Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review: Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima

Celtic Moon
Celtic Wolves #1
Jan DeLima
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: 24th September 2013

First in a new series, Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima is a little heavy on mythology but once I got my head around it I really enjoyed this new urban fantasy and certainly felt that it was not just another wolf shifter story. It was different and I liked it.

Sophie Thibodeau ran from her husband Dylan Black whilst four months pregnant when she found out that he could shift into a wolf. As the resident alpha in Rhuddin Village a isolated town in Maine, Sophie has been hiding from him ever since but is forced to contact him and return to him some fifteen years later when she realises that her teenage son Joshua may have inherited more abilities and traits from his father than she previously hoped.

Alpha wolf and leader of the Katahdin territory, Dylan lives with his people in a very closely guarded village. Humans have never really been welcomed which resulted in Sophie being treated pretty shoddily by Dylan's people despite being the mate of the alpha. Any human joining their inner circle must give up all other outside human contact so when Dylan refused to allow Sophie to attend her fathers funeral she decided enough was enough and ran.

The history of the wolves really intrigued me and made this new urban fantasy quite intriguing. Basically, the wolves were forced from their homeland Cymru, now known as Wales, centuries ago by the Guardians the self appointed protectors of their race. The Guardians are restless again as the US territories or packs are gaining in power which forces Dylan to organise a gathering of the other pack leaders who like him have no loyalties to the Guardians in the hope they can work together to defeat them. So, not only does Dylan have the threat of the Guardians to deal with, he has other alphas arriving in his territory in the next five days who may or may not support him and he has to convince his runaway mate to stay and meet his teenage son for the first time. So yes, there's a lot going on in this first instalment!

I didn't quite warm to Dylan immediately, he's clearly old school in outlook and instead of talking to his Sophie and working with her he allowed her to be quite badly treated by his people. As the alpha he is certainly very "my way or the high way" so it was interesting to see him having to change how he interacts with her and his eyes seemed to be opened for the first time about the way she was treated by his people. Part of the story line is obviously about them reconnecting again, Sophie is older, wiser and has learned to protect herself and son during her life on the run so is no push over. They both have to learn from their mistakes whilst trying to protect and support their son Joshua who is the first new wolf in three hundred years that has the ability to shift. Meanwhile in the background, the threat of the Guardians is increasing. I'm not sure I quite understood everything about the Guardians other than they are the bad guys so I'm hoping it's a little clearer in the next instalment. Equally, I'm pretty intrigued about the character Taliesin who helped hide Sophie and her son for years, I want to understand more about his role past and present in wolf history.

Overall, I really enjoyed Celtic Moon and I will definitely read the next instalment, I'm keen to see more of Dylan's brother Luc and his sister Elen who has some very interesting powers and I'm sure her story will be just as intriguing.

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