Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Review: Mark of the Moon by Beth Dranoff

Title:  Mark of the Moon (Mark of the Moon series, Book 1)
Author:  Beth Dranoff
Genre:  Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date:  February 6, 2017

From the Back Cover:

In this first book in a wildly addictive new series, a battle begins and one kick-ass female bartender turned demon fighter is ready for war. 

I'm Dana Markovitz. And my world is shifting. 

My experience with the paranormal community was a good one, pouring shots in the creature-friendly pit stop where I tend bar. Until last night.

Worst. Date. Ever.

A hookup with a vampire ended in a scratch from a jealous were-cat. Surprise! I caught a cat-shifting virus. I should be immune. Or so I've always been led to believe.

For some reason the infection has riled a demon underworld that apparently knows more about my secret past than I do. They aren't thrilled with me. In fact, they want me dead.

At least I have one normal male on my side. Relatively normal. I think he's on my side.

Tell you one thing. There's no way I'm being put down like a feral stray. I may not know who to trust, but I'll be damned if I'm not fighting back. Hell, my claws are already starting to show.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Kobo iTunes

My Review:

Dana is a human with a rather unusual history. One night while engaging in a hot romp with a vampire, she ends up getting scratched by a jealous were-cat... and those vaccines she had several years ago don't seem to be doing the trick. Now she's trying to figure out if she's actually going to turn into a kitty... or if there's something else different about her. When she starts getting attacked by strange demon-like creatures, she begins to think that there's definitely something hinky going on.

First... the positives... From the first few pages, the book is downright... HOT. I immediately got sucked into this new world of vampires, shifters and demons. I loved the descriptions of the strange demon-like creatures -- both gross and really freaking cool! The author has a talent for creating rich descriptions and crafting an intriguing plot with lots of action. This isn't some fantasy fairy tale world with sparkles and glitter... it's darker and far more edgy than your traditional urban fantasy stories.

Unfortunately, I struggled a bit to get through this book. The author lost me more times than I can count to the point that half the time, I wasn't quite sure what was going on. The main character, Dana, must have passed out in the book at least half a dozen times. There were so many fade-to-black moments that it got a little annoying. Those moments made it even worse because not only did the main character not know what was going on, but as a reader, I didn't have a clue either. The main character also didn't really stop to ask the important questions or demand answers. So for the majority of the book, I felt like I was along for the roller coaster ride, but everything around me was pretty much a blur.

My biggest issue though was the stilted and fragmented writing style. I think this was what lost me in the majority of the book and why I didn't really know what was going on. Some people may be fine with it, but I stumbled over this repeatedly. There was also a bit too much description about things that I didn't really care about -- like the clouds -- but then not enough description about what was actually happening. I would have rather seen the plot unfold through actions and dialogue. Dana got stuck in her own head a bit too much.

There was a little bit of a love triangle in the book... and some of the sex scenes were downright hot. *fans self* However, I didn't get those delicious tingles that I was looking for. I like a bit of emotion with my sex, and I didn't really get that from this book. It was mostly physical attraction and Dana didn't seem to have deep feelings for anyone or anything. I have a hard time classifying this story as a romance, but I guess since there was sex in it... that falls under the "romance" genre.

Overall, I'd give this book 3/5. I think the author definitely has talent, but I didn't care much for the style of writing. Maybe in the future, I'll check out some of her other works, but I probably won't be following this series.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Carina Press via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review.  All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Beth Dranoff co-founded and ran her own boutique new media agency during the dot-com boom, has produced (and written for) everything from children’s television to webisodes to web sites, has managed hundreds of online and offline projects,  (from small independent businesses to large international corporations,) and has worked in event marketing and promotion. She has degrees in Political Science (University of Toronto) and Broadcast Journalism (Ryerson University). When not writing, Beth can generally be found working in some kind of managerial capacity in either digital production or marketing communications. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, her dog, and more books than she can count.


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