Shepherd's Moon by Stacy Mantle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A catchy reader’s hook, and the protagonist’s jocular but wry sense of humour make for an intriguing beginning. Alexandra is a kind of a misfit, with a longing she keeps repressed for a normal, routine (read simple, average, human) life. Instead, she is a Shepherd-one who tracks and rounds up, not natural wildlife, but preternatural creatures. Outsourcing for the police department’s Special Assignments Unit frequently puts her on the lookout for and trail of what are called “PSKs,” “Preternatural Serial Killers,” who of course are much more effective at achieving high body counts in a shorter time than their human counterparts. It’s dangerous work, but somebody needs to do it. Alexandra complicates matters by living with a pack of preternaturals-not really surprising, since her adoptive family included shifters and vamps…
There is good character evolution in this novel, as Alex grows out of her yearning for normalcy, learns to accept what and who she is and comes to terms with acceptance of her purpose in life. Additionally, author Stacy Mantle doesn’t stop at just the usual run of paranormal encounters, but builds on intriguing layers of suspense, plotting, and wicked characters to place Alexandra right in the center of a web of corruption, which she must unravel, if she can. Even better, the ending is such that a sequel could fit in, yet the reader still feels that the important goals of this novel have been achieved; nothing is left untended.
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