L. A. Banks
Undead on Arrival (Crimson Moon, Book 3)
St Martin’s (US: 31st March 2009)
There’s a war brewing between Shadow Wolves and Werewolves in L. A. Banks’ Undead on Arrival.
Genetics, the military and the paranormal all feature in this third instalment of the Crimson Moon series. Newcomers will easily get lost trying to figure out the differences between clans and packs, Shadow Wolves and Werewolves, and who’s related to whom. In addition, some characters have different names for their different forms (human and wolf), and others are simply referred to as “Hunter’s mother” or “Shogun’s mother”. And since relations are a big issue here, this is rather confusing.
The third-person narrative traces various characters’ points-of-view, but none seem to really grab. Perhaps first-person with Sasha Trudeau throughout would’ve been more successful.
But there’s an interesting question to ponder here: if your shadow shags someone else’s (not belonging to your significant other), does it still count as cheating? The characters seem to think it doesn’t, but I’m not so sure, because the parties in question had to change into new pants, because the shadow-shagging obviously affected them physically, too. A particular Family Guy episode took a similar situation (does it still count as abstinence if you have sex…in the ear? No, it does not), but made it far more entertaining.
It’s not all bad: in fact, the syn-DNA stuff is intriguing. And I mostly paid attention in the first half, but after the all-important teahouse scene, my concentration faded.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but all-in-all I’m unsatisfied. Mind you, I’d just come off reading two fabulous Dante Valentine novels by Lilith Saintcrow, and that’s one hell of a hard act to follow.