What happens when you’re the thing that goes bump in the night?
Connor Lewis and Arden LaTène are experiencing a reversal of fortunes. Arden, once a prominent werewolf, has been cured against his will. As a result, he’s now considered dead by his former pack and has lost his longtime girlfriend in the mix. Connor, a newly created werewolf whose DNA has inadvertently led to the creation of the cure, now has to make some important decisions about his future and is not sure who to trust. Should he join a pack or try to go it alone?
When Connor is summoned by the Hounds of God to testify against the human scientist who developed the cure, he’s forced to choose sides. Comprised of humans bitten by werewolves, the Hounds have been the lawmakers and enforcers for hundreds of years, ensuring werewolves don’t endanger the lives of humans and exacting justice upon those who do. On the other hand, the pack werewolves have been persecuted for centuries and are seeking to tip the balance of power. Adding to his confusion is Madison Dallaire, the girl Connor has complicated feelings for, who has embarked on a path of corporate espionage.
In the second book of The Magdeburg Trilogy, Connor’s loyalties are pushed to the limits as he faces the challenges of being a modern werewolf caught in the grip of an ancient feud.
The middle segue in trilogies are renowned for falling into the trap of being, boring, filler, info dumps or loosing sight of the story, as set out by book the first. Over the past few years, as YA has grown from a neglected genre where writers were guaranteed not to make good money to the mega genre full of endless series, it has seemed like there has been a flood of trilogies that were never meant to be. Books where, as you turn the last page of book the first, or as you thumb through book the second, it becomes clear this was never meant to be a three part story arc to begin with. The middle part is always the hard suffering book where small amounts of story are either stretched to near breaking to eke out a three part telling or where things turn to nonsense as a shorter story is elaborated upon until it no longer the thing it was (and never to it's edification). What I'm saying is that these days I cringe as I pick up part deux in any series, wondering what I'm in for.
Kruger has written exactly what I lust for in a series where I loved part one. More, bigger, and deeper, so that by the final pages I feel exactly as I did in the final pages of book the first, surprised, enthralled and in love with her characters. This is no small feat, as I'm essentially yearning for that first impression a second time. Impossible though it might seem to be, Kruger has hit all these marks for me in The Night Has Claws. She delves deeper into the world and politics of the bitten versus the born werewolves, reveals surprising and heartfelt pasts to hard to read characters like Arden and Roul, and unleashes a heart pounding climax that promises an exciting and explosive conclusion to the series in the yet untitled book the third.
The reversal in Arden and Connors lives is the perfect plot twist for Kruger to expose some of Arden's well hidden layers, and I was surprised by how much I was taken by him. His inner depths are both sympathetic and charming, and it left me wondering how I so easily overlooked him in The Night has Teeth. Roul is likewise revealed to be a man of many mysteries, and I was also greatly charmed by what I discovered. The most surprising reveal though, was Maddy, who I thought I understood relatively well by the end of The Night Has Teeth. In The Night Has Claws, Kruger opens her thoughts to us by introducing her POV, which not only makes the action of the story more mysterious but also reveals her more fully and breaks through the brittle shell she always wears and which so often confounds Connor.
In the end I fell in love with these characters and this world even more than I did the first time. She has bypassed the boring old, run of the mill, werewolf stories of horror and fixation on the change and has swept me into an old world filled with rules, hierarchies and religious ruling groups that border on cults. In other words, all the good stuff. Then she's taken it one step further and populated it with characters I can love and root for in a battle that looks like it will be an epic blood bath. So really every single element of the good stuff.
Don't waste your time, head on over to Fierce Ink Press's website and order the Special Edition paperback or hardcopy so you can get the Arden short story as well. Added bonus? The Special Edition comes with the ebook copy as well!
The Night Has Claws, by Kat Kruger
Published by Fierce Ink Press, September 24th, 2013
My ecopy kindly provided by the publisher
Now to win you're very own ecopy of the book! Open internationally, contest closes next Monday night (30th) at midnight.