Touch a Dark Wolf
Ready for a new series featuring a group of super-hunky paranormal warriors with a duty to protect humankind from all kinds of demonic and quasi-mortal bad guys?
Well, whether you want it or not, you’ve got one, this time by Gothic historical romance author Jennifer St. Giles. I’ll admit that all this paranormal stuff is getting a bit old for me, but Ms. St. Giles certainly displays a competent hand in telling her story, even if the world-building does sometimes get a bit out of hand.
Erin Morgan’s flight from all manner of paranormal baddies starts immediately following her chilling discovery of four bodies drained completely of their blood at the exclusive Manhattan medical research center where she is employed. Determined to learn the real truth about the goings-on and expose their evil to the world, Erin is on her way to Tennessee to the center’s R & D facility when two paranormal entities get into some kind of paranormal scuffle in the middle of the road, ending with a bad ass sexy wounded warrior landing on the roof of her damaged car.
Jared – and here is where things get too complicated – is one of a hardened race of warrior-protectors now doomed to turn evil because he was wounded by the wrong kind of paranormal baddie. Got that? Only there’s a legend, see, that if he can fall in love with a mortal then…well, he may not be so doomed.
Erin, to make matters even more interesting, possesses a kind of special blood found in a very few humans that some of the paranormal baddies like to consume, hence, those four drained bodies. Jared’s protective instincts – along with some other stuff – are aroused and soon enough Erin and Jared are traveling together to attempt to expose the truth about the evil doings of Erin’s evil boss.
Trying to distill a bit of the flavor of the plot for this review clarified even further in my mind that the paranormal world-building here is pretty much out of hand. Let’s face it, any book that contains a passage like this (chosen at random from many, by the way) has a few problems:
“And how long did he have before the poison consumed him? He didn’t know exactly. A lot depended on the potency of the Tsara’s poison. Pathos had been in the mortal world less than a week before he began hunting and feeding on the Elan. Soon after, he led the Vladarians on hunting trips, using his Blood Hunter skills for evil by adeptly finding the Elain for their feeding frenzies.”
See what I mean? Still, for the most part, the story moves along fairly nicely, even if I did occasionally have to turn back a few pages to remind myself what all those silly words peppering the pages actually meant. Also on the positive side, Erin and Jared are developed satisfyingly enough, even if they’re not particularly memorable, but on the less positive side a more cartoon-y bad guy I have seldom come across.
Ultimately, though, Jennifer St. Giles is simply offering up another paranormal series that doesn’t especially stand out from the crowd – which, in my opinion, her two recent American-set Gothic historicals most certainly did. If you’re a reader who loves paranormals and who doesn’t mind an awful lot of world-building, you might enjoy Touch a Dark Wolf more than I did. As for me, while I certainly don’t regret the time I spent reading this book and have certainly read far (far!) worse, I also can’t help but worry a bit about a talented author who just might be spreading herself a bit too thin.