Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.
Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians.
There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.
Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.
When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly—but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Tor Books
Three and a half stars: A good UF book with interesting characters and an eerie setting.
Claire is feeling more and more anxious as she nears Luna Lake. Then she realizes the overwhelming sense of fear is radiating off Danielle, the young lady who is escorting her to her new home. Danielle is in a panic, her two younger siblings recently turned up missing, and a search by the town has turned up nothing. Claire is sympathetic and eager to help. She is actually an undercover agent sent in by the Wolven council to find out what is actually going on in the town. Children are missing and something doesn't smell right, but before Claire and Danielle get to the isolated town outskirts, their car is attacked by some unknown beast lurking in the darkness. Will Claire survive her stay at Luna Lake?
What I Liked:
- I was a bit hesitant going into Forbidden since this is a first book in a spin off series of Ms. Clamp's popular Sazi Series. I was quickly able to immerse into the story, and I never felt overwhelmed or lost as the author did a good job filling the reader in on the back story. Whether you are an old fan, or a new one, you can easily pick up this book and dive right into this interesting world.
- What drove this book was the eerie setting of Luna Lake. At first glance, Luna Lake is a quiet, isolated shapeshifter community nestled away from prying eyes. What sets this town apart is that it is a place where shapeshifters of all species live and work together. It isn't often that cats, wolves and birds live together in harmony. However, once Claire settles in, she recognizes that there is something terribly wrong in town. There is something dark and sinister at work, and Claire starts noticing unsettling behavior from the residents. I was immediately drawn into this strange community, and I was intrigued by the sense of wrongness. I thought the mystery of the town was terrific, and I liked the suspense.
- I liked that this book had a strong cast of shifters. Yes, you get wolves, but there are also bobcats and lots and lots of owls and birds. Normally, shapeshifters tend to be of the four legged type, so I pleased to see so many bird shifters. I liked that the cast was eclectic and interesting. Surprisingly, my favorite character ended up being the elderly trio of owl shifters, they shine at the end.
- I loved the way that scent played such a big part of the book. The author did an excellent job of tickling your senses by using sense of smell. Her descriptions of certain scents were fantastic.
- I appreciated the strong focus on family. I liked that the shifters accepted one another no matter their animal, and that they bonded and looked out for one another.
- For all of you action lovers, there is plenty of action and danger. It is apparent from the get go that something isn't right, and as the book progresses, the action, danger and suspense continue to notch up, leading to an exciting climax and finish.
- After a big action packed scene, the dust settles, leaving the reader with a few tidbits to follow up in the next installment. There isn't a cliffhanger, and most of the questions are cleared up. I will be interested to read the next book.
And the Not So Much:
- There is a romance in this book, and I unfortunately, I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance. It ended up starting off with insta lust. I felt like it moved too quickly, and I never thought the two connected. Two much insta love or lust if you will. I also didn't like for an UF that it was such a strong focus. I would have been better if it focused more on establishing trust and friendship instead of lust. I was also a bit put off by the one sided mating bond. There was a bit too much drama with the romance, especially considering this is supposed to be a UF book, not a Paranormal Romance.
- Even though this is a spin off, and for the most part, I wasn't lost, I found myself wishing a time or two for a bit more information and detail on the plague and the Wolven. The author does give some helpful information at the end of the book in her afterword, but I think it would have been better if she had woven it in the story, or included it in a introductory section.
- After the big finish, I thought the book wrapped up a bit too quickly, and I was left with a few nagging questions. I wanted to know if the person who seemed to be second in command to the dark force was in on it all along. I was also confused about the character who was somewhere between a parakeet and a falcon. I didn't understand her role, and her strange revelation at the end.
- I wasn't a fan of the darker tones of this book. There was a lot of violent abuse, especially directed toward the Omegas.
Overall, Forbidden was an exciting, fast paced, UF book with a creepy atmosphere and terrific suspense. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but I wasn't a big fan of the romance. I am hoping the romance will settle out and get better. I appreciated that I was able to pick up this spin off series without having read the other books, I didn't feel lost. Whether you are a new reader or a long time reader, this is a book you can pick up and enjoy, especially if you are a fan of Urban Fantasy.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.