Knight rehashes themes of werewolf-vampire rivalry and redemptive paranormal romance in a debut that adds little to the genre until the final cliffhanger.
Against the familiar backdrop of remote wilderness and mysterious murders, Colorado State freshman Faith rebuffs the advances of bosom buddy Derek, falling instead for Lucas, an aloof and stunning specimen who morphs into fur, claws and saliva when the urge is strong or the moon is full. When Faith pairs up with Lucas on a school assignment, his one-time best friend and centuries-old vampire nemesis, Vincent, haphazardly targets her as a vehicle to hurt and distract Lucas; Lucas’ affection for Faith develops in earnest only after she becomes Vincent’s mark. Overly stiff and direct dialogue in this first-person narrative often dulls any excitement that might arise from the conflict and power play over Faith’s safety and mortality. Her ability to intuit people’s vibes is underutilized, though her telepathic influence over Lucas when he is in wolf form is crucial to the plot. Mounting ardor between Faith and Lucas heightens the stakes of the climactic battle that draws Lucas’ pack from its enclave and results in highly unusual circumstances for one of its casualties.
Curiosity about the author’s ending promise to tweak paranormal mythology will impel some readers to the sequel, provided they care to learn more about Faith’s travails. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)