This is one of those books (or series) that I've heard extreme opinions on. Some love it, and others hate it with a passion that makes me tremble in my metaphorical boots. The main issue is that the leading lady, Riley, is given a great introduction as a strong female lead, but it’s all wasted. Her brother goes missing and instead of going out and moving earth and heaven to find him she's having sex. Personally, that's a big character fault and many readers who didn't like this first book stated that it was one of those PNR tropes where the magic of the world is developed so that the lead HAS to have sex. That's a huge turn off for me. So what lead me to picking up this book? A group of friends on GR with similar tastes as me loved these books. Missing great reads is something I hate to do, and so I went into Full Moon Rising with low expectations. Then I was blown away!
Riley is a great lead, a werewolf/vampire half breed. It sounds cheesy (at least to me), but Arthur works out the myths around it well. Riley isn't some kind of super killer. In fact, she's a liaison for the Directorate—a supernatural crime fighting department. When lives are on the line she will step up to the task, especially when her brother is missing. Riley is smart heroine with her own set of human flaws, she's resourceful. This is not one of those books where everything just falls into her lap, Riley has to work to solve the mystery and she does not always win. All this is going on as the Moon Heat is happening. Now don't snicker!
To elaborate on the Moon Heat. Yes, it makes werewolves once a month have to have sex. If they don't get down and dirty with it the werewolf will go into a killing rage. The government even lets werewolves have a week off to take care of these needs—which is a realistic idea for something like this. Now I thought I would have a huge problem with this in the plot line. Arthur takes a plot trop that I hate—HATE—and makes it realistic. Riley struggles trying to deal with the Moon Heat as she seeks her brother. It's realized enough that I don't feel like it steals from the story. It's a legitimate crisis that has to be dealt with. Also it's sooooooo nice having a lead female who isn't a virgin, or simply hasn't slept around a lot. Now, I'm not saying a want my lead to be a slut. What I'm saying is that Riley likes sex, she's not ashamed of it and I enjoy reading about a woman that is comfortable with her sexuality. Strangely enough in UF and PNR even though the women are strong they always have hang-ups or issues with sex.
Arthur has clearly created an amazing Urban Fantasy world that's exceptionally fleshed out. The people, society, and the concepts are great. It’s nice to read a UF set in Australia. If the paranormal creatures of legend stepped out I could believe that the government would want to create super soldiers using gene experimentation and cloning. It's great watching the politics work out. Arthur has created a wonderful mix of Urban Fantasy, PNR, mystery, and sci/fi. The legends for the myths are clear and Arthur doesn't forget it. If Riley's strength saved her from one situation, she's not going to suddenly not be able to do it a page later, or book later. Things are consistent. Sure the bad guys might get special powers because of the experimentation's and other stuff, but they're not pulling new magical rabbit tricks out of there butts.
Another plus is the romance. This series is not going to be dominated by the over done love triangle. Riley has two lovers and a potential in a Vampire that appears naked on her door step. Riley might have to use her sexual assets as tools and sometimes weapons to get what she wants, but that's an asset of being a woman. Arthur is not afraid to use the power of a woman's sexuality. It's great watching Riley fall from lust to maybe love, and then watch her deal with the betrayal of a lover(s). The emotions are raw. Most of all I love how she confronts relationship issues head on. She's not one to take it laying down (um, no pun intended).
This first book is edgy and very sexy. It has all the great features of a wonderful Urban Fantasy story and mixes the right kind of romance elements. PNR fans will love it and UF readers can appreciate a book that's sexy while still maintaining a plot. Everything is not solved in one book and there are plot threads that are going to carry on. Love how epic the plot arcs are. If the Moon Heat aspect of this book is what has been stopping you from trying out this series don't. Arthur has talent and she's clearly not going to let those tired old plot tricks most authors love to use muck up her book. She's got talent for world building, character depth, and so much more. Besides how can you say no to a lead who's strong, smart, and comfortable with her sexuality?Sexual Content:
Honestly after the review, I don’t think I need to say it! Though I do have to respond to other reviews, this isn’t erotica. Not. Even. Close. 4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.