This second prequel to the popular Nightshade werewolf series keeps the action moving.
Picking up right where the last book left off, this installment alternately follows heroine Ember and her lover, Barrow, and her longtime friend turned enemy, Alistair. Bosque Mar, the demon that will plague the Nightshade trilogy, has gained control of the society of Conatus, originally formed to fight demons of his ilk. Ember, Barrow and friends manage to escape to France and a sympathetic Conatus member who aids them, but Ember decides to return to Scotland to spy on Conatus from the inside. Alistair, fully under the influence of Bosque Mar, remains in unrequited love with Ember, but now he finds his own purpose: making the first werewolves. The main Nightshade trilogy emphasized individual freedom as a recurrent theme; that theme seems less explicit here, except in the defiance of the rebels and in Ember’s desire to be a warrior who eschews feminine clothing. Popular paranormal motifs abound: the medieval setting, the looming demonic threat, the portal to the netherworld, battles and dark, secret catacombs, not to mention the beginnings of the werewolves. Interesting characters populate the pages, all designed to keep fans glued to the book. One wonders if a third prequel can be made to fit. If not, this one sets up the popular trilogy quite well.
Still exciting. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)