Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Release Day Review: Pack of Strays by Dana Cameron

Pack of Strays
Author:  Dana Cameron
Series:  Fangborn 2
Publisher:  47North, April 15, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 346 pages
List Price:  $14.95  (print)
ISBN:  9781477819777 (print)
Review copy: Provided by the Publisher

The second exciting novel in the Fangborn series.

Archaeologist Zoe Miller has only recently learned she is Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles dedicated to protecting humanity. But after she discovered and opened Pandora’s Box, the fabled item has lived up to its myth, and for Zoe and her friends, all hell has broken loose. Now she’s on a double mission: to prevent a politician from revealing the existence of the Fangborn and to foil the diabolical plans of the powerful Order of Nicomedia, a group dedicated to eradicating her kind.

But Zoe is also noticing disturbing changes in herself—new and unique abilities. Her visions are intensifying too, drawing her to faraway places to find more artifacts like the bejeweled bracelet embedded in her wrist.

In a world of dizzying shifts, who can Zoe trust? For while her former lover wants to turn her in, her former adversary seems dedicated to helping her mission succeed…

The second novel in Dana Cameron’s Fangborn series, Pack of Strays takes the fast-paced adventure of Seven Kinds of Hell to a whole new level!

Qwill's Thoughts

Pack of Strays is the 2nd novel in the Fangborn series by Dana Cameron. The Fangborn were first found in a several short stories. Fangborn are vampires, werewolves and oracles who are dedicated to protecting humanity from evil while humanity knows nothing about them. Seven Kinds of Hell was the first novel published in the series. Pack of Strays picks up where the first novel leaves off. Zoe Miller has escaped the clutches of the Theodore Roundtree Group or TRG (a secret US governmental entity) that was experimenting on her. In the first novel she had found a Fangborn artifact that became a part of her body. The TRG wanted to find out why and what it was doing to her.

In Pack of Strays Zoe is being called to find more artifacts. She can't avoid the call and must go after the various artifacts which continue to change her body. While she has embraced that she is a werewolf,, something altogether different is now happening to her. She doesn't understand what it is and neither does the reader though there are hints that she may be fulfilling a Fangborn prophecy.  She travels the world and over the course of the novel picks up a number of Fangborn who want to aid her for various reasons - old and new allies. Not only is Zoe up against the TRG, she is fighting the Order of Nicomedia ("Order") who have sworn to wipe out the Fangborn.

There is a wonderful amount of action in Pack of Strays as Zoe hunts for artifacts and is chased at various times by the TRG and the Order. The Order is up to something really awful and Zoe is determined to stop it. In addition to Zoe, there are Fangborn that we met in the prior novel along with some new characters. There seems to be a bit of love triangle developing with Zoe, her ex-boyfriend Will and Adam Nichols (who worked for the TRG). The romance takes a huge and appropriate back seat to saving the Fangborn. Zoe simply does not have time to deal with her love life in full at the moment. Zoe is becoming a more complex character as the series goes on. She is still somewhat out of her element, but is trying to be a leader while figuring out what is happening to her. For a werewolf she seems very human.

Once again Cameron uses her knowledge of archaeology to enrich the story. Zoe is an archaeologist and this plays a pivotal roll during Pack of Strays. The writing is crisp and the story unfolds nicely from start to finish with much pulse-pounding action, some humor, and mystery. If you haven't read the first novel (and you should), Cameron gives the reader enough information to catch up quickly. Pack of Strays ends on what can be construed as a cliff-hanger. I don't mind cliff-hangers in general and did not in this case. I thoroughly enjoyed Pack of Strays and Zoe Miller's story so far. I am really looking forward to the next novel in the Fangborn series.

Read an April 9th interview with Dana Cameron here. The interview includes a list of the short stories.

Read my review of Seven Kinds of Hell here.


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