Top critical review
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Disappointed but haven't given up...
on 5 August 2009
My favourites in the Dark Hunter series are the Wren and Vane stories, so I've been waiting with enthusiasm for Fang's story (he and Aimee are the inter-species Romeo and Juliet of the Dark Hunter world!). The day before 'Bad Moon Rising' arrived, I reread Fury's short story to bring me up to date with the wolves. Ho hum, there wasn't much point. I'll explain...
I can understand that we need to see Fang and Aimee's side of previous stories. However, as the book progressed I began to read faster and faster. When was I going to get to something new? In retrospect I should have read slower (so that's my warning to you!) because we only read about the 'present day' (in terms of the Dark Hunter storyline) in the very last section of the book. Everything else is just a rehash apart from one interesting section. It's not giving anything away to say that this section concerns another realm (don't worry, it's far more interesting than more Greek god stuff!)and we're introduced to an intriguing new character: Thorn (an Archeron replacement in terms of interest?). I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of Thorn (hope so).
After finishing the book I'm left with the feeling, 'so what'? If you're a Dark Hunter fan then of course you have to read this book and it's perfectly readable (apart from the rushed writing which gives the characters things like an 'evil smile', followed on the next page by an 'evil laugh' - I'm getting used to this in Kenyon's later books and it's one reason I've stopped automatically buying all her books). However, the book could have been so much better. This is the first time we've had a bear as a main character, but to be honest you wouldn't know it apart from a liking for honey and the way the cubs's room is decorated (plus a little bear left on Aimee's pillow - cute). I don't even know what Aimee looks like as a bear (OK, she's foremost a human, but the bear must still be part of her character). And that's what is wrong for me with this story - it lacks depth. So much more could have been made of the struggle in their relationship and discovering the differences between the species (in Kelly Armstrong's books her wolves are truly wolves).
Perhaps 70% of the book is a rehash of past (and better) stories and the characterisation is a bit muddled (I think there are far too many 'clever' remarks and ALL the characters make them, not just the characters where it's part of their characterisation, so what is meant to be clever or funny just falls flat and distracts).
Therefore I suggest reading and enjoying, but don't expect too much so you're not disappointed. Plus don't rush the reading to get to something 'new' - there's not much of that so just enjoy what's there (I rushed too much and I'm therefore confused by Varyk and puzzled and irritated with Maman Bear's character - I should reread but I'm not convinced I can be bothered, which is very unlike me). By the way, before you give me a 'not helpful' for not raving about Sherrilyn Kenyon's book, please note I'm a fan, albeit a disappointed fan who lately has become more disappointed with the publication of each new book, but I haven't given up.