Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Paperback: 352 pages
Release date: September 11, 2012
Series: Jessica McClain #1
Source: ARC from author
Reviewed by: Jenn
After living in hiding for the last twenty-six years, Jessica wakes up to find she's become a full-blooded werewolf — claws, fangs, fur, everything. It was never supposed to happen: female werewolves don't exist.
When a mercenary killer comes looking for her, her Pack finds themselves caught in the middle of a war. They must rise up to protect her, but no one knows if she's means the end of their race-or just a new beginning.
FULL BLOODED is the first full-length story in Amanda Carlson's new urban fantasy series about Jessica McClain, the only female werewolf. We got a taste of what her life was like at age eighteen in BLOODED, the e-book that was released in April, and now we get to see her down the road, away from the Pack and living as a regular human. Jessica is now a private investigator and goes under the alias Molly Hannon to keep her safe from other supernatural beings who might take an interest in her, despite the fact that she's never shifted into a wolf before. But everything changes from the first page of FULL BLOODED, as Jessica finds herself waking up in the midst of her shift to a wolf. It's an electric start to the novel and it'll suck you right into her world. It's one of the best openings I've read in the long time.
FULL BLOODED also comes with interesting characters and a plot that takes some nice twists and turns. The book is not only about Jessica being the first and only female werewolf and what that means for her on a more personal level but also about what it might mean for the supernatural community at large. Everyone is intrigued by -- and some folks are afraid of (the idea of) -- the only female werewolf, particularly her fellow werewolves, thanks to a little something known as the Cain Myth, which showed up on her pack’s doorstep shortly after Jessica and her twin brother Tyler were born. It foretells of a female werewolf who will be the “Daughter of Evil” and who will bring about her race’s doom. And since werewolves in Amanda Carlson’s world are a superstitious bunch, Jess has had enemies since before she could talk, who hated her even before she could transform. I love the idea of superstitious werewolves -- they're big bad supernaturals but they're very wary of prophecies and lore, I guess because they know that supernaturals are real.
I also really enjoyed the cast of characters in this book. Jessica's a fine heroine and I love that she's feisty and gutsy and smart. Even though she's out of her element with her new power, she does her best to be true to herself and her Pack. My favourites are probably Tyler and her best friend and (work) partner, Nick -- Tyler because he's loyal and tough, and Nick because he understands what it's like to be of the Pack but not necessarily true Pack. Rourke, a character who gets introduced partway through the novel, is also rather intriguing.
As much as I enjoyed the novel, it's not without its (minor) flaws. There were a few times where the dialogue or descriptions were discordant and gave me a jolt. There was one description in a love scene that really threw me out of the moment, but this could just be me. I had the same feeling when Rourke is introduced because I’m a big J. D. Robb fan. (The spelling and the characters are different but both men are handsome with serious reputations when they’re introduced.) These are tiny quibbles that I mention because they drew me out of the moment. Despite this, I strongly believe that Amanda Carlson is an author to watch and a must-read for anyone who loves their urban fantasy hot, action-packed, and exciting.