Monday, August 15, 2011

Claire de Lune

This is not an advance reader's copy, for once. I got this book at a book signing for the Girls Taking Over the World Tour, four female authors with new books out for young adults. My sister-in-law sells them at her bookstore: Summer's Stories in Kendallville.

Claire de Lune, by Christine Johnson, is the first of two novels in a series about an all-female pack of werewolves. Claire never knew about the pack until her sixteenth birthday, when her mother took her to be initiated into the group as the newest werewolf and learn about her true identity. It turns Claire's world upside down because all she wants is to be a normal girl who doesn't have to lie to her best friend and who can date any guy she chooses. Now, as if being a werewolf didn't complicate her life enough, she's fallen in love with the son of a man who hunts werewolves to give them his bogus "cure," and there's a rogue werewolf on the loose, terrorizing and killing people. It's up to Claire's pack to find the rogue werewolf, and it's up to Claire to protect her pack from her new boyfriend's dad.

There are some unique twists to this werewolf story. For one, unlike in Meyer's Twilight, people are aware that werewolves really exist. Two, these werewolves are all female, and in fact, no male werewolves exist in the world. They pass down their lineage through daughters, conceived with normal human men.

The plot is pretty basic but should appeal to teenagers who are fascinated by all things paranormal. It's just a fun story with decent morals and a somewhat surprising ending, though if you're looking for it, it probably won't be a surprise at all. I think what I appreciated most about the story was what it had to say about mothers and daughters. At first, I thought it was going to be one of those stories where the girl rebels against her mother and is right for doing so, but at the risk of spoiling some of the surprise, I'll just say that was turned around quite nicely.

There's some weird religion stuff. Claire always says "God" as an expression (not in prayer), and her mother tells her to say "Goddess," instead, because the werewolves believe in a Goddess who gave them their powers. I could have done without all that, including the cursing. The b-word is also used a bit, which sort of fits since wolves are related to dogs, but if you don't like cursing, I'm just warning you.

Overall, it was an entertaining read, and I will be reading the second book in the series now, Nocturne, which I received as part of a door prize at the book signing. Nocturne is available at Summer's Stories now but doesn't go out to the full public until later this month.

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