Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Mythology
3 out of 5 stars
Kindle/PDF, 370 pages
When Lila unwillingly moves to the country town of Shade, she can’t imagine the life-altering events that lie in wait for her. Shade has a curfew and has always been surrounded by myths. A central feature of the town is its famous statue of Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, whose spirit is said to protect the innocent.
Lila falls in with a group of intriguing teenagers with luminescent eyes and soon she is drawn into the shadow-lands of fantasy and reality, where destiny collides.
A mysterious local girl, Cresida, warns her to stay away, but Lila is drawn to them like a moth to a flame. (From Goodreads)
I have mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed it, especially the last half and the ending was just wracked with emotion, but for a while I thought it was a bit messy. There were so many questions, and not enough answers.
We get a nice prologue that sets up the mythology of the book nicely, but it never makes a reappearance till near the end of the book.
Lila’s the new girl at school, and everyone seems to ignore her except for the popular kids. They draw her into their group, want her to be like them. But Lila is skeptical, she can’t understand why the populars would want her in their group. Then Cres comes into the picture and warns Lila to stay away from them. And Lila can’t understand why. She thinks that Cres is crazy, especially after seeing a video of the popular kids turning into wolves. For about a quarter of the book Lila doesn’t believe what Cres is trying to show her and thinks that Cres is crazy and that a few of the kids are getting hazed and bullied at school.
Eventually Lila learns that Sam and her popular friends are infect werewolves, and that Reid has taken an interest in her. She’s accepted into the pack, wants to become one of them, and be just like them, for who wouldn’t want to live forever.
I felt that this was a mash up on genre’s, romance, urban fantasy/supernatural and mystery. I felt like it was trying to be a bunch of different things, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. At one time when Lila and Reid got together it felt like something out of a New Adult book, I thought there was going some hot sexy times, but that was completely skipped over. All the mention of it was ‘we made love’, which took me by surprise becauseI thought there’d be something more. At the same time I’m assuming the author didn’t want to focus so munch on the romance, but more so on the struggles of Lila and joining the pack and all the angst that went along with it.
Sky and Lilia’s romance came out of no where! All of a sudden Lila seemed so obsessed with Sky, and getting him to be hers. I could see it coming a mile away that he had feelings for her. Their romance was quick and heated, and didn’t last long because of the ending!! That just took me by surprise! How could the author do that!! Made me so sad, because by the end I wanted Sky and Lila to reunite.
I felt that the mystery part of the novel felt a bit messy. I was tired of Lila thinking that everyone was apart of some sort of hazing or bullying just because the popular kids took an interest in her and seemed to ignore everyone else, but I guess that’s what the reaction would be now a days, which felt real. Lila’s reaction to the video was spot on too, she thought it was fake, and wanted to expose how crazy Cres was to everyone. It took her until about half the book, when she started hanging out with the pack, and see them transform to finally believe that it was all real.
The romance was a bit wonky too. I liked Lilia/Reid, it was cute and seemed guanine, but then she seemed to become so obsessed with Sky and it was out of the blue. Suddenly she didn’t care about Reid anymore, even though a few pages before that she was really happy with him, and was actually surprised that someone as handsome as he could take an interest in her. Another instance where it tried to be like a New Adult novel was the constant going back and forth between Reid and the obsessive feelings she had for Sky. Suddenly, she would do anything to be near Sky and she wanted him so badly, and would think about him almost constantly. Why she didn’t break up with Reid eludes me, but I think she was too cowardly to do it, liked having a boyfriend, someone to love her. But then we learn that Reid never really liked her, that it was Sam’s ploy to use Reid to ensure that Lila would stick around.
There were a few twists and turns, what Lila was destined to become, even though she wants nothing more then to be a werewolf. Which sounds just like Twilight! Lila is like Bella, although much more developed and has a backbone, doesn’t like anyone push her around. Lila is a strong character, and I really liked her. She goes from being a loner, to having friends, and becoming a strong person.
I wouldn’t classify Ms. Smith’s werewolves as ‘werewolves’. To me a werewolf is something like out of Harry Potter, while these were just people that transformed into wolves. I see them more as shape shifters rather then werewolves. But I do like that when one was bitten, you stopped aging, and even looked younger! So Sam, who was about thirty when she was bitten, now probably looks like she’ in her late teens.
Everything did tie up nicely, all the confusion and frustration I had throughout the book was tied up by the end. Although sometimes the wording and sentences in the book seemed a bit off, some things were worded oddly, some sentences I had to re-read because it sounded a bit off.
There is a second book, which I plan to read, because this one seemed to end a bit suddenly and I want to know what happens with Lila, now that she’s becoming a hunter.