Bland’s debut urban-fantasy novel depicts werewolves, vampires, witches and aliens all secretly living, and loving, in the Seattle area.
This sexy, twisted story features alpha werewolf Parker Berenson, female mage Garrett Larkin and master vampire Kurt. The trio, all undercover “zots,” or supernatural beings, live their lives in rainy Seattle, careful not to reveal their true selves to normal humans. The three become involved in a dangerous love triangle; Parker is initially overwhelmed by his feelings of betrayal over Garrett’s relationship with Kurt, but soon finds that Garrett, a powerful mage, has a secret agenda all her own. While they feud with each other, the zots try their best not to be “outed,” which would end in their certain execution. Parker later falls for Melera, an over 6-foot-tall, lithe beauty who just happens to be an intergalactic warrior and assassin—a risk Parker is willing to take. But Kurt and Garrett suspect that Melera may be a serial killer, and Parker and Melera must prove her innocence. Bland’s writing is crisp—her prose concise, the chapters short and to-the-point—and she easily juggles the many different characters and plotlines; just when readers tire of a detailed description of a witches’ ritual preparations, they’re thrust into the vagaries of wolfpack hierarchy. The only complaint readers might have about Bland’s debut is one that’s common to the urban-fantasy genre—it all seems similar to what has come before. In particular, fans of HBO’s cult TV show True Blood or the Charlaine Harris novels that inspired them may feel a nagging sense of déjà vu. Regardless, the novel will keep its readers guessing as it delivers witch sacraments, supernatural sexual relationships and the hottest alien in town.
A diverting urban fantasy, even if readers may find it a bit familiar.