Hi and welcome to your Wednesday fix of Shapeshifter Romance! This week’s blog involved a little internal strife for me. Should I keep reviewing the books in order or should I skip ahead to do book four before book two? Book four, “Howling Moon” , actually takes place at te same time as book two, “Moon’s Web.” Book two makes several references to what’s going on in book four and those references make little sense if read in order. I did decide, though, to review book two, because it is the last ook in this series written in first person. Instead, I will write a spoiler section that will explain where the two books cross paths.
So without further blathering, I present “Moon’s Web” by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp:
The last few months have been a roller coaster for werewolf assassin, Tony, and his human mate, Sue. The both are now “dead” to their former lives after escaping a rogue mob boss who had also been a rogue Sazi. With the help of Tony’s old mob buddy and Sazi cop, Bobby, they are introduced into the world of the Sazi proper.
The are accepted into the Chicago werewolf pack where Tony get’s his first taste of not being the biggest, baddest thing hunting and Sue is forced to stand up for herself. The Chicago pack leader is none other than Nikoli Molotov, of Molotov cocktail infamy. He’s a Russian werewolf mobster with a bad temper and a control streak a mile wide. The first thing Nikoli does when he brings Tony into his pack is lay a pack binding on him so strong it almost kills Tony and makes Sue baby-sit a pack of badly trained werewolf pups.
While Tony and Sue are trying to figure out how to e mates in a pack setting without Tony smothering Sue or Sue driving Tony nuts, they are each dealing with- interesting- tasks that neither can help the other with. Sue is given a job as a book keeper for a pack business and discovers Nikoli has been swindled. How does one tell a foul-tempered werewolf his pack has been steeling from him? And will the pack react badly to having a human whistle-blower in their midst?
Tony, on the other hand, is given a task by Wolven. Seems his old boss Carmine’s werewolf girlfriend has been kidnapped by something preternatural and only Tony can keep him from starting a mob war to get her back. To add insult to injury, literally, Tony has to hunt down this kidnapper while badly injured from being mauled by a kimono dragon, deal with a sever case of pining for his mate thanks to a well meaning but clueless healer, and set up security for the pack headquarters because the Sazi Council has decided to have a meeting there! Why, you ask? To meet Tony, of course. Those flashes of insight he’s been getting means he’s developing hind sight, a rare seer gift. All they need is giant killer spider and a serial killer panther to make the mix explode… which they get.
This book is, in my opinion, better on the second reading. If you can, read the fourth book in the series before reading this one. However, it is still a good read in and of itself. This ook, as I said earlier, is written entirely first person from Tony’s point of view. There is a fresh it of romance where oby and the kimono dragon, Asri, discover they are mates. It is very cleverly done, considering the only insight into the character’s growing love comes from Tony’s developing gift of hind-sight. It adds a nice twist to the plot and a great vehicle to show Tony’s talent develop, but it is not a focal point of the plot, in my opinion. It can’t be- there are maybe 20 pages of the actual romance out of more than 300 pages in this book.
We are also introduced to plot details of the over-all story arch that don’t have any business being in the second book of a series. This book is a good one and it has it’s place in the series, but it really should have been fourth or fifth in reading order, not second. I am going to recommend you read the third and fourth books before reading “Moon’s Web” if you can. But if you do want to read them in order, I offer the following plot spoilers that will make this story make more sense:
* Jack the were panther: an ancient shifter originally from South America. He used to be a very important part of Sazi society before his mate chose to marry the Chief Justice, Charles. He then lost his mind and started attacking humans who look like her, eventually killing them after months or years of terrorizing them. This would normally be a death sentence for a Sazi and Wolven wants to kill him badly. He’s insane, though, not stupid. He got himself elected to a high human office and has a file hidden somewhere with the details of Sazi existence and instructions to mail it to the human authorities if he dies from anything but natural causes.
* Lucas Santiago: also an ancient shifter. Lucas was the pack leader of the wolf pack in Boulder. When the head of Wolven is sent on forced leave, he is tapped to fill in for her. With Lucas gone from his pack, the dirty laundry starts to come out about just what his mate, Tatiana, has been doing behind his back. Lucas is an interesting character to follow, perhaps even the “main” character for the whole series, at least to date.
* Were spiders: I won’t go into too much detail other than to say that by book eight, they become very important. They do make appearances in book three but then nothing much again till book seven and eight. Pay attention to them, though. The authors don’t re-disclose details about them once it’s been brought up.
End of spoilers.
With that, I will wrap for this week’s review. Next week I will e doing book three, “Captive Moon” where we will learn more about a certain were cougar, Antoine, and his tigress mate, Tahira.