BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur

Book Blurb:  Some nights never end.

Some desires never die. . . .

She ventures where no one else dares—into realms of peril and pleasure. But will this next journey be her last?

Shape-shifting werewolf and vampire Riley Jenson is through with death–causing it, solving it, surviving it. Her soul mate, Kye Murphy, is dead–and at Riley’s own hands. Not even the seductive embrace of her vampire lover, Quinn, can fully ease her mind, for she has begun questioning everything that makes her Riley–including her job at the Directorate.

Now, the ritualistically slain bodies of ex-cons have started turning up. Reluctantly, Riley takes the case, but something even worse is waiting in the wings. For a vicious enemy from her past is determined to strip Riley of everything that gives her life any meaning: her lover, her brother–and even her own identity. Can Riley survive this ultimate assault? All she knows is, she must fight one last time to find answers, before everything goes dark forever…

Review: This is the 9th, and last, book in the Riley Jenson Guardian series. It ties up many, if not most, of the plot lines introduced in prior books. I didn't go back and re-read the previous 8 books so I may have overlooked something. If you haven't read the previous books, skip this review and pick up the first book, Full Moon Rising.

When Arthur first started this series it felt like a romance/erotica novel stuffed into paranormal clothes. During the series, Arthur eased up on the sex, if not the romantic subplots, and fleshed out the paranormal aspects. The series ultimately is a blend of romance, mystery and paranormal fantasy.

In this book Riley is dealing with the death of her soul mate, and it's consequences. In an interesting twist, which I really liked, Riley and her soul mate didn't even like each other. Despite their mutual antipathy they were drawn to each other and Kye's death leaves Riley a mass of conflicting emotions. She returns to work while still grieving and coping but the case she's on stirs up some ongoing desires and she's not functioning at her finest.

While Riley is in the midst of her investigation, which is intriguing (I loved the scene with Riley as a sea gull in the hooker's room, I laughed out loud), she is taken by an old personal enemy. This part of the book was mixed; certain aspects didn't feel realistic while others were spot on. I did feel her anguish and the resolution was neatly done. This section dragged on a bit and at times I wondered if we would ever get back to the investigation. Still, it reveals more of Riley, specifically what matters to her, and deals with some ongoing plot points. As a result of what happens during Riley's disappearance, (and also the result of ongoing subplots) Riley makes some major life changes and the book ends on a happy note.

There were some unexpected twists and others I saw coming a mile away, but overall the book was good. Arthur's writing improved in the course of writing this series and her growth shows in this book. Her pacing, her characterization and her plotting are stronger and more organic instead of deus ex machina. All in all, a good ending to the series but open-ended enough that Arthur could revisit Riley if she chose. Actually, there is a spin-off involving Rissa. I believe the new series will be called Dark Angel.

I own this book.

Publisher: Dell

Format Read: Paperback

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