Monday, August 10, 2009

Avoid At All Costs

I like vampire books. I started with Sunshine, moved onto Charlaine Harris, and enjoy Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, even Laurell K Hamilton, who is awesome in her awfulness. But L.A. Banks' books are painful for me. It seems as if the sentences come careening out of some dark space, colliding and crashing into paragraphs assembled by random destruction. I couldn't get into her vampire books, but I heard a lot of people liked her stuff, so I tried a werewolf one. It was even worse.

Sasha is a werewolf. Well, sorta. See, there are good werewolves and tainted werewolves and shadow wolves. Sasha is a super-secret army shadow wolf with a hint of werewolf taint but not the bad taint because she is all good. The other shadow wolves don't like her, but they are just mean. She finds Hunter, who is another shadow wolf who also has some werewolf badness but he's still good. He's a Ute, and is in touch with nature and the land and his shaman grandfather. His pack peers resent him and don't want to let him play their reindeer games. He gets to be the leader anyway, and they turn to the bad side, but not until the last chapter. Her army buddies also face the bad side. There is lots of danger and badness, much of it utterly random, and a big conspiracy that relies on endless stupidity for success, a clever move in a book such as this. Sasha and Hunter trust each other in all sorts of strange rituals that they invent that only true love can survive, but Sasha is shy of commitment. The sex scenes are very explicit. Oh, I am frantically scrubbing this book from my brain, but I have officially given up on this paranormal author.

"Having to put down she-shadows gone were-demon had really messed with her man's mind. That would haunt Hunter for a long time; regular doses of primal female medicine seemed to be the only cure." Ugh. F.

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