Description from Goodreads:
Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
I love reading a book I know nothing about and finish it pleasantly surprised. Like the description says, all the supernatural creatures live in “habitats” (actually giant cages spanning an entire city). The story never goes into why or how that happened. It is an interesting shift from most other books, where either the supes are the most powerful and/or live under the radar. How the humans rounded up them all I have no idea. What matters is that they did.
The Politics: And within the habitat, there are Purebreds and there are Mixies. The Mixies, or mixed species, are considered second class citizens. To the point where it resembles the 1940’s & 1950’s where there was the huge race divide in the US, with separate areas for whites and “colors”. The Mixies are fighting for their rights, and Lenore is part of the MFE, a group run by Zulu to help establish equal rights.
The police inside the habitat are called Habbies, and they are sent into the habitat to “police” as punishment for their own crimes. So as a police force they are pretty useless. And corrupt.
The Relationships: Of course Zulu has a thing for Lanore. She isn’t sure how she feels toward him. And that is complicated by the fact that she lives with her childhood friend and ex-boyfriend MeShack. Who she still has feelings for, after she broke up with him for cheating on her. How she can still be friends with him, let alone live with him, is beyond me.
The Murders: Disgustingly graphic. I must say I was surprised at who the murderer was. I had guesses, but after they ended up being victims I knew I was obviously wrong and stopped trying to guess. They are pretty sick and twisted, and done for what the killer thinks is a bigger purpose.
After Lanore sees a murder being committed, and is unable to stop it, the killer focuses on her. She then takes it upon herself to investigate these crimes, and of course the two men in her life are unable to stop her, so they eventually join her. One more so than the other.
Things that I didn’t get/like: She goes to the victims house and discovers she has a son … so she decides to take him home … I was baffled by this. It didn’t seem to make sense to me, and of course he becomes a weakness that will be exploited by the killer later on. The kid isn’t mentioned often, but enough that she feels like he is hers I suppose.
Also, the final scene with the killer seemed somewhat anti-climactic. I won’t say much, because I don’t want to ruin it, but there was someone else there that just so happened to have the right power to make escape easily possible. Why this other person was there at all was never explained and made no sense to me. There was always only one victim, why this time there was to be two was never explained. It seemed just too random.
At one point Lanore’s arm is injured. She mentions it hurting so bad she screams and can’t move it, then a few pages later it no longer bothers her. Maybe it could have been mentioned in passing that what happened to her arm generally heals quickly or something, because I would imagine if it still hurt her that bad, it would have made a difference in what happened next. Possibly. Or adrenaline could have been used as an explanation too.
At the end, the eating scene I thought was unnecessary. When you read it, you’ll get it.
I wish there was more history explanation, but since it looks like there will be a book two, I am hopefully more will be revealed there.
And just about everyone had dreadlocks, which I find a little odd, but that is just a personal preference. 🙂
Things I loved: The characters. They are so well done, and you (eventually) understand their motivations and reasons for reacting to things the way they do. In the beginning it is a little confusing, but you get there. They are so very passionate. They believe and feel strongly, and you start to feel the same things.
“Touch her like that again,” Zulu growled. “And I’ll rip your fucking fangs out.”
Also, the freshness of the story. I have read nothing like this before. It is so very unique. The last 1/4 of the book I couldn’t put it down.
The world is so full of turmoil and is so different from anything I have ever read. I think I have said that several times. 🙂 Sorry.
The things I mentioned as dislikes are what I would consider minor things. Please don’t skip this book because there were things I didn’t like. I just thought they should be mentioned.
This book gets a solid 4.5 stars from me. Read it, you won’t be disappointed. I will be eagerly awaiting book two. As always, the book picture is a link to the Amazon page for purchase. At the time of this post, it is only $1.99!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review. And then I bought a copy ;-). If that isn’t a good sign, I don’t know what is.