Full Moon Rising, a fantasy novel, is the first installment of the Trilogy of the Wolf by J.A.J and J.L Hutchisson
So what's it about?
When Constin, an Elder Priest of Heartfield, is given a prophecy regarding his daughter, he seeks to save her from it. He has been told that she'll be in danger that only a werewolf can save her from. Werewolves are vile beasts that take take special pleasure in massacring humans - especially children - and Constin refuses to believe one of these creatures could possibly be his daughter Olesa's only hope for survival. Racing off to hide her from this terrible prophecy, he finds that his actions only lead the prophecy closer to fulfillment.
And there is much more to worry about than just a werewolf...
We're used to the idea of werewolves that are reviled, then shown to be more human than characters within a story believe them to be. That's not the seldom used concept I referred to in this review's title. While the authors of this piece focus a great deal on the werewolf Draikin and his relationship with the child Olesa, there's another concept that I found myself drawn to:
The bloodthirsty and depraved elves.
Don't get me wrong. We've all seen evil elves within literature. This is nothing new. Dark elves are a staple.
But these were different.
You see, regardless of the number of evil elves we find within the pages of books, they all share a few common traits. They're beautiful, they have a complex and even elegant society, and they make evil seem sexy.
Not these, though.
The elves within the pages of Full Moon Rising were beautiful, yes. They were also intelligent, as is the norm.
But they were revolting.
Their hatred of humans was so intense, brutal, and single minded that I felt more like I was reading about beautiful trolls then elves. I had absolutely no desire to get to know them. I knew they were beautiful, and I saw that they were graceful... yet my disgust with these creatures was so complete that I saw zero redeeming features within them.
Yet I kept hoping I was wrong about them. I held out hope for one elf in particular, dreaming that he'd be more human than the others.
The werewolf, on the other hand, I had no doubts about.
He was good, through and through. That is, as long as you overlook the fact that he can smell human blood over a mile away... and craves it. Or that in his wolf form he loses all ability to control his desire to rip people to shreds and eat to his heart's content. These things can be a bit problematic...
And yet, I still found that I could trust him.
The humans, as well, had interesting qualities. They were always standing on the gray line between good and evil, trying their best to make decisions that they could live with.
Kinda like the rest of us.
Many times, the decisions were poor ones. Other times, they were surprisingly good. These people had to battle against the concepts of prejudice, hatred, greed, and cowardice. Sometimes they won, and sometimes they lost. Each action held consequences.
The story itself was very well thought out, and the intricacies of the world this husband/wife team created were a joy to discover. The world of Full Moon Rising felt real.
Unfortunately, the characters themselves weren't quite so well fleshed out.
While I did enjoy them, I found myself frustrated by the amount of information I was told, rather than shown. There was, for example, a discovery of love between two characters that that weren't at all the romantic type.
I think I would have enjoyed seeing these two make the discovery: their confusion, their frustration. The many ways that these two un-romantic people could have screwed things up for themselves. It would have endeared them to me. I'd like, in a sense, to make that discovery through witnessing the steps that led to their revelation.
Instead, I was told that they realised they were in love. Not nearly as fulfilling.
Even so, I read through to the end. The world is what makes this one worth reading. I enjoyed the rules and environment of this world so much that I was able to get past my frustration about being told about things, rather than having them shown to me.
Full Moon Rising can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.