaining their powers during puberty, for as far back as the Pack histories go.

Jessica McClain, in Amanda Carlson's Full Blooded, never really believed that she'd become a werewolf. Even with all the Cain Myth doomsday prophecy business surrounding her birth, everyone knows that the werewolf genes are on an extra Y-chromosome that is passed from father to son. Being female, with no Y-chromosome to draw from, it should simply be impossible for her to change. So as she got older, and her brother changed without her, Jessica eventually created a life for herself as a P.D., with coworkers and friends; rivals and nosy neighbors.

But one night, at age 26 and all alone in her apartment, she began to change. And as the wolf inside her took over for the first time, she managed to royally trash her apartment, take off into the countryside, and nearly get her leg shot off by a farmer. All hard to explain to her boss, her former coworkers on the police force, and her poor landlord.

Her personal issues have to take a back seat, though, to what her existence means to the Pack. Her father has already had some trouble with dissent, though he's tried to patch it up as best he can. There's also been rumor of some challenge from the South, and some of his pack members may have defected or gone rogue.

As Jessica tries to keep her personal, professional and family lives from crumbling around her, an offer of help comes from the oddest of places. Is it a trap, or perhaps her only chance at coming out of this alive?

Amanda Carlson does an admirable job at keeping straight all the story threads that she's started the story with. The characters are all very human (even when they're not), and the reader really wants Jessica and her friends and family to come out on top. With a bit of romance and a breakneck pace, Full Blooded is a great addition to the supernatural fantasy genre.

Highs: I love seeing kick-butt heroines in their mid-twenties, rather than simpering teenagers.

Lows: Rather than having the supernatural universe laid out clearly in the beginning, the reader is occasionally broadsided with new information.

Verdict: A supernatural fantasy in which romance, while present, isn't the main focus of the story, Full Blooded is an exciting page-turner.

Further Reading: Hot Blooded, God Save the Queen, Santa Olivia

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