Full Moon Rising
The night was quiet.
Almost too quiet.
There is a distinct sense of dread and foreboding combined with a
touch of knowing and self-referential humor that is palpable in
these first lines of FULL MOON RISING by Keri Arthur.
Indeed, the sentiment may strike readers as familiar, cliché
even, but FULL MOON RISING is hardly a conventional thriller.
Indeed, when the protagonist Riley bemoans the "Hollywood images"
of paranormal creatures of the night --- the myths and half-truths
propagated by popular stories of the supernatural --- those
essentially familiar first two lines become imbued with the humor
and self-awareness of a writer who knows what is expected of the
genre she is working in and who is determined to undermine the
obvious and defy the predictable.
For Riley is by no means your typical femme fatal; instead, this
sultry and wryly funny redhead is a rare crossbreed of Vampire and
Werewolf. And her uncommon embodiment of the abilities of two such
fierce and powerful supernatural beings is both a blessing and a
curse as she battles unseen enemies and formidable foes who are
targeting her --- and seem to want something from her --- because
of her special abilities.
To complicate matters further, Riley's troubles begin in
conjunction with the waxing of the moon --- a time when she and her
fellow werewolves are unable to resist the call of the moon and the
urge to mate that comes with it. Vivacious Riley usually welcomes
the turning of the moon and the powerful urges it brings, but now
those urges prove dangerous as she cannot resist the invitations of
her less-than-trustworthy werewolf lover Talon, nor can she deny
her desire for Quinn, a vampire with a long past and murky motives.
As Riley's world is turned upside down --- beginning with the
kidnapping of her brother --- and she no longer knows who to trust,
Quinn seems at times to be both a threat and a loving protector.
But one thing is certain: Riley's desire for him is stronger than
any she has ever experienced before.
Keri Arthur treats the potentially chilling and unsettling themes
of creatures of the night with a decidedly light touch. The danger
Riley faces is real and deadly, and readers will turn each page
with nail-baiting anticipation. But they also will find themselves
chuckling at Riley's droll observations and dryly witty turns of
phrase. She may be a rare and sought-after member of the paranormal
race, but she also is a young woman with a powerful sexuality and a
temper to match. Indeed, Riley's unabashed acknowledgment of the
power of her lust is refreshing; her embodiment of werewolf traits
renders her sexuality more a physical than an emotional need, thus
freeing her to indulge her desire brazenly and without
Furthermore, Arthur has a marvelous imagination and sharp attention
to details. Her conception of a night club specifically catering to
werewolves in heat and her descriptions of the events that take
place within its exclusive walls are titillating, amusing and
original. Much like Riley's unabashed sexuality, there is something
bordering on political in her portrayal of a place where sexual
pleasure knows no stigma and there is no shame associated with
passionate indulgence among all creeds of night creatures.
The novel itself is a rather brazen and unapologetically indulgent
treat of a read. It's easy to see why Keri Arthur is a much-lauded
romantic thriller writer in her native Australia, and she should
have no problem striking the fancy of American readers who hunger
for harrowing and salacious tales of lust, intrigue and the
paranormal. Furthermore, the ending of her American debut is just
short of a tease, and is bound to whet the appetites of readers and
even make them howl for more.
Reviewed by Jennifer Krieger on January 22, 2011
Full Moon Rising
- Publication Date: January 31, 2006
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Bantam
- ISBN-10: 0553804588
- ISBN-13: 9780553804584