Christina (USA: IA) (2014/06/04):
Despite a major downfall (I'll discuss this issue later) this was a very good Urban Fantasy with an interesting female lead.
What Worked: Arthur did a great job of introducing us to the Riley Jenson world. I was never confused by the rules in play which follow some basic known "facts" about creatures like vampires and werewolves but there was enough originality to keep this Urban Fantasy fresh and not tired.
Riley is such a strong force to be reckoned with that I couldn't help but admire her strength and intelligence. Despite her ending up in dire circumstances (multiple times) I never thought she fell into the dreaded TSTL category.
What Didn't Work: The sex. In Keri Arthur's world, werewolves are sensual creatures that do not adhere to the standard morals and values ideal. Therefore they tend to have sex....a lot. AND that isn't even counting the "Full Moon" cycle when they absolutely have to have sex or go ape shit crazy. Like rabid-werewolf-killing-everything-in-sight crazy. They also only become monogamous when they find their soul mate so they often have multiple sexual partners that they use on a regular basis until they find their "forever" mate. So, I get it. Keri decided her werewolves were going to be free loving hippie children. Unfortunately she felt the need to have Riley explain this repeatedly to one of her sex partners who had a problem with all the free lovin' going on. He thinks werewolves are nothing more than whores. A little harsh but maybe not completely out of line. Riley has to tell him that werewolves are not human and should not be boxed into human ideals of sex and morality. My problem with this is that Keri somehow forgot that her readers ARE human and just might have a bit of an issue with a woman who has sex with several different men all in the same night.
In addition to the amount of sex (and sexual partners) that happen within the book it also has to be noted that there was a complete lack of romance surrounding the sex that it made it, well, unsexy. There was so much unsexy sex going on that when Riley did get with someone that she might have more of a connection to the reader is beyond caring and the scene ends up happening with no real fanfare.
In a Nutshell: Despite the HUGE issue surrounding all the unsexy sex and whatnot Riley, truly is a compelling heroine with an interesting background and a budding future as a Guardian in the Directorate.