Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson

Claire de Lune
Christine Johnson
Series: Claire de Lune, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Poor
On Goodreads

Am I just angry because of schoolwork or am I just picking up shitty books to read? Like Need, which I wrote about last week, this book has a bit of potential, and I won't deny that, but it is overwhelmingly ruined by a terrible plot, only one decent character, a premise that seems as if this author wrote it for no other reason but to have a female werewolf . . . and the list goes on.

Seriously this book could be fine but why does she hammer in the point that Claire is a female werewolf in a pack of female werewolves. I get that it's a new concept to some people, all of them used to Lautner or more admirable male wolves but come one! Subtlety does work wonders, and speaks more about the power of the contrast than making the contrast evident. The werewolf mythology itself is kind of vague and all we really know is that they're good . . . but not why or where they stem from or what they're really doing. What Johnson does well here is that she does not wait forever to introduce werewolves. Claire wolfs out in like chapter one. And there are no vampires! AND humans know werewolves exist. The greatest bit about this book is that while it is about werewolves and paranormal romance, it feels FRESH (at least, in the beginning).


A note on language: I am rather divided because there is strong flow but weak diction. Example "none of them have the chance to make a sound . . . except when their necks snap", which is from the killer wolf view, which I like that she includes but at time it feels choppy. An important scene will just be followed by gore and blood and while I like that, it stops making sense after a while.

Claire, our one partially redeemable character (all the others are two dimensional for the most part so I won't consider them) is pretty alright. She has that struggle of trying to fit in, and most teens can relate to that. She thinks she's a monster . . . and well, she is. She's a strong heroine but honestly she doesn't seem very special. She urges her normalcy so much and unlike Percy Jackson or Clarissa Fray, for examples, she doesn't own up to herself. She spends way too much of the novel fighting with her mother or kissing Matt, the gorgeous love interest who seemingly has no other purpose. Sure, the showdown at the end reveals a bit of dynamic in her character, but I felt as though I had to wait too long to care. Maybe if the connection was augmented? In all, she felt relateable enough that I could like some things about her, the biggest being her relationship with her best friend, which was really the only source of much light in the novel considering half the witty banter and exposition takes place between the them.

Plotwise I am not amused by this novel. Everything is so convenient, like Claire's love interest happening to be in an Protection Agency. The book follows a repeated series of lying, dying, and about zero exposition in which Claire's position is reiterated. This girl really wants to be normal. It's not enough to knock this novel down to two stars but if a little more thought had been placed on the repetitive nature that precedes the climax, I think it could have been more than three stars. The worst part is that the big reveal is so lame. Spoiler: the big connection Claire makes is about the sunflowers in a picture, to the sunflowers in her house. Uhm, what. Really? You couldn't expose the killer in some more intriguing way? Why something so acute and out of the blue?

The progression of this book is as follows: image

Most of the book resides over the precipice of the stairs. A little too much mystery and plot twistery for my taste, enough so that it becomes stagnant. There needs to be a little bit of foreshadowing. And then it kind of tumbles into an ending that is just too nice. Like, nothing too terrible happens and no wrenching realizations take their toll and there isn't a cliff in sight to be hung on. In all, I wouldn't be opposed to a sequal, but I because I do like the originality that Johnson displays in her ideas, I would just like a little more on the delivery stage.

- Marlon

Do you suspect anyone around you of being a werewolf serial killer? If so, give me your reasons!
Let me know in the comments!

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