I grabbed Eileen Wilks' Tempting Danger from the library based on Hannah Wolf Bowen's review (scroll down). I don't think I liked it quite as much as she did, but I liked it enough to check out the rest of the series.
In a parallel present-day San Diego, Detective Lily Yu is investigating a murder that appears to have been committed by a lupus (werewolf). Rule Turner, the heir to the local clan, is the chief suspect. And while it's probably never a good thing to be a murder suspect, it's worse than usual for a very visible member of a clan that supports the Species Citizenship Bill, currently facing an uphill battle in Congress. (Though it's no longer legal to shoot lupi on sight, that came from courts, not legislatures.) Because of the potential political damage, Rule offers to assist Lily with the investigation by briefing her on lupus culture and habits, which are generally unknown or misunderstood. But this murder turns out to be a piece in a bigger game, one played not just by mortals and with life-changing stakes.
I liked quite a lot about this book, including a number of the things that Hannah talked about: the matter-of-fact diversity of the characters, the pre-existing family relationships and friendships (I want more about Lily's Grandmother!), the general lack of stupidity among the characters. I liked that the tragedies in the characters' pasts were not overwhelming revelations of DOOM. I liked the world: there are werewolves, gnomes, deities, humans with a wide variety of magical abilities, and other realms that shouldn't touch any more but perhaps are starting to. This is a world on the cusp of social and magical change, and I find that interesting.
This book is shelved in romance, and so that's where I'm categorizing it, but that is strictly a marketing decision: give it a different cover and stick it in fantasy, and I assure you that no-one would bat an eye. In fact, I recommend not thinking of it as a romance novel, because I wasn't interested in the way the romance began and was therefore not very interested in the book at first, when I thought the romance was going to be more central than it was.
Other small complaints: the expository prose isn't anything special, and while the dialogue is generally good, every use of nadia as a title/endearment rather than a proper name jolted me out of the story. And although I suspect there will eventually be an in-story reason for all lupi to be men, it bugs me now.
On the whole, an enjoyable paperback read. I look forward to seeing how the sequels develop.
#2 :: Kate wrote on October 23, 2007 at 9:04 PM:
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