Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Review: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

Alrighty, time for another review. Here is the first book in the Riley Jenson Guardian Series by Keri Arthur. Here's Full Moon Rising...

Title: Full Moon Rising
Author: Keri Arthur
Publisher: Penguin Group
Released: December 26th 2006
Series: Riley Jenson Guardian Series, Book #1
Source: My personal copy

From Keri Arthur's website:

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races–and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker–until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn’t be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.

Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need. But she will have to control her urges if she’s going to find her brother….Easier said than done as the city pulses with frenzied desire, and Riley is confronted with a very powerful–and delectably naked–vamp who raises her temperature like never before...

Well Full Moon Rising certainly gets off to an interesting start. Riley Jenson is heading home when she notices that the night is quiet...too quiet. Then she scents blood on the wind. Though not a Guardian (an enforcer of sorts) for the Directorate but an office worker, she decides to check it out. She finds a massacre and two vampires lying in wait, a messy fight ensues where Riley (not being a trained fighter) uses the only weapon made of wood she has to hand to stake the attackers....her high heels. Luckily she comes out on top, not too surprising when we learn she is a rare mix of vampire and werewolf aka. a dhampire, one who has the extraordinary strength of the two races behind her. 
When Riley thinks her night can't get any stranger she arrives back at her apartment to find an ancient, powerful and deliciously naked vampire on her doorstep. Having no idea who he is, and finding the vampire to be little help in that department, Riley assumes that the vampire (later discovered to be called Quinn) is trying to find her flatmate and twin brother Rhoan. Unfortunately Rhoan is missing having not reported back from one of his missions as a Guardian for the Directorate of Other Races. Riley's investigation leads her to be drawn deeper in to the heart of the Directorate as well as causing her to spend an awful lot of time with hansom Quinn. The investigation leads to a cloning laboratory and risks Riley's life multiple times as she battles to rescue her brother, and it starts to look like the perpetrator might be someone Riley knows. And before the investigation closes she is betrayed by one she holds close....

Well, this is certainly a new take on werewolves for me. Riley and other werewolves are driven by what's known as the moon-heat (the week before the full moon) to mate. Basically in that week she has lots and lots of sex, fortunately for Riley she has two partners, Talon and Misha, who are always around to help her through the heat. Vulnerable because without sex Riley will go mad with blood lust she takes 'relief' where she can, and this time Quinn (the naked vampire) is more than willing help her out as well. Naturally there are a few steamy scenes in this book but nothing too graphic. There is detailed exploration of the wolf clubs where werewolves go to 'dance' and humans are not allowed in case one of the wolves injures them in the process of 'dancing' due to the superior strength of the werewolf population.
The book is set in Melbourne, Australia where supernatural creatures live in the open and are policed by the Directorate of other races. It's well written and the characters are well defined, even Riley and Rhoan's lovers (of which there are many). I'm glad that Rhoan was written as a gay character and throughout the series you get to see how his relationships with both Davern and Liander change. Honestly I think Rhoan's love life and personal relationships are more interesting than Riley's, though Riley does have a strange and sometimes volatile relationship with Quinn as he does not like to share, where as it is Riley's nature to 'dance' with many wolves during the moon heat....something Quinn does not understand. By the end of the book you realise just how strong a woman Riley really is, she is tried and tested in every way and still comes out sane at the other side....just.

I do really enjoy this book, and have found it to be one of the best of the series, but if you enjoy paranormal romances where by the end the two main characters can't live without each other then this probably isn't for you. Having said that it is still a good read and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.

My Rating: 4/5

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