Friday, November 7, 2014

CAST THE FIRST STONE by Katherine Halle

Publisher: Torquere Press
Date published: 10/8/14
ISBN: 978-1-61040-815-8
MM, werewolves
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 3

Human Julian Hart is a werewolf hunter. He is chasing a rogue werewolf who tuned a woman against her will but has to stop the chase when the rogue moves into another clan’s territory. He obtains permission to enter Alpha Stone’s territory and continue the chase, but Stone himself becomes part of his problem, not to mention the entourage he’s surrounded by and the evil rogue himself. The minor characters are interesting and add to believability and the depth of story, even ones we only meet for a few lines occasionally are well drawn.

This is a fascinating plot with the main characters, Stone and Julian, very three dimensional and multilayered. I enjoyed learning more about them and their lives and motivations as the layers of their personality were revealed and their thought processes unpacked.
Ms. Halle writes excellent, detailed, hot MM sex. The sex scenes were varied, emotional and a fulfilling read.

The plot had some interesting twists and turns that added great suspense and drama to the story.

So why didn’t I give this book four and a half stars?
First, it felt like I was arriving halfway through a series. There was backstory and characters it seemed like I ought to know about and relate to their past history, yet nowhere on the blurb or in the book itself does it say this story is part of a series, or a sequel to something else. Even when I went to the publisher’s website and the author’s blog there was no mention of this book being part of a series or a sequel to a previous story. Yet the author clearly expects the reader to relate to Zoe’s situation and to know about Zax and his pack and the boundary rules.

Secondly, during the book I was completely thrown out of the story by a werewolf answering their cell phone while they were running. Later it seemed that shifted wolves in this world maintain human characteristics (such as being able to speak, answer phones, remain clothed etc) but at the time it hit me as a massive plot hole and had me scrolling back wondering if I’d skipped a chapter or something. More explanation of the world was absolutely needed before this happened.

A much more minor point, but one that still aggravated me, was that humans and wolves are always called that, not who. Using “that” denies their humanity and to relate to shapeshifters as humans they must be called who. And denying the humanity of humans is just plain weird.

To sum up, this is a great story with marvelous characters. But to make it a better read the author needs to link it to previous books in the series, or if there aren’t any, to add some more backstory explaining her world and the past history of some characters.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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