By Caitlin Kittredge.
Detective Luna Wilder (hee) is a werewolf. More specifically, she's a lone wolf (called Insoli), who doesn't have a pack because the jerk who converted her was trying to rape her at the time. However, it is considered UTTERLY SHAMEFUL for a werewolf to not have a pack, everyone assumes her maker rejected her, and she gets a lot of crap for this. I think it's pretty fucked up to give a lady crap for not wanting to consider a potential rapist her bestie and family.
Luna is diehardedly determined to bust the killer of Ukranian prostitutes, who is slaughtering people in a particularly awful way, and it looks like demons were involved. Suspects include the werewolf potential mate of one of the victims, Dmitri, who Luna finds quite hot (I'm not entirely sure why under the circumstances), and a rich boy hooker killer sort who may or may not be responsible for his own actions here. Unfortunately, the rich boy's daddy has high up friends, so Luna's job is at risk a lot more than I've seen in other books. On her side is her cousin/roommate Sunny, a witch (witchcraft runs on the female side of Luna's family, but she didn't inherit it). Sunny keeps wanting to consult with their grandma, but Grandma seems to hate Luna and vice versa.
On the one hand, I enjoyed Luna's voice, which kept me going in the book farther than I probably would have. On the other hand, there's some stuff where I just wasn't into it, or was confused, or just otherwise not that into it.
- Luna and Dmitri as a couple: I don't know about them. I didn't feel massively attached to them as a couple or feel like they sparked with each other enough for me to care a whole lot about their relationship. Maybe a little spark, but mostly their relationship dynamic just starts out weird with her suspecting him (and later telling him details of the case even when she flat out states that this could get her fired!), and it seems like they're put together by default for being werewolves more than anything else. Also, for a guy who was supposedly going to be mated with one of the murder victims, he didn't exactly sound like he was ever in love with her. More like, "eh, she's sweet, kinda dumb, and a hooker, and a druggie, but she's from the old hometown" than anything else. This seems very odd and kind of a bloodless relationship for werewolves. As a motivator/backstory, it really doesn't work when the dude only seems to semi-care about the woman he was supposedly going to settle down with.
- At one point, Luna gets attacked and magically dog-tagged (I'm not sure what else to call it, but they make a big deal about how the bad guys will be Watching Her from now on). She pretty much just ignores this, which seems weird and dangerous to do, especially when you're not going to bother to quit the case.
- There are a few times where there are random, out of the blue, HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DANGEROUS SITUATION GOING ON AT THE TIME, references to Luna wishing she was shoe shopping instead of doing the dangerous thing she was doing at the time. At one point she actually plugs the website of her favorite online shoe shopping site, for no remotely good reason at that moment in time. What the hell? Product placement? Also, I am pretty sure that even Carrie Bradshaw would put aside her shoe shopping desires to deal with a dangerous situation first. (Or at least start running in her Choos.)
- I think Sunny and Luna's witchy family backstory sounds interesting and I would have liked to have heard more about it. It's a missed opportunity there.
- The "Insoli are trash" stuff that constantly goes on in this book got really old after awhile.
- Then there's the total sexual harassment and flagrant bigotry that comes from Luna's shitty coworker Bryson, which is so out of the 1950's that you are all, "Come on, who talks like that flat out in the open in the modern era?" Bryson is totally allowed to get away with whatever the hell he wants at work, apparently. What the fuck? And also, girl or not, it just seems weird that a girl with Luna's case-closing record would be treated like such shit all the time even if the cop world is a boy's club.
Frankly, there were so many things about this book that I thought were not great that after awhile I started trying to skim through to the end so that it would just be done already. The tone is good, and the family stuff has potential, but otherwise it just really started to pall on me.