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Riley Jensen (book 5) …

I got the first book in this series off PBS based on a recommendation I got somewhere, maybe Dear Author?  The basic premise is this … Riley Jensen and her twin brother Rhoan are half vampire/half werewolf.  Rohan is more vampire like, in that he has to drink blood; but Riley is mostly werewolf, but with vampire speed etc.  They are both part of an organization called the Directive, which is basically like the supernatural police force. In Book 1, Riley has to rescue her brother, who was captured by some shady organization doing shady medical "research".

There are quite a few issues I have with this series:

1) I'm not a big fan of werewolf books in general.

2) There's a lot of random gratuitous sex.  The idea is that wolves have to try to find their mates because they mate for life.  Every full moon, they go into this mating frenzy – basically they have to have lots of sex during this time or they'll go nuts. And wolves are more comfortable with their bodies, meaning they can run around naked and not have a problem with it.  So under this premise, there are these "clubs" where wolves "dance" – basically people are having sex on the dance floor and everywhere else.  This is sort of a strange concept.  I don't mind so much the sex, it's more the randomness of it. It doesn't seem to serve much purpose at all.  Riley will have sex just to relax or let off steam or whatever. I might enjoy these gratuitous sex scenes if they're hot, but they're sort of not that hot – more matter of fact than anything else.

3)  I'm not entirely convinced about the cast of characters.  Riley is more or less likeable. But there seems to be a certain lack of growth in the books regarding her character. There's no strong emotional connection for Riley.  She doesn't seem to be growing in her relationships with men.  And her relationship with her twin is weird too.  Because she's more wolf-like and he's more vampire-like, a lot people don't even know they're related. So the family relationship is weird too.

The series has an intriguing concept – but I think it is just not quite delivered. For the first 4 books, the connecting plot is their finding out more about this "medical research" organization that has been messing with Riley and Rhoan. We find out the organization has been trying to alter Riley's DNA, which has been giving her increased powers – such as some clairvoyance etc. But in Book 5, Riley freaking shifted into a BIRD. Yeeah. I think this might be the polar bear moment for me.  (Remember on Lost when Lock went into a hut and smoked and saw polar bears? That was the moment I stopped watching that show.)

Overall, I'd give this book a C.  As for the series, I might keep reading it, but I'm not hearting it much. It was so promising … but I think overall, I'm not hooked.

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2 responses to “Riley Jensen (book 5) …

  1. janicu November 4, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Hahaha, Polar bear moment. Anyways.. is this series romance? It seems to be about the same two characters from your review.

  2. BookFiendO November 5, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Yeah it’s a series, but it’s not very romance-y. It’s more a paranormal book I guess, similar to the Anita Blake books. I’m intrigued by certain aspects – half werewolf/half vampire, twins, working for the Directive, set in Australia … but none of those concepts are really developed. The werewolf/vampire thing is conveniently explained – one twin is more wolfy; the other more vampire. Bleh. I dunno… I think the series is okay but nothing special. I’ll probably keep reading, but won’t buy any more.

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