Ayla wasn’t looking for trouble when she moved back home after eight years. All she wanted to do was rejoin her werewolf Pack, get a job with the local police force, and start building a life with her human girlfriend, Shannon. Just a few months later, Ayla’s relationship with the Pack is strained to the breaking point, and she and Shannon are thrust deep into a world of drugs and kidnapping, and the Alphas want Ayla to help them solve it all- with murder.
The first book in Naomi Clark’s Urban Wolf series is beautifully constructed. The plot is simple but solid, but what really makes this book great are the relationships between the characters. I’ve never particularly been a werewolf aficionado, but the intricacies of Pack life and vivid descriptions of Ayla’s experiences in wolf form immersed me in their world. Clark depicts the tight-knit community of a werewolf Pack as a sort of cross between a small town and an extended family, with all the pros and cons of both.
The relationship between Ayla and her girlfriend was also well-drawn. Realistic long-term relationships are rare in genre fiction, which often thrives on the chaos and romance of new love and painful breakups. Clark takes no such shortcuts here. Ayla and Shannon fight, make love, make breakfast, and stand by each other when it counts (not necessarily in that order). I found their interactions truly realistic and touching. The characters of Vince and Joel, on the other hand, were a bit two-dimensional. They had no distinguishing characteristics, and I even had trouble remembering their names.
This book has a great atmosphere. It reminded me a bit of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, although it has a slightly more realistic tone. Fans of that series will probably like this one as well. Clark has just published the second novel in this series, Dark Hunt, which I’m going to pick up as soon as I hit “post” on this review. Watch for a review of it coming soon!
Title: Silver Kiss
Author: Naomi Clark
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication: March 1st, 2010, Queered Fiction
Price: $6.99 e-book (all formats), $11.27 paperback
Author’s Website: http://naomijay.blogspot.com/