Review: Who's Afraid?

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

After losing her mother in a car accident, Tommi, a young Scottish girl, decides its time to track down her father, the man who raped her mother so many years ago. She travels alone to New Zealand where she finds that the truth about her family is more complicated and far stranger than she could have imagined. They are a clan of werewolves, and Tommi herself is one of them. She is suddenly immersed in the politics of the supernatural world that exists within our own, and will need to rely on her new guardian, Lorcan to help her through it.

Maria Lewis brings a fresh new voice to the supernatural genre. Yes, it's yet another werewolf book, but the settings of New Zealand and Scotland added some extra interest, and it's nice to see a woman of colour (Tommi is half Maori) as a protagonist for a change. However, I felt Tommi was a bit of a Mary Sue, being not just a werewolf but the most powerful werewolf in the world, with an unnecessary amount of time devoted to describing her beautiful blue hair, D cup breasts and cool clothes. Natural D cups are rare? On what planet? I can see two of them from here. Also, I think if you wear two bras at once to work out that's a sign that you're wearing the wrong size. Tommi needs to get herself to a lingerie store and get professionally fitted.

The book does contain a scene of sexual assault which may be triggering. It's sensitively handled and makes a point of the fact that the assault still 'counts' even though it is 'only' an attempted rape.

There's a bit of romance, quite a lot of action and a fair bit of gore, which combined with the sex and swearing makes this book definitely for adults only. Between combat training and long distance running Tommi does a LOT of exercise, so if you're the type to be easily influenced by fictional characters (like me) this book may make you want to go for a run. That's arguably not a bad thing except for the way it cuts in to your reading time. I suppose that's why the gods gave us audiobooks.

Who's Afraid? Is the start of a new five book series. The author is also the co-host of the Eff Yeah Film and Feminism podcast, which will doubtless appeal to Femlitica readers.

Published: January 12 2016

Rated: ★★ ★

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