Title: Viper Moon
Author: Lee Roland
Copyright: 2011 (Signet); 332 pgs.
Series: Earth Witches #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
From Good Reads.com: Cassandra Archer is the Huntress. She has faithfully served the Earth Mother for years, rescuing kidnapped children from monsters-both human and supernatural-dwelling in the ruins of the Barrows District. But when two children are kidnapped under similar circumstances, all clues point to a cataclysmic event on the next dark moon. Now Cass must race against the clock and prevent a sacrifice that could destroy the entire town…
Comments: If you look at the spine of Viper Moon, you will see that the book is labeled “Urban Fantasy Romance” and that is a pretty accurate label. Like many other urban fantasy novels, it has a kick-butt heroine and first-person narration; however, the series isn’t about her — Cassandra Archer — it’s about the Earth Witches. The next book will feature a different heroine, though I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Cass, Flynn, and the rest.
I thought Cass was a very unusual urban fantasy heroine. She had a happy, normal childhood. She was raised on her parents farm and has a affinity for animals. On her eighteenth birthday, the Earth Mother asked her to become her Huntress, which she willingly accepted. Her job is to rescue children. Sometimes she’s required to deal with some unsavory characters in her hunt, but she’ll do what it takes to save the children.
One of the questionable people is Micheal. Instincts tell Cass to be wary of him, even when her hormones have different ideas. Michael has his own secrets and agenda. He’s interested in Cass romantically, but I never got the impression that she would chose him as a lover, ever. She may care about him, but she doesn’t love him.
Detective Flynn, however, is a different case entirely. Solid, dependable, decent. His younger sister is one of the two kidnapped children Cass is tasked to find. Flynn isn’t too thrilled with having to rely on someone like Cass — he’s a cop and her activities are questionable at best. But one thing he can’t overlook — her success rate. He doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but his mother believes in Madame Abigail (Abby the Earth Mother’s High Priestess) and she sent him to Cass.
One thing that I missed was the hero’s point of view. Though both of them are honest with each other, we don’t see the internal struggles and doubts Flynn goes through.
There is a lot of action in this story and I really liked the world building. The series name is “Earth Witches”, but it’s Abby who can read auras, make charms and potions, not Cass – she’s the muscle. If you take into consideration that, back in the day, women who followed Earth goddess/mother would be labeled a witch regardless of “magic powers”, then it’s an accurate statement. I read the short excerpt for the next book and I’m looking forward to reading more about Madeline.
Start: 24 September 2011
Finished: 29 September 2011