This review contain’s some spoilers.
It has been a long time since I have read the previous books in the Dark Hunter series, so I admit I was confused with the plots that were referenced in Bad Moon Rising. The actual blurb on the back cover of the book is very short and doesn’t cover what actually went on. So, I’m going to use the official blurb from the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s official website:
In the world of the Were-Hunters, like stays with like. Species don’t mix and they definitely don’t fall in love. But from the moment Aimee Peltier took in a wounded wolf, her heart wouldn’t listen to what her head told her.
However, 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 lyncanthropes. His brothers are the wolf representatives and Aimee’s mother represents the Bear clan. Aimee is the heir apparent for her species. There is no way these two can ever be together and they know it.
But when war comes to Sanctuary, the establishment run by Aimee’s family, sides must be chosen and enemies are forced into shaky alliances. Aimee is accused of betraying her people, and her only hope is the one man who believes in her. Yet in order to save her, Fang must break the law of his people, and that breech could very well spell the end of both their races
I have mixed responses about this book as I believe Fang’s and Aimee’s journey fell flat in some parts of the story. There were too many busy plots swimming around and I felt it distracted from their relationship.
I liked Aimee from the start, despite her prejudices she had against the Were Hunter wolves, which was due to her lack of interaction with the wolves and because it seems to be a given that all Were-Hunters distrust other Were-Hunter species. Aimee is confident, sassy and at times smart, but there were moments where she acted TSTL. There was a scene where Aimee entered the Were-Hunter wolf territory while the females were carrying. To do this without permission is basically a death sentence. When Fang remonstrates with her, she huffs off in anger and shrugs off what she did. I was bemused by this as her thoughts previously, where she showed herself to be smart in a previous dangerous situation, conflicted with her behaviour and actions in the next few chapters.
The same can be said for Fang. He is surly, reckless and prone to arguments. I couldn’t understand why his character was so bitchy after the traumas he had lived through. His pack was extremely volatile and seriously flawed. Fang’s and Vane’s father loathed them with his entire being and made no bones about it. Fang had previously lost a past lover in a brutal murder, but the emotions that we were supposed to see/feel from him fell flat. I would have thought his character would be more solemn, withdrawn, and yet he bellowed
and bitched like a teenager.
So, in the beginning and midway into the book, there is the internal struggle that goes on between Fang and Aimee because of their attraction. They were taught that interspecies relationships are not tolerated and in fact, had never been heard of before. They knew instinctively that if either one of them acted on the attraction, there would be deadly consequences for both. More so for Aimee, as she is the only daughter of the Peltier Bear clan, who has the responsibility of carrying on the line, as only female bears and their heirs could seat at the Omegrion.
To go against what she has known all her life, Aimee would have to defy her mother, Nicole, who rules the Peltier Bear clan with a iron and sometimes vicious fist. I remember Nicole from previous books, and I didn’t like her before and I was still conflicted about her inBad Moon Rising due to her extreme prejudices. Aimee has a more relaxed relationship with her siblings, but to be honest, I actually lost count on how many brothers there were. In fact, there were a lot of characters that I lost count in this book. They seemed to be popping up everywhere, and again their personalities were not shown. Bad Moon Rising is told in past events and I believe this is why it fell flat. There are other plots regarding the main characters from previous books which were never explained and I think the reader was supposed to remember. Myself? I’m awful at remembering details, so most of the time I was feeling as if there were empty holes that for the life of me, I couldn’t fill in. I’m sure for the readers who do remember, it won’t be a problem. I hope.
So, it wasn’t until the book caught up to somewhat of a present time that I started to get really involved in the book. Aimee’s and Fang’s relationship really starts to blossom when Fang is trapped in a very strange realm (trying not to give away spoilers) and Amiee is the only one who can help him as she truly believes in him.
From there, their feelings for one another become deeper and they defy the odds and admit publicly what they mean to one another other. It’s not easy going though, as more obstacles are put in their way and I did think, oh gosh, are these two ever going to be together? I do think there were too many obstacles put
in Fang’s way to draw the story out longer which made it somewhat of an overkill.
And during that turbulent time, Fang’s relationship with his brother Vane was put to the test and he had to contend with the real identity of Fury.
As per usual in a Kenyon book, there are always hints of a bigger plot and arc that will be appearing in future books. We see glimpses of Savitar, whom I’m hoping gets a book of his own, and there’s a new character introduced, Thorn. I believe his character might be one of those future arcs.
I admit, while these god like characters are intriguing, I’m not really interested in the power they hold. I want to see their emotions at the forefront of the story and not have bigger plot-lines – which are never fully explained – overshadow the relationships of the protagonists, which I think happened in this book.
All in all, I think this is a satisfying read for fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon, but the inconsistencies of the characters and the slow pace of the book at the beginning lowered the grade for me. I was also put off by
the change of POV which happened frequently. I found myself re-reading to find out who the narrator was, as the switch over would happen within a space of a line.
Something that bugged me also, was the wolf pack structure and the role Fang was forced to play.
Due to Vane’s true base form, Fang had to protect Vane at all costs because of his vulnerability when in pain, which would result in his true form appearing. So, because of this, Fang wasn’t able to challenge leadership for the pack from their detestable father.
I can understand that reasoning, but what bothered me was the Omega label that was branded on to Fang. An Omega wolf is out of the pack structure; a wolf that can be a stress reliever and someone who can instigate play. They are not dominant but they are not exactly submissive. Fang had to play that role to protect his brother, but what confused me was how was he able to play the Omega role so badly that the other pack members did not pick up on it? Fang was openly reckless, openly rude. He played his role badly, yet nobody in the pack picked up on it for all of the years? Perhaps I have over analysed, but it was something that bugged me.
I give Bad Moon Rising 3.5 out of 5.