My Rating: 3.5 stars: Liked it - recommend (B+)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
I received an electronic review copy from the publisher for purposes of a review.
Over a half a year has passed since end of the previous book, The Trouble with Fate, when Hedi Peacock, half-were--half-fae, tossed her alpha wolf mate, Robson Trowbridge, through the portal to Merenwyn. Weres are forbidden to enter the Fae world, and now Hedi cannot reopen the portal to save him. As the alpha's mate, she attempts to take over as leader of the pack, but no one really accepts her, mostly because of her Fae ancestry and the fact that she cannot shift into a wolf.
When the shifter governing body (NAW) discovers that Robson is missing, they charge Hedi with treason, and attempt to kill her in front of her all-to-eager packmates. Luckily for Hedi, it is at that very moment the gate to Merenwyn reopens, and Trowbridge returns. While he may save Hedi from the NAW, too many things have happened and too much time has passed for life to return back to the way it was prior to Trowbridge’s disappearance.
The Thing About Weres is the second book in the Mystwalker series. It is a lengthy read, both in volume of pages and the weight of the story and dialogue. Having read the first book, I feel that Weres is a better story, but both books suffer from rambling storylines. I swear, Hedi Peacock has ADD, and since the story is told from her POV -- we, the readers, get sidetracked and derailed at the most inopportune times. Weres could probably be read as a stand alone, but I’m hesitant to recommend that due to the complexity of the mythologies, characters and plotlines.
The book deals with a few major plotlines, which don’t always gel seamlessly. There is the pack story that outlines Hedi’s attempts to fit in, the return and reintegration of Robson Trowbridge, and the dealings with the NAW. There is the return of Hedi’s long-lost twin, which addresses complex issues like bigotry and prejudices, albeit between werewolves and the Fae. The mood swings, trust issues and loyalty concerns are complex and richly emotional. Finally, the book also deals with the “Mystwalker” aspect of the Fae and Hedi’s hidden talents.
So here is the thing... I did enjoy this book and Hedi is growing on me. Unlike the first book, Weres got progressively better as the story went on, especially in dealing with Hedi and the relationship between Hedi and Trowbridge. I was unhappy with the volume of torture in the first book, and while this book started to look like it was going to follow suit, I’m happy to report there is a good balance between the dark and light this time around.
But... I spent a LOT of time confused while reading The Thing About Weres. I took detailed notes, and in a number of places I wrote “I’m so lost,” or something similar. The rich detail given to each scene and moment, the deluge of thoughts from Hedi... These things are good, but weighty. The details and abundance of story weighed me down and made the story cumbersome to read in several places. While I was confused often, I can start to see the pieces of the big picture slowly coming together. We got a much better idea of what it means to be a Mystwalker, and the significance of Threall, which wasn’t apparent in the previous book.
As for Hedi and Trowbridge, while it started extremely rocky, we finally got some great moments between the pair. Hedi and Trowbridge together as man and woman. They had a few excellent let-your-guard down moments that were beautiful and lovely. Their time together was really good, even when they weren't making love or declaring it, because for just a while you could see two people that did love and care for one another, regardless of the situation. And, I like that Hedi is maturing. She is learning to balance issues, act instead of react, and trust those around her. These are the parts of the story that made me want to keep reading this series.
Overall, I enjoyed The Thing About Weres. It was too long and detailed at times, which caused confusion and brought the rating down just a little. However, the mythology is unique and exciting. I got frustrated with the hostility at the start, but it worked out, and I liked how it ended--so much better than first book. I am in a good place with Hedi and Trowbridge. They've gone through a LOT between the end of the first book and through this one. I am excited to see what will happen next for the pack from Creemore!