Sunday, July 4, 2010

Claire de Lune

Hanover Falls hasn’t had a werewolf problem in over one hundred years. Seattle, Copenhagen, Osaka–they’ve had plenty of attacks. But when humans begin dying in Claire Benoit’s town, the panic spreads faster than a rumor at a pep rally. At Claire’s sixteenth birthday party, the gruesome killings are all anyone can talk about. But the big news in Claire’s mind is the fact that Matthew Engle–high-school soccer god and son of a world-renowned lycanthropy expert–notices her. And flirts with her. A lot.

That night, Claire learns that she is the latest in a long line of Benoit werewolves, and that contrary to popular belief, all werewolves are female. Killing humans is forbidden by the code of the pack, but a rogue werewolf has been breaking that law, threatening the existence of Claire’s new pack. As the pack struggles to find and fight the rogue werewolf and Claire struggles with her lupine identity, her heart and her loyalties are torn in two. Claire must keep her new life a secret from even her best friend–and especially from Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt…and with whom Claire is impossibly and undeniably falling head-over-paws in love.

Beth says 3.5 Stars...

I expected a little something different from this book. It ended up simply being another paranormal romance, with heavy emphasis on the romance. The plot was decent, but the mystery wasn't too complicated. I managed to guess the "bad guy" about a third of the way through the book; it was that transparent. The false leads weren't very good if you were paying attention, but if not they might make it much more entertaining. One of my biggest issues was with the world building. I wanted to know more about the history of werewolves in this alternative universe, yet was more than disappointed. I really wanted to know so much more about the mythology and feel like that really would have helped the book. It would have added a much needed element of layering to everything.

Claire was a very good character. Her struggles were made relatable and her voice felt authentic, as did the personalities of most of the others. Her relationship with Emily was fun to read because despite their ups and downs they really remained best friends. It was nice to see a representation of two girls actually getting along without attempting to push one another down the stairs. Matthew felt a little meh to me, to put it scientifically. He was just rather cute and cookie cutter, and didn't smolder. It was the same with his relationship with Claire, which ended up becoming the main focus of the book. There needed to be a little more heat and a little less cute to make it really work.

I think that Johnson has potential, but this book just wasn't quite for me. It could have been much better than it was due to its unique perspective on werewolves. Instead it fell prey to the Twilight copycat syndrome. Heavy on the romance and light on basically everything else. Also, I found the ending to be a bit too filled with sunshine and rainbows. The one hope is that it looks primed for a sequel, which would hopefully deepen things more than a bit. This would be a good summer read for a lover of the genre who wanted something light and possibly mysterious.


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