Mea Lupus Series covers

Book Review: Mea Lupus Series, by Kahaula

I purchased copies of Kahaula’s Smuggler’s Contubernium, Smuggler’s Run, and Smuggler’s Pack.

Mea Lupus Series covers

I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve built in my life. Thriving was my victory against all those who wanted to see me as ash on the solar winds. Now, I’m one of the most feared and respected smugglers in the known galaxy.

The Ferryman.

I’ve lived successfully in the shadows for years because of two rules: transport nothing living, and I’ll kill you if you betray me. I always knew this life would be a short one, but I thought that maybe I’d have a chance. Only a few people know the Ferryman is a woman—much less what I or my ship look like.

But all good things come to an end. I just won’t let it be mine.

Seems the Imperial Union got tired of their regular police force constantly failing to catch me. The Mea Lupus, the wolf shifters created by the gods Menrva & Caesar, have stepped in and are coming for me. They’ve sent their best bloodhound pack. If that wasn’t bad enough this pack is a Contubernium—how am I supposed to evade EIGHT elite wolves?!

I have one advantage: me. They seem to be intrigued by the simple transport captain they think I am. It doesn’t matter that they’re just doing their jobs. It doesn’t matter that they’re decent and kind. I’ll manipulate, lie, and use them because losing my freedom would mean the end of me. I’ll do whatever I have to do to be free once and for all. Even set myself up for a nice long retirement while I’m at it.

Easy, right? Yeah, I don’t believe me either.

my review

I really liked the first book a lot, then liked each subsequent one in the series less and less. I liked all the characters individually. I liked that there was a pre-existing m/m couple in the grouping, and no one even considered that the new relationship with Kara needed to alter that. I liked that the men showed emotion. They cried and mourned and feared. I liked that Kara was in charge. It takes a little while for the men to come around to the realization, but there is actually a little fem-domness to the book. I liked that the men wanted (desperately) to be fathers and have a family. I thought the book dealt with some interesting issues in intelligent ways. The world is interesting, and the writing is very good—the editing is utter crap, but the writing is good.

But as the series progressed, I thought it became exceedingly predictable. Which I think is largely because it’s actually a very simplistic plot. The first book set the rest up for SO MUCH, and then the author seemed to plateau at the bare minimum. Kara was so ultra-powerful that she faced no true challenge. Every accolade, power, or position available seemed to be rightfully hers, and the relationship with the men was reduced to nuanceless worship.

I absolutely hate when an author sets up a villain, spends time building up how villainous a villain is, and then the reader meets said villain and discovers that they are actually just misunderstood or have been duped but aren’t really a villain at all. This series did this not once, but twice…three times, if you count that the heroine is initially set up as the dangerous, dastardly Ferryman but is actually moral and upstanding. If I’m being generous, I could call these situations red herrings. But they felt a hell of a lot more like inconsistencies or plot drift to me.

If you don’t like pregnancy and baby tropes, avoid this series. (If you like them, snap it up.) This book is a surprise baby trope times ten. And honestly, I didn’t hate that getting pregnant was the direction the story went. It made sense, in context (even if I normally hate all the baby tropes). What bothered me was that once Kara met her men, and especially once she got pregnant, a lot of her dynamism as a character was put on a back burner in favor of babies, babies, babies, babies, babies…And for all that, the children remain in the background, never being characters of their own.

Then I found the ending a little too deus ex machina, rushed and anti-climactic. All in all, I really liked book one. I didn’t hate the second and third books. But I feel kind of meh about them. I am definitely going to try more of Kahaula’s books, though.

Mea Lupus Series photos

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