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Howling Moon    by C. T. Adams & Cathy Clamp order for
Howling Moon
by C. T. Adams
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The fine writing team of Adam and Clamp take readers back into their fascinating and richly realized SAZI society in Howling Moon. As the story opens, Catherine Turner and her parents are attacked by a vicious creature that leaves the parents dead and the young woman brutally mauled. Cat survives her attack, but is grief stricken to learn that her parents did not. To make matters worse, she has no idea that her life, as she knows it, will forever change come the full moon.

When Charles Wingate, Chief Justice of the Sazi clans, summons Raphael Ramirez to call in a favor, the former secret police agent cannot say no. Wingate has close personal ties with the Turner family. He knows that his god daughter Cat will need special counseling as well as expert one-on-one training to deal with her first transformation - not to mention help in fighting the telepathic link that she will undoubtedly develop with her attacker, notorious and deadly Sazi serial killer, Jack Simpson. Wingate knows that Jack will come looking for Cat once she's turned and that Raphael's past history with the killer makes him the best candidate to protect her. However, Rafe isn't so sure. He knows that cats and wolves don't mix, but once he realizes that Cat is his true life mate his misgivings dissolve. Now he must not only protect her from the cunning and deadly Simpson, but also deal with prejudices within his own Wolfen clan, whose members are loathe to admit a jaguar into their midst.

After a few books that hinted at Jack Simpson's motivations, his true colours are finally revealed in Howling Moon, another exciting, imaginative and romantic tale. Adams and Clamp continue adding building blocks to their complicated SAZI mythology, while introducing new and intriguing characters. Cat and Raphael are both believable leads, Cat especially as she's forced to leave her human inclinations behind and not only accept her new jaguar nature, but also fight to deny the mental thrall that the sinister Jack Simpson's mauling has cast over her. The authors explain that the timeline of this story pre-dates the other books in the series, but regulars shouldn't have much difficulty figuring out the sequence of events. It's always a treat to read a new installment in this gritty, unique series and Howling Moon is no exception.

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