Review of Natalie Herzer’s Blue Moon Rising (The Patroness, #1)

Blue Moon RisingI downloaded a copy of Natalie Herzer‘s Blue Moon Rising (The Patroness, #1) from the Amazon KDP list. At the time of posting it was still free.

Description from Goodreads:
Maiwenn Cadic doesn’t have a quiet and normal life. 
This week won’t be any different.

Being the Patroness of Paris and protecting its inhabitants is a full time job but unfortunately it doesn’t pay the bills and so Maiwenn tries her best to make a living as a down-on-her luck private eye for odd cases.

When five shapeshifters end up dead, she knows it’s bad news and has to call in The Council. They immediately send their assassin Kylian ‘The Killer’ Tremaine, a typical shapeshifter who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and seems to see everything female as a damsel in distress – which Maiwenn is really not. 

Together they will not only have to overcome their prejudices and obstacles in the form of a trigger-happy bounty hunter and a hungry rogue, but they will also have to trust each other in order to solve the murder before more bodies pile up.

Review:

The Patroness - Mini Series Banner

Blue Moon Rising is a fun, clean read that reminded me a little bit of Kim Harrison‘s The Hollows series. The plot is fairly basic. Maiwenn has inherited the task of protecting the people of Paris from all paranormal threats. So she basically patrols the city looking for trouble. This provided a lot of opportunities for the reader to be told interesting titbits about Paris, its history, and tourist attractions. It also allowed for a number of otherwise unconnected adventures. And while I enjoyed some of this, I also found myself increasingly irritated on two fronts.

First, I thought some of the history lessons felt forced and caused the narrative to drag a bit. Secondly, and more importantly, I had a real issue with the obvious question of language. Maiwenn was born and raised in Paris. She’s a native Parisian and would therefore, obviously, speak French. As would almost everyone else in the city that she would encounter. However, she’s very obviously meant to be speaking English…to everyone, even the other French people. What’s worse, the American who had never been to Paris has no linguistic challenge to overcome, but there is no indication that he is speaking French either, even to the French.

This is all highlighted by the fact that greetings are often said in French and then the conversation continues in English. “Bonjour monsieur, bla bla bla in English.” Or when surprised Maiwen rattles off a French sentence or two and on one to two occasions someone needed a translation. If not for the times that French is used, thereby indicating that it isn’t used at the other times, I might have been able to just assume all conversation was in the appropriate language. I could stretch my suspension of belief far enough for that. But that obviously wasn’t the case. So, I’m left asking when France adopted English as it’s national language?

I did enjoy the romantic tension, though I might have appreciated a little closure on that front and Maiwenn is an admirably strong female character with a whole slew of interesting sidekicks. She did seem to consistently overcome adversity with ease and more than one baddie is dispatched with almost no trouble at all.  There were also some editing issues, but for the most part I really quite enjoyed the book.

Leave a Reply