dinsdag 8 februari 2011

Lori Handeland – Marked by the moon

The ninth book in the Night Creature series, published in october 2010.

Marked by the Moon

Tough as nails Alexandra Trevalyn does what most people can’t: she kills werewolves. Once part of an elite group of hunters, she’s going rogue these days, though no less determined to rid the world of bloodthirsty beasts … once and for all. That’s why Alex had no choice but to kill Julian Barlow’s wife – and will have to pay the price. Julian’s brand of vengeance is downright devious, and now he’s turned Alex into a member of his pack. It’s only a matter of time before she falls under his spell. With the wild freedom of the wolf in her veins, Alex can’t deny that Julian wakes her most primal passions … and draws her that much closer to the moon’s call, where evil lies in wait.


Alex has been a Jäger-Sucher almost her whole life. Her father used to be one before he got married, killing werewolves and other monsters who prey on humans. Then some werewolf took revenge by killing his wife, Alex’ mother. So since her 8th year, they dropped of the radar of normal human society. Charlie went back to working for Edward, and he took Alex with him. A new town every week, lessons in killing and hunting daily. No friends, no schools, just the killing. When she was fifteen, her father was killed, and she became the youngest Jäger-Sucher. Then Elise invented the serum whitch cured werewolves, and Alex became a rogue. Werewolves were monsters, and they need to be killed.
But now Alex is captured by a werewolf who is faster than she has ever encountered, and she just ran out of silver bullets. She knows she is going to be killed now herself, and is ready for that. But the werewolf has other ideas with her. She believes werewolves are evil, killers, animals. She killed his wife, whom he dearly loved, so now she will suffer herself: he will make her one of them. One of the same things she hates.
So he bites her, and leaves her in a room with a captured human. When she changes, she will need the kill. It doesn’t matter it is an evil human, a known child molester, the kill will always be a pressure on her conscience.

Lucky for Alex, Edward shows up just in time, to prevent her from killing. He shoots her with a dart, and the New Orleans voodoo priestess he brings with him, cures her from the demon within. So she doesn’t need to kill. But Edward does want her to spy for him. The werewolf who turned her, is very old and powerful, and Edward has never been able to find or kill him. He needs to know its lair. And the army he is creating … Edward also believes the werewolf who killed her father is part of Julian’s pack. And when she has found them, Edward will cure her of the disease. Make her human again. So Alex agrees. She wants to kill Julian Barlow for what he has done to her, and especially find her fathers killer.

While Julian is running from the city, he gets ill. He finds out he cannot just leave Alex to her faith, so he comes back to fetch her. He will bring her home with him and teach her that werewolves from his line are still human too. Alex wakes again human, to find herself covered in blood and the man dead beside her. Police sirens are closing in, and then Julian is back. He rescues her just in time, and they run for her car. Then his private plane takes them to Alaska, where his village is. He is alpha, he was the first werewolf, a Viking who went beyond Berserker, who turned into a werewolf when he saw his brother slayed on the battlefield. He is magic. And when he gets angry enough, anything he wants becomes reality. Over the ages, he has travelled the world, and saved those who wanted too from dying by turning them into a werewolf. But they can control their demon, except for that first change. They will live forever if they don’t run into a silver bullet.

There is a strange bond between Julian and Alex, and neither can deny it. They are extremely attracted to each other, even though they loathe each other. She killed his wife! He is a monster! But their bodies know better, and need to be together. Also, she can defy his commands, which should not be possible as he is her maker, and her alpha. He can’t run away from her without getting sick, something werewolves don’t become anymore. So what is happening to them?

But some rogue werewolf is killing the villagers in the nearby Inuit town, those Julian has sworn to protect in exchange for their blood once a month. And though Julian doesn’t want to believe one of his wolves can do that, Alex knows better. She is willing to believe that a good person will be a good werewolf, but that also means that a killer will still be a killer, and how well did he know all the people he has turned? So they go hunting for the rogue together … or are they the hunted?


I loved the book, was very happy with a new episode. So I saved it instead of pouncing on it the moment it fell on my doormat. Now it won’t be so long for the next book to arrive.
Alex is one really tough chick. She knows nothing of life but to fight and to kill, only has baseball as a way to relax. Learning to live in a village, making friends, and falling in love are totally new to her.
Julian is also in for a big surprise, he is used to people obeying him, listening to him, and Alex defies him in every way. He feels guilty that he is attracted to Alex, as she is to one who murdered his beloved wife (who ran away from him, and who hated being a werewolf).

Two strong characters, the resurfacing of Edward, some great secondary characters. Two werewolves happily married for 180 years! And still loving each other. Some hot love scenes that could melt the snow for real and enough action otherwise too.

The ending of the book is a big surprise, and I hope to learn more about that. So, Lori, please keep writing those books as I love them.

9 stars.


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