Stand Alone or Series: Crimson Moon Series, book one
Synopsis: [from back cover]
Sasha Trudeau knows all about working beneath the shadows, back-alley deals, and things that go bump in the night. She also knows that the world is unaware of the existence of the paranormal - and that the government would like to keep it that way.
As a highly trained Special Ops soldier, Sasha and her team are an elite group of individuals who are survivors of werewolf attacks, now trained to be loyal to only each other and their government. But when she returns from a solo mission, she finds that her team was mysteriously gone missing. Shocking government conspiracies, double-dealing vampires, and a host of stunning revelations about who - and what - she really is are only just the beginning...
I'm such a fan of L.A. Banks and her Vampire Huntress books! With the final book, The Thirteenth having been released earlier this month. So I was super excited to hear that she was starting a new series - about werewolves, yay! Bad Blood was published last year so just bear with me since I'm a little on the slow side of getting my hands on books I want to read.
Sasha Trudeau (I'm so curious as to how correctly pronounce her last name) and her teammates have a unique bond that holds them together and keeps them loyal to each other and the government they work for; they are all survivors of werewolf attacks. As long as they take the medicine provided by Dr. Xavier Holland they will be safe from turning, or so they thought. When Sasha is sent on a solo mission in Korea she briefly worries about being separated from her team but follows through with the orders without question. The rest of her team is sent on a separate mission that results in a terrible tragedy and few survivors. Government secrets and betrayals weigh heavily on Sasha and the dwindling number of her team as they find out who they really are and how they came to be.
I love the characters. It was great getting to know Sasha and getting introduced to Max Hunter was fun. Silver Hawk, Max's grandfather was also a strong character that provides a lot of background information on the Shadow wolves. And the mysterious Shogun was an interesting character. Something I really loved about the book and continue to love about L.A. Banks' writing is the earth-shattering attraction and passion of her couples. Max and Sasha have such a strong connection that I instantly became jealous. But I must add that the two don't get along all the time. But no matter how often they bicker and argue they are continually pulled to each other with such a great force.
I had a really hard time visualizing the "shadow-jumping" that the couple does along with all other Shadow wolves. Basically they can disappear in whatever casts shadows both in daylight and at night. And in one scene Max and Sasha are shadow jumping very quickly through the forest and onto the highway. I just didn't really grasp the concept well.
I have to admit I was terribly confused while reading the book. While the concepts were original and exciting, I felt that most of the storytelling and information was rushed through too quickly. Pretty much every paranormal anomaly exists in this book and they were tossed into it very haphazardly; from dragons and psychics to vampires and fae entities, with a number of different councils that governed all that is paranormal. It didn't sit well with me. And it wasn't until the very end of the book (and with a visit to the book's website) that I sort of understood the differences between a Shadow wolf, a werewolf, and a demon-infected werewolf. I still don't have a firm grip on it yet. But the second book is helping.
The characters really made me enjoy the book enough to overlook the (way too) fast paced action scenes and the back story that was sort of jammed together. I'd say give this book a try, maybe by borrowing at the library. Visit the book's website here for some reference while reading and it will really help. I know that's a lot of trouble to go through for a paranormal romance but I think this series has potential to become a fan favorite.