Monday, November 16, 2015

Nocturnal Origins by Amanda Green

I've been wanting to try Amanda Green's Nocturnal Lives series for quite a while. She's a contributor to the Mad Genius Club blog, and I have enjoyed many of her posts there. When she finally put up the opening "trilogy" of the series for a very nice price on Amazon, I bit. Am I hooked?

Detective Sergeant Mackenzie "Mac" Santos of Dallas was recently attacked and left for dead, but who made a miraculous recovery from her injuries. I thought at first this was going to be some sort of Graywalker clone story, but it went a little different direction when it becomes apparent (to the reader, anyway, if not the heroine) that she's actually a shapeshifter, complete with supernatural healing powers - a were-jaguar, if you will.

The local shifter community is  a bit more extensive than I feel is reasonable, but maybe it's one of those disease-clustering things. A rogue werewolf, Wilson, is murdering humans in the city, and is the same person who nearly ended Mac's career. He is violating pack law by doing so, skirting a thin line between challenging the pack leader and pretending to be submissive. The local "Pride" of feline shapeshifters has a treaty with the pack, and Wilson's actions are jeopardizing a fragile peace in Dallas.

As might be expected in the opening book of a shifter series, Mac is having some emotional issues while coming to terms with her new status, but it helps that her chief and her new partner also turn out to be members of the Pride, and that jaguars occupy a place at the top of the shifter social pyramid.

Green introduces a bit of the political into the tale with the existence of a Council which used to rule all of the shifters and weres, but which has been disbanded and has little power to enforce its dictates, though certain members are hoping and perhaps pushing for a return of the organization.

The emotional, the supernatural, and the political. Could be a winning combo. The first novel has promise, at least.

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