Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: February 4th, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley.com. I have a couple of Neumeier’s books on my bookshelf to read, but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. She’s an author I have been wanted to read for some time. While this novel is beautifully written, I had some trouble engaging with the characters.
Natividad, Miguel, and Alejandro flee Mexico to find the Dimilioc Black Dogs in the US. They are running from an evil Black Dog who destroyed their village. Natividad is a Pure, who can perform magic that keeps people safe and Black Dogs calm. Miguel is human, but very smart. Alejandro is a powerful Black Dog that is nervous about finding a place in the Dimilioc clan. When the Black Dog who destroyed their village follows them a battle ensues between the evil Black Dogs and the Dimilioc Black Dogs.
I’ll be honest here, I have never been a huge fan of werewolf novels where the majority of the story focuses on clan wars or pack wars…or basically strife between werewolf packs. That’s the majority of what this book deals with.
There are some interesting ideas in here. I did enjoy the idea of Pure women who have a special magic meant to protect people and to calm Black Dogs. It makes for some interesting magic throughout the story. Also Black Dogs are not quite werewolves, but have a shadow half they struggle to control. This was an interesting concept for a werewolf-like creature.
There is a lot of background to this story that is hinted at but not really discussed in depth. Apparently there was some great war between the vampires and the black dogs at some point before this story. I felt like I was missing some background and struggled to piece together the history behind this world and characters.
I had some trouble engaging with the characters. Miguel is super smart but lacks wisdom, Alejandro is struggling to keep his Black Dog in check. Natividad was a bit too passive for me, she accepted her role as potential mate to whatever Black Dog would have her a bit too easily.
The most interesting character in the whole book is Ezekiel Korte, he is young but incredibly strong for a Black Dog and is the executioner for the Dimilioc pack. He wants Natividad for his own when she comes of age. In the beginning he comes off as a bit of jerk, but then we find out his history is pretty complex and he becomes a very interesting addition to the story.
The pacing was off a bit throughout the story. Some parts were very quick moving and some parts of the story were a bit boring. I also just didn’t enjoy reading about pack politics all that much.
The story ends at a good point with things pretty much resolved. There is some room for a sequel, although I wasn’t able to find information on one.
Overall this is a beautifully written book, but it wasn’t as engaging as I had hoped. If you are a huge fan of werewolf books this is a decent one, however if you aren’t I would probably skip it. I still have Neumeier’s The Floating Islands and House of Shadows sitting on my shelf to read. Hopefully I will enjoy those books more than this one.