Well. This was a little surprise! Paranormal Urban Fantasy. Overall: a good time...that I'd sticker as R18. It isn't that its thick with heavy content...it's that it's dappled with enough of it that I wouldn't recommend this to younger YA. I read it in a day though...so er...it's fairly fun.
- Yeah, the heroine bears some resemblance to Daughter of Smoke and Bone darling, Karou. But not quite as clever, witty or intriguing. That said, her dialogue is above average. I can't help but compare, and to other works as well; Who's Afraid? is like a grown-up version of Shiver (although I found the latter more compelling) and heavier spin-off of a Twilight. But if it's werewolves you're after, I still think nothing has topped the Mercy Thompson series.
- Despite all of these similarities (which aren't necessarily a bad thing, but it did mean it felt less fresh), I wanted to keep reading. I still do (I plan to read the next book). Book one didn't rock my world, but like many other titles I've given time in the past month, it answered my guilty pleasure craving nicely.
- I was crazy-invested in the love story's potential.
- I didn't find it consistently hilarious, but it was solidly amusing with occasional laugh-out-loud moments.
- New Zealand features (a little). I wouldn't say it's either the star or setting of the story, but there's a visit and reasonable share of allusions. I liked the kiwi expressions best. I found it very hard to buy into werewolves going under the radar in New Zealand. Yes, I realise I'm questioning plausibility in a story wherein humans morph into canines...but my nose-scrunch remains -- I think NZ was chosen for novelty rather than any reason that enriched the narrative. Yes, we have a native people with their own mythical lore here...but wolves have never been a part of it, and certainly wouldn't help were-people go undetected, but rather would raise the alarm. Areas of the world with wolves and wolf lore are better places for werewolves. The end.
- The aforementioned dappling of mature content includes quite a lot of swearing, hot sensuality descriptions, casual sex references, and a very unpleasant sexual attack quite early in the novel which the protag unacceptably downplays. Although another character corrects her dismissal of what is happened, I don't think this is adequately resolved or painted for how severe it really was.
Review copy from Hachette, thank you!