Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: The Night Has Teeth

I love the cover of this book. Every time I look at it, I silently applaud whoever created it.  The Parisian background is simple, yet elegant and the red shredding screams out at you, interrupting the quietude. As I read the blurb, I was reminded of one of my favorite horror movies, An American Werewolf in London. Great movie! This story may have a different setting, but it did have a similar feel to it.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Connor Lewis is chased by a memory. On his first day of kindergarten he bit a boy hard enough to scar the kid for life. Since then he’s been a social outcast at a New York private school. Through an unexpected turn of good fortune, he lands a scholarship to study in Paris, where everything starts to look up. On the first day he befriends two military brats, and he may finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a normal teenager.
It doesn’t last...
His host family — an alluring young tattoo artist and her moody, handsome boyfriend — inadvertently introduce him to the underworld of werewolves where there are two types: the born and the bitten. Those born to it take the form of elegant wolves, while the latter are cursed to transform into the half-man, half-beast creatures of horror movies. The bitten rarely survive. Unfortunately, Connor is on the wanted list of a four hundred-year-old bitten human who’s searching for both a cure and a means of wiping out werewolves for good.
Connor’s loyalties are tested as he becomes embroiled in a conflict where werewolves, mad science and teen angst collide.
My Review:
This book has a main character that hooks you immediately.  Connor isn't tall, dark, and handsome but he has a quirky charm about him that draws you in.  From the start of the story, I found him to be endearing and it was an added bonus to find the secondary characters to be similarly appealing.  Amara and Arden are the couple who host Connor while he is in Paris. They could easily have their own story written and it would be great! Arden seems eternally angry and Amara is quiet but determined. They don't talk much but you can tell that they have a rock solid bond just by the way they communicate with their eyes and their body language. I was rooting for them from the beginning. Then there was Madison, another secondary character who, although troubled and seemingly depressed, was also very interesting.  Each character had secrets and as Connor got closer and closer to the truth, it was clear that all of them were entwined by a common thread.  There was not one character in this book who didn't have purpose.
The plot was engaging and it flowed at a nice pace.  The action and suspense was consistent and the only part that I found to be a bit slow was when Connor was listening to an explanation of who he was and the scientific research when he was taken captive. Otherwise, the story moved along quickly and it was hard to put down.  It isn't too gory but there is some bloodshed, which is to be expected when reading about werewolves, right?  However, this isn't your usual werewolf novel.  Much of it focuses on Connor and his relationships with the other characters, with him slowly realizing who/what he is and that the world and people around him aren't what he originally thought.  There is a bit of science fiction in the mix also while certain characters look for a "cure" to stop werewolves. 
In the Paris setting, the catacombs, cemeteries, and underground added to the mysterious yet inviting atmosphere of the story.  I'm still not sure who the good guys are and I'm not sure Connor is either at this book's end. Don't expect the story to wrap up nicely because it does the exact opposite, leaving you desperate to know what will happen next for Connor.  It seems like there will eventually be a battle between good and evil and I'm very interested to see who the real heroes and villains in this series will be. :)

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