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Book Review: Broken Moon & Blood Moon, by Laken Cane

I borrowed audiobook copies of Broken Moon and Blood Magic, by Laken Cane, through Hoopla.

About the book:

I’m a wolf shifter… who can’t shift.

Twelve years ago, I was hobbled by my alpha, cast out of my pack, and forced into an unfriendly world without any protection.

But I’m not exactly helpless.

Despite being unable to shift, I have talents the others don’t have. I can see the spirits of dead people, for one. And I have a knack for fighting rogue supernaturals.

My ex-alpha will never let me back in, but there’s another alpha in the city.

Something has been killing his wolves, and he wants me to destroy it before it takes another one. He’ll triple my going rate–but that’s not the thing that makes me agree to help him.

He says he can free my wolf.

It’s not possible, but…
What if it is?

I’ll help him, either way. Monster hunting is what I do, and if there’s a monster killing wolves, I will stop it. Because those two warring alphas might believe the city is theirs, but this is my territory.

The city embraced me when the packs wouldn’t have me, and I will protect it–with or without my wolf.

my review

I quite enjoyed this. Those familiar with the urban fantasy genre won’t find too much new here. But those of us who are familiar with the urban fantasy genre generally read it because we enjoy it and don’t mind a little more of the same. And this is my experience with Broken Moon. I recognized all of the elements that it is made of, but I savored them all the same.

I liked Kait. She’s a strong lead. I did occasionally feel like she was just a little too capable, triumphing against great odds when maybe she shouldn’t have been able to. I also felt like Cane stepped away from some of the most important fight scenes—creating a distance in their writing—rather than allow the reader into the thick of it and this removed quite a bit of the tension.

There’s a possible future love interest here. But there is no romance in the book. So, if you like your UF romance free, this is a safe book to pick up.

Sierra Kline also did a nice job with the narration.

audiobook blood magic coverAbout the book:

My new alpha did the impossible. He freed my hobbled wolf.

And though I’ve craved a pack and an alpha since I was a rejected kid, I rebel against being anything less than his equal–even as my wolf worships the very ground he walks on. It makes for an interesting dynamic.

Flung headfirst into the supernaturals’ world, I am no longer a lonely, agonized outcast running from the moon. My power is growing, I have amazing people around me, and the grateful mayor has set me up with an office and a legitimate job.

For a minute, everything is quiet. Too quiet. Even the demon seems to have disappeared. And all that peace is just a little unsettling.

But then a human hires me to go after the vampires–specifically the county master–and my world explodes into chaos.

Good thing I like chaos.

But when the demon returns with a vengeance, the council makes me an offer I don’t want to refuse, and an infamous and scary as hell hunter blows into my life, the peace and quiet starts looking pretty damn good…

my review
I have to admit that, while I still liked this, I didn’t like it quite as much as book one, though it is an arguably more robust book. Kait is definitely coming into her own and strengthening her place in society. But her tendency to be the strongest badass around is also strengthening and eventually, from a reader’s perspective, this becomes redundant. There’s no real tension left if she’s so strong she can easily overcome even the steepest odds.

I also kind of feel like she’s creating a harem. Like book one, there basically isn’t any romance in the book (though you know who she’d choose if there were). But she seems to be collecting useful, powerful men (but only men, with the noted exception of her mother and roommate). And I’m starting to wonder if Cane isn’t falling into the age-old literary trap of creating interesting fictional worlds, but still not being able to imagine them full of and equal number interesting, three dimensional women as men.

I did feel some of the conclusions were a little anticlimactic—the end of the demon from book one especially. Regardless, if a third book had been available to me through Hoopla, I’d have continued the series (and still might at some future point). I like Kait. I like her found family. I’m interested in how some of the dangling plot lines conclude. And Sierra Kline again did a good job with the audio.

kait silver series photo

Other Reviews:

? Broken Moon by Laken Cane

Shiv Crew

Book Review of Shiv Crew (Rune Alexander #1), by Laken Cane

Shiv crewI picked up a copy of Laken Cane‘s Shiv Crew when it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Rune Alexander wants to get through her days doing her job, which is protecting the humans against the myriad of supernatural creatures, known as Others, who exist uneasily in a human’s world. 

But she is unstable and damaged. She realizes how broken she is even as she continues to submit to the unspeakable things her lover does to her, craving desperately the strange peace she finds in the aftermath.

When she discovers things are not as they seem and a faceless human is torturing the supernatural groups in her city, she and her crew must break the rules and begin to protect the Others from the humans. 

But as the darkness inside her becomes stronger and she ends up on the wrong side of a battle she must not lose, who will save Rune from herself?

This is one of those middle of the road books that has a decent plot idea and the writing isn’t bad, so it tricks some readers into thinking the book is good. It isn’t. Now, before anyone accuses me of cruelly trashing the book, I’ll reiterate, It’s not bad either. It’s just ok. But it could have been so much better.

My main issue is that the book is a bit of a one trick pony. Rune Alexander (not be to confused with Lex, which is so expected a nick name that it belonging to another character is confusing) is an angry woman…that’s about it. That anger makes her strong, makes her stupid, makes her friends, makes her enemies, makes her weak. It’s pretty much the core of what she is and that’s just not enough character development to make her relatable. And if she’s undeveloped, the others are paper cut outs. What’s more, it’s this anger that moves the plot and saves the day. That’s not really enough to carry a believable story either.

That plot too is thin. The villain is obvious from the very beginning and there are no real unexpected twists. Rune defeats enemies she really shouldn’t be able to. She intimidates others for no apparent reason. She is pathologically loyal to her assistant for a reason we’re never given. Followers of the enemy defect and come to her, with no explanation. There is some weird sadism/masochism thing going on that just felt like the author trying to give the book some edge. A romance of sorts sparks at the very end out of nowhere. There’s a bit of a deus ex machina ending.

The thing is, a lot of these same points have potential to make for interesting contributions, but instead they’re like dough balls falling to the floor. Just kind of landing with a resounding splat and laying there. Present and accounted for, but of no use. For example, big men being loyal to and taking orders from a woman they’re protective of is a sexy button for me. I love big dangerous men submitting to a woman. I just do. This book has several of them, one even literally presenting himself at her feet. I should be thrilled. But we get no history. We see no reason these men are so dedicated to Rune (and visa versa). It’s flat. Rune is basically the Trump of the book, talking a big game about how awesome she and her team is, but not really giving anything to back the statement up.

Again, not bad. It’s an enjoyable read. But it’s full of holes and doesn’t withstand scrutiny of any sort.