Monday, October 02, 2006

Touch A Dark Wolf - Jennifer St. Giles

Touch A Dark Wolf
Jennifer St. Giles
Pocket Books


When Erin Morgan woke up this morning, it was to a nicely ordered life. She worked at the clinic run by hematologist/oncologist Dr. Cinatas. The clinic often treated very wealthy clients, so secrecy was no big surprise. Until Erin walked into a lab and discovered several bodies, medically drained of their blood. Unable to puzzle out the ‘why’ of it all, Erin ran. By evening, she was driving along mountain roads in Tennessee. Nearly blinded by swirling fog, she hits an unseen animal on the road. The animal, a huge black wolf, is thrown onto the hood of her car. One look into its eyes makes her feel that something coldly evil lives inside the wolf. When a silver wolf attacks the black, she makes her escape, only to run off the road in her panic.

Unknown the Erin, the silver wolf is the shifted form of a race known as Shadowmen. Pledged throughout time to protect a group of mortals known as Elan, when in the mortal world, they must take on mortal forms, but are able to shapeshift. Unfortunately for this silver wolf, Jared, the black wolf, an evil Tsara, managed to bite him during the melee. The bite of a Tsara will inevitably turn Jared to evil, as well. The only hope, a long shot at best, will be if Jared can find love in the mortal world. Erin has no idea that she is Elan. Or that Dr. Cinatas does know, and hired her for that very reason, to further his hematology studies. When Erin regains consciousness, she finds Jared, naked and injured, on the hood of her car. She’s seen a lot of strange things in the past 24 hours. Is it enough to make her believe?

Ms. St. Giles has come up with some very interesting twists on the shape-shifter mythos. There are good guys, bad guys, bad guys who used to be good, and bad guys who like it that way. In fact, the political and social structure she has created provides the necessary framework for the story. Not just a tale of paranormal or love, there are political alliances and immortal souls at stake. Erin is believable as a woman who is suddenly shown a whole different world that exists side-by-side with her everyday world. The author keeps the pace brisk, and the plot nicely layered. Another book in this series is planned for sometime next year. I know I’ll be there.

Rating: 8
September 2006
1-4165-1332-9 (paperback)


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