Author: Kristen Callihan
Genre: Adult, paranormal, romance, historical fiction
Publication Date: July 31, 2012 (Forever/Grand Central – North America)
Source: NetGalley review copy
Summary: Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .
Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.
☆: 3.5/5 stars – a good followup, but could have been better.
Review: I really, really enjoyed the first book in the “Darkest London” series, “Firelight”, and was psyched for this second one. While “Moonglow” has the same intensity and excellent writing (as well as worldbuilding) that its predecessor has, the plot fell a bit flat for me. However, there were some nice Big Reveals, which certainly saved the book for me. So if you’ve read the first book, you should definitely read the second.
Now that we’ve figured out that this book just isn’t about Miranda and her powers, but her sisters and all of their powers put together, things have certainly gotten more interesting. I also love the spin that Callihan put on the Jack the Ripper murders that also seemed to have happened in this alternate world. She also dips her toes into the pool of steampunk with the Clockwork Heart Ghosts, one of my favorite new types of characters – any scenes with the CLGs with them gave me serious chills.
But my biggest problem was with the romance with Ian and Daisy. Their romance felt mostly natural, but Ian just…bored me. It didn’t feel quite right, especially because last time we saw him he was meddling in Miranda and Archer’s relationship. I did want to learn more about him as a character, but Callihan seriously disappointed me with his character building – he’s a tragic, tortured hero, and not even for an awesomely interesting reason like Archer in book one. He felt very typical, and, well, boring. While he does get more interesting the more he gets used to the idea of finally taking his place as Alpha in his pack, it was too little, too late, and I kind of already mentally checked out when it came to him. And the romance, well, it kind of felt like a typical historical romance book and fell into a lot of the same pitfalls with cliches and so forth.
I love Daisy as a character – while she isn’t quite as interesting and feisty as Miranda, she’s still definitely an awesome firecracker of a lady. I also loved her powers that finally manifested during the Ripper murders – the Court of Ranulf scene in particular really blew me away. It makes me quite anxious for the next book with Poppy, sister number three, and to see how her powers have affected her like her sisters. But I did feel like the focus was a bit unbalanced – at times I got way more Ian than I wanted, and I wanted more on Daisy and her history instead. That was a bit of a let down, too.
So, final verdict? If you’ve read the first book, you definitely have to give this book a chance. Even though I felt it wasn’t quite as good as the first, that’s just my opinion. It’s still a solid follow-up, if anything, and I think I’ll probably be reading book three if just to see what happens with Poppy. “Moonglow” is out from Grand Central on July 31, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out then!