Harvest Moon by J.D. Oliva (ARC Review)

I received an ARC of Harvest Moon from author J.D. Oliva and have voluntarily chosen to write this review.

In hindsight, this supernatural police procedural probably wasn’t going to be my cup of tea, but having received an unexpected ARC I decided to check it out.

The plot seemed to be a little confusing at first, over whether the murderer is a copycat, or a man previously believed to be dead. Despite the witness testimony that the supposed murderer had been shot in the head five years earlier, there appeared to be some debate around whether it was possible that he might have survived. No real detail was given to back up or explain why this doubt existed and had I not already seen the werewolf on the book’s cover, I’d have given up reading. However, I persevered and somehow made it all the way to the end of this crazy story.

The novel follows ex-cop Jackson Shane, an unhinged alcoholic, who has been brought out of retirement and asked to assist in a strange murder investigation, which has links to the serial killer he supposedly killed five years before.

The book was ok, but a little boring and confusing in places. The somewhat tedious language wasn’t helped by the countless spelling and grammar errors littered throughout the story – I counted at least 125 – so the book could definitely do with the heavy hand and red pen, of a good editor and proofreader.

I’m giving this 2 out of 5 stars because I made it all the way to the end, and while it wasn’t really to my liking it may be suitable for those who like their police procedurals. Anyone interested can pick up a copy of Harvest Moon from Amazon.co.uk here.

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The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice (Book Review)

As mentioned in my review of Anne Rice’s previous ‘Wolf Gift’ novel, I chanced upon this werewolf series while researching festive themed novels for the Christmas season. Despite my dislike of its predecessor, and mostly because this is the book which I initially intended to read in the first place, I persevered with the series and read ‘The Wolves of Midwinter’, which is Anne Rice’s gothic Christmas novel and follow-up to ‘The Wolf Gift’.

The story continues on directly from The Wolf Gift, and follows Reuben Golding and the pack of ‘Morphenkinder’ that has taken up residence inside the large, antiquated, coastal house known as Nideck Point.

With Yule, or Christmas to you and me, fast approaching, the Morphenkinder are preparing all kinds of fabulous and entertaining events to celebrate the ancient Pagan festival of Midwinter.

 

Having found The Wolf Gift to be a rather dull, drab and monotonous novel, with very little plot of real significance, it was with a lot of reluctance that I decided to give the sequel a chance to impress.

As it happens I was right to be pessimistic of The Wolves of Midwinter. Its numerous characters are still lifeless and flat, the tone still dull and monotonous in nature, and with even less substance to back up the narrative.

The entire novel is really a detailed description of old winter festivals, and a play-by-play account of all the intricate preparations that are made to create the extravagant parties and celebrations that mark the period of Midwinter, a special time in the lives of the werewolves.

The Wolves of Midwinter is a very long-winded novel, which could have been thinned down by the removal of numerous repetitive dialogue and descriptions which only served to bring down the overall tone of the book. Instead it stretches out in an almost meaningless narrative, far beyond the realms of necessity. As a result I would rate The Wolves of Midwinter at 1 out of 5 stars.

 

However, if you just love werewolf stories and/or are a big fan of Anne Rice’s work, then you can pick up a copy from Amazon here.

 

See also:

The Wolf Gift Chronicles: Book 1 – The Wolf Gift

 

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice (Book Review)

I’ve been a little busy lately studying a couple of online training courses for business, so unfortunately it has been a while since I last posted a book review. However, since we are approaching Christmas, I am going to try and post a couple of festive themed reviews each week.

The first of these is The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, part one of her Wolf Gift Chronicles Series. Technically, this isn’t really a Christmas themed story, but the sequel The Wolves of Midwinter is, and it seemed a little silly to read the second novel without knowing what happened beforehand.

 

Reuben, a 23 year old reporter for the San Francisco Observer is researching an article on the old Nideck house, which the owner’s niece Marchent is putting up for sale. The woman’s uncle, Felix Nideck, mysteriously vanished twenty years before after leaving for an archaeological dig in the middle-east, but now the authorities have finally submitted to having the man’s estate dissolved. During his visit Reuben falls in love with the large, antiquated, coastal house and decides to buy the property himself.

During the night Marchent’s drug addicted brothers break into the property and attack them. Marchent quickly succumbs to the many stab wounds that her brothers have inflicted upon her, but Reuben survives long enough to be rescued and taken to hospital. As he recovers from his wounds Reuben begins to notice his body subtly changing.

After being bitten by the wolf that saved his life at Nideck Point, Reuben is a changed man, struggling to find answers to the numerous questions surrounding his transformation.

 

I chanced upon The Wolf Gift while researching festive themed novels for the Christmas season. The follow up ‘The Wolves of Midwinter’ is Anne Rice’s gothic Christmas novel and as the story continues on from its predecessor, I thought it imperative to read The Wolf Gift and familiarise myself with its back story.

Unfortunately it’s just another werewolf novel with very little plot. I thought it had a nice beginning, if a bit slow in places, but as I progressed on through the story I gradually found my attention sliding. The Wolf Gift took a long time for me to read, about 12 days in fact, which is a strong indicator of its monotonous nature and long-winded story. If I’m being honest I was tempted to give up reading it before I’d even made it halfway, but persisted on out of morbid curiosity.

In truth I am really disappointed in The Wolf Gift as I felt that it had a really good premise, the internal struggle between morality and animal instinct, and the human desire to understand where the ‘gift’ came from and for what purpose. However I feel that the dull overall tone and lifeless characters let it down, I had no empathy for Reuben’s struggles. As a result I can only rate The Wolf Gift at 1 out of 5 stars. However for fans of Anne Rice, you can pick up a copy of The Wolf Gift from Amazon here.

I hope The Wolves of Midwinter will offer a more entertaining read, however I’m not very optimistic in my expectations. That review should be posted next week.

 

See Also:

The Wolf Gift Chronicles: Book 2 – The Wolves of Midwinter