Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Book Review: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur (Riley Jenson Guardian #1)

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races–and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker–until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn’t be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.…

Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need. But she will have to control her urges if she’s going to find her brother….Easier said than done as the city pulses with frenzied desire, and Riley is confronted with a very powerful–and delectably naked–vamp who raises her temperature like never before.

In matters carnal, Riley has met her match. But in matters criminal, she must follow her instincts not only to find her brother but to stop an unholy harvest. For someone is doing some shifty cloning in an attempt to produce the ultimate warrior–by tapping into the genome of nonhumans like Rhoan. Now Riley knows just how dangerous the world is for her kind–and just how much it needs her.

My Review: 
This series has been sitting on my shelves for years so I figured it was time to get it read. I read book three from our local library many years back and that persuaded me to grab a few other books in the series from a charity shop. Finally I'm getting them read and reviewed!

First off I really like Riley as a character. She is not ashamed of her heritage and gladly embraces all the powers that come with being part werewolf, part vampire. She makes no apology about her sexuality in her werewolf side, where sex is natural and necessary for her wolf side to survive, and if you don't like it you can get stuffed. She is feisty and funny, and despite her talents she is not invincible. She makes mistakes, gets into trouble and needs help from her stronger allies. I liked that because it made her feel more real, rather than be superwolf who can solve all her own problems. I liked her twin brother Rhoan, whose vampire side is more dominant in comparison to Riley being more werewolf. It was nice to see a gay hero who wasn't just there to make up the numbers or fade into the background. Rhoan was tough, brutal, funny and devoted to his sister. I like a bit of diversity in my MCs.

The supporting cast were very well written. Rhoan's boyfriend Liander was a lovely, funny guy and you wish Rhoan would be a bit nicer to him sometimes. I liked Misha, Riley's second choice mate but I hated her first choice Talon, the typical arrogant werewolf who orders her about. Why is it that these women insist on being with guys that are total jerks? As always great sex is the excuse. I liked Jack, her boss, who was an intriguing vampire, determined to get Riley to become a Guardian like her brother. You are never quite sure what his motivations are or whether he cares about his employees at all. I also liked Kelly, a vampire Guardian and the only friend that Riley has.

The plot was complex with lots of twists and turns, with the story gradually falling into place as the investigation continues. It was very well written and I never felt as if it was being dragged out. I liked being fed hints and information gradually, which can actually irritate me in other books. I also get the feeling that if you read carefully, the answers to most of the questions in this and the following books are planted. With a terrible short term memory like mine, I am useless at remembering these hints though! I liked the idea of the bad guy cloning creatures and experimenting with crossbreeds-it was a bit different from the usual urban fantasy plots and I was intrigued by it. But what I liked most was the author's ability to take me by surprise. There were a few shocks in store for Riley which I am not going to tell you about in case it spoils things for you. I can tell you that she becomes the target to be used in the breeding labs because of her mixed heritage, and trouble is never far away.

Now one thing that I need to mention is the sexual content in this book-and there is a lot of it. This is why werewolf books can be hit and miss for me. Authors are always using the moon as the excuse for an overdose of sex. Riley has two regular lovers plus her relationship with Quinn, which leads to frequent sex scenes. The book is also set during the moon phase so Riley is having sex all the time which gets a bit annoying. I'm not a fan of this much sex in my books but this was a book where the story around it kept me interested enough to just ignore the sex and skip those sections. There is also sexual violence which may offend some readers and discussions about gay sex. So if this all offends you, you should look for another series to read. I didn't actually think the sex scenes were that great and for me they added little to the plot. I guess I would say that I liked the book in spite of the sex scenes.

My other niggle was the repeating of the plot. Riley gets grabbed, escapes or is rescued, then is grabbed again, and this is a pattern that repeats through the second half of the book. I feel that a bit more thought could have gone into this as it felt a bit samey in places. I also didn't really take to Quinn because he talks to and treats Riley as if she is a dirty whore and I hate that in a so called romantic hero. If she is so terrible, why are you trying to bed her Quinn, huh? What does that say about you, asshat? Hmph!

Overall I really liked the story, the action and the characters. There were plenty twists to keep the reader entertained and it was nicely put together as a story. This is recommended for fans of paranormal romance and those who like sex in their urban fantasy. 18+ only! 

star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. I've been wanting to get this author at one point. Maybe the books will get better at the blending of all the elements as it goes? Thanks.

    1. For me, the plots were pretty much the same through the series. I just couldn't put up with Quinn any more by book four.