Bel Reviews - Debbie Viguie and Nancy Holder's - "Hot Blooded"

~deep breath iiiiiinnnnn…. deep breath oouuuuuut~ I’m counting here as well.

Now you may be asking me why it is I am acting like I’m in labour over a book. If you’re not, perhaps you’ve already read Hot Blooded, and know exactly why I am being rather strange.

I’ll start with my impressions on the cover art. Not a fan of the model. The dress is fine, but the hair and the make-up free face is far too stark for the back drop of wolves, mountains, pine forest and a huge full moon. For the sake of the story, her expression is far too blank. There is also what looks like an aged effect over the page to make it look like it’s been folded. To me it just looks like the artist forgot to erase their placement marks. I also missed the embossed title lettering from Unleashed. I’m usually a big fan of red overlays and sepia tones, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Sorry ladies.

Once I got over the cover there was a story to be read, and boy, what a story.

In Unleashed Kat is bitten and becomes a werewolf. In Hot Blooded she’s adjusting to living in both the regular human world, and coming to terms with being the bottom wolf in the Fenners pack. The transition isn’t running as smoothly as she’d like due to the alpha wolf being consumed by dementia, and her best friend, Cordelia, being banished from the pack. The only thing standing between her and certain death is Justin. And what on earth is the story behind the contents of the boxes in her grand father’s shed.

I love the way, for Kat and Justin, the boundaries between human nature and the inner wolf collide, sometimes living in harmony, and at other times the inner turmoil must be exhausting. It’s nice to know it goes beyond teen angst and a petty conscience.

The setting of Wolf Springs and the woods make me imagine clean fresh air and bird song. But don’t let the peaceful atmosphere lull you into a false sense of security. Nature is a cruel and unforgiving thing. I think it adds an eerie backdrop to an already gritty storyline. If book three picks up where this one left off, the weather will become a character of it’s own and add a whole new layer of complications to an already tense situation. Looking forward to that.

And since I’ve talked about everything besides the ending it is safe to assume my behaviour at the start of this review has to do with that. It’s not fair. I don’t like Niagara falls high cliff hangers and OH MY GOODNESS I could stamp my foot in rage. Where the hell is the next book. I need it NOW!

I was grabbed by the scruff of the neck from the first page and my brain was rattled around by the constant fast pace of the plot line. If real life and headaches didn’t get in my way I would have had this finished in under a day. The final hundred or so pages were beyond gripping and I got to the last page in record time.

I recommend this series if you’ve enjoyed the Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls Series and Alyson Noel’s Soul Seeker’s series. They have similar themes and I think the three heroines would probably get along swimmingly.

Let us know what you thought.

Paperback 382

Published December 1st 2012 by Doubleday Children’s

ISBN 0857530720 (ISBN13: 9780857530721)

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