I’m a huge urban fantasy fan and there are some that are more dark and gritty than others. A good example of an awesome one is Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld series. Haunted Moon is the 13th book and I devoured it in a matter of hours. It was fantastic and just what I needed after reading lots and lots of erotic romance.
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. My sister Menolly is a vampire married to a werepuma. And me? I’m Camille, a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. I’m a priestess of the Moon Mother, and I’m training under the Queen of Darkness. Unfortunately, playing in the dark means that sometimes you stumble over secrets better left buried…
There’s a new Fae sorcerer in town—Bran, the son of Raven Mother and the Black Unicorn—and I’m the unwilling liaison between him and our new Earthside OIA. With cemeteries being ransacked and spirits being harvested by a sinister, otherworldly force, Aeval sends us to rescue the missing wife of a prominent member of the Fae nobility. Our search leads us to the mysterious Aleksais Psychic Network and, ultimately, to face the Lord of Ghosts where Morio and I must undergo a ritual that will plunge us directly into the world of the dead.
I will warn you at the outset, if you haven’t read the previous novels in the Otherworld series, there is no way, IMHO, that you can begin with Haunted Moon. This series is very typical of UF in that each book builds on the prior book with regards to an overall series story-arc. With Haunted Moon being so late in the series, there has been so much that has occurred (references to events/couples that wouldn’t make sense if you aren’t up-to-date) and all the world building is done, that you’d be very very lost. I also wouldn’t suggest you do what I did when I first picked up the series…and read all of them at once. I love me some dark and gritty…but whoa reading so much dark and gritty at once was overwhelming–and something I did around book 7 of the series. I don’t regret it and I highly recommend this series as it’s different than a lot of other UF on the market IMHO. You may just want to weave them in to your current read list rather than going back to back, due to the intensity of each book.
For you readers who’ve read the Otherworld books to date. Holy Smokes Batman!! I tend to be partial to the ones where Camille is our narrator and Haunted Moon does give us Camille’s POV. I enjoy Delilah…more so now than in earlier books as she was kinda naive and whiny and is now tougher and world-wise. Menolly is cool as crap, but I feel I connect more with Camille for some reason. It’s hard for me to put a finger on it. I mean, she has a harem of hot husbands and that certainly helps, but she just seems more…together…than her sisters. The fact that our narrator was Camille is just one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed Haunted Moon.
And wow, we get so much more information and events happening with regard to Shadow Wing as well as some curveballs from Faerie. The war is definitely getting underway and there is no doubting that a major showdown is going to occur in the next few books. It seems like the gang really didn’t get a breather in Haunted Moon. It felt like it was one action scene after another, with little “downtime”. Now if you know me and my reading tastes, you know this isn’t a complaint. It was fabulous and kept the plot going at a good pace. I think that is another thing that tends to happen with Camille’s POV books–there seems to be more emphasis on action, which I don’t feel is the case when Delilah and Menolly are the narrators.
If you’re an Otherworld fan, you will not be disappointed with Haunted Moon. We get big information on the pending war and the feel that the showdown with Shadow Wing is very close on the horizon. If you’re new to the Otherworld series or haven’t started it yet, keep with things. I know there are some really hard and gritty plot lines, but the series is awesome and one I definitely recommend if you want dark, gritty and something “fresh”.