Series: Jessica McClain #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Orbit Books on 11 September 2012
Reading Challenges: 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Jessica McClain is special. She’s the only female werewolf in existence and her mere presence is enough to send the wolves into a frothing frenzy. A mercenary hunts her down but he’s hot so Jessica decides being rescued isn’t in her best interests. Cue some cheesy dialogue and the kind of plot we’ve seen time and time again.
This won’t be a traditional review but rather a series of questions that I couldn’t work out the answer to:
1. Why was Jessica such a Mary Sue and yet so whiny? She has complete control over her wolf and greater skill set than the average male werewolf without any training. I would have been far more impressed if she had needed to hone her abilities and gained strength bit by bit rather than being given it on a silver (snigger) platter. If you take away her super special skills, there isn’t that much to recommend her as an urban fantasy heroine as she isn’t charismatic, likeable or even dynamic. She has inherited an embarrassment of riches but all she can do is whine about how hard life is and needs to be rescued time and time again. Ugh.
2. Why was Jessica able to live so closely to the werewolf compound without anyone noticing her? If she had changed her scent and flew under the radar then I could buy it but there was no scent suppression and her job meant she was interacting with supernaturals on a daily basis.
3. If some werewolves hate Jessica because a random person/thing sent an anonymous letter that she was evil, why doesn’t her father teach her how to defend herself or move her away from the threat? Or even better, why doesn’t her supposedly over protective father stop the other werewolves from being big meanies? He’s the Alpha so his word is law. If you want to be even more technical, why would werewolves believe an anonymous letter so quickly when Jessica is the Alpha’s daughter?
4. Why does Jessica know so little about being a werewolf? She lived in a werewolf compound for years and has family that adore her so wouldn’t mind giving her the inside scoop.
5. The werewolf way of impregnating women is skeezy and wrong. What was the inspiration for it? It can’t have been human as it is illegal and it isn’t wolf either as that would have to be strength based assault. According to Jessica’s one night stand, they roofie the women with their saliva, somehow impregnate them without asking if that’s okay and then don’t explain that death in childbirth is almost guaranteed.
6. How did such a large number of out-of-state werewolves manage to descend on Jessica without her father (the Alpha) or the army of bodyguards noticing? If her father was so unaware of threats to Jessica both inside and outside the pack then surely his position as Alpha must be very unstable.
7. Why give us such a blatant cliff-hanger and deny us the satisfaction of a proper resolution? It wasn’t necessary and made me less inclined to read the next book. I guess Carlson needed to have an insta-lust connection between Rourke and Jessica to make book 2 feasible but if that was her intent, she could have spent more time building their relationship so Jessica’s reaction made sense.
8. Why did the baddies practically have a neon and flashing sign above their heads? A little more subtlety would have worked wonders and made the big reveal a surprise rather than a ‘well, duh’ moment.
9. Why is Jessica the only female werewolf? I wanted to know about the changes in evolution that allowed her to be created when the DNA means only males should be born. Kelley Armstrong already did the only female werewolf thing but her version was more believable as Elena was bitten rather than born a werewolf. Armstrong kept the story simple and therefore more plausible.
10. What the heck happened to Ray? The cop with a grudge against Jessica just disappeared.
So there you have it folks, the construction of this one confused me more than it entertained me. My view clearly isn’t that of the majority though as there are an awful lot of positive reviews out there from people who thoroughly enjoyed it. I suggest you read the very positive and the very negative reviews to get a feel of what to expect before rushing out and buying it.