Series: A Midnight Magic Mystery #2
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by Midnight Ink on 1 March 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Ides of March
Werewolf Sings the Blues is set quite a few years before the first novel in the series. Wedding singer Vivian discovers that she is in danger as her estranged father is an alpha werewolf. She gets drawn into a territory war between packs and along the way starts to fall for her adopted brother Jason.
Vivian’s life hasn’t been easy as she was abandoned by her father, neglected by her mother and step-father and can’t get a break in the music industry she loves. She turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and seems to be on a downward spiral. Jason saved her life literally and figuratively by removing her from that life. She might have barely passed school but she has several degrees from the school of hard knocks – she is great at carjacking, evading cops and taking care of rambunctious children. Jason had a pretty traumatic past too because of his abusive father and now he abuses other people for a living as the pack’s Beta.
My biggest problem with the fact that the book is badged as a paranormal mystery. The only ‘crime’ needing solving is who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing (sorry, I couldn’t resist). As there is only one character Vivian can’t get on with, it isn’t that hard to work out the big baddie. The book doesn’t really fit the romance genre either as there isn’t much actual romance between Jason and Vivian. Jason is so closed off emotionally that the connection between the two isn’t fully developed. I think if we had experienced some events from his point of view, things would have been easier to digest. There were quite a few aspects of werewolf lore that weren’t discussed which was a shame. Two characters for example are not permitted to fall in love yet Vivian (and therefore the reader) was never really told why.
Two things I really must mention are the level of violence which is considerably ramped up from the first novel and the fact Harlow has written it in a stream of consciousness style. I think this caused a few problems because it was hard to connect with the protagonist as she was so self-absorbed and bitter about how her life turned out. Once Vivian gets to the werewolf compound, things improve drastically as she is forced to consider the needs of others.
I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this book very much which was a surprise as I really liked Harlow’s F.R.E.A.K.S. series and enjoyed the first novel in this series. If you are debating whether to dip into her novels then please start with one of those books rather than this one as the characterisation, plot and style are much stronger.