Second Skin Mass Market Paperback – Mar 3 2009
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“Dark and cutting edge” ―Romantic Times on Night Life
“I loved the mystery and the smart, gutsy heroine.” ―Karen Chance, New York Times bestselling author of Claimed by Shadow, on Night Life
“Don't go to bed with this book--it will keep you up all night. It's that good.” ―Lilith Saintcrow, national bestselling author of Working for the Devil, on Night Life
“Luna is tough, smart, and fierce, hiding a conflicted and insecure nature behind her drive for justice and independence, without falling into cliché. It's also just a lot of fun to read.” ―Kat Richardson, national bestselling author of Greywalker, on Night Life
“Fast-paced, sexy and witty with many more interesting characters than I have time to mention. I'm looking forward to reading more stories in the exciting Nocturne City series.” ―Fresh Fiction on Night Life
“Wow, I am still thinking about this book. The last time I reacted to a book this way, it was the first Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs. If you are looking for a book that seamlessly blends a police procedural with a paranormal, go out and get this book” ―Night Owl Reviews on Night Life
“A tense, gritty urban fantasy that grips the audience from the onset.” ―The Mystery Gazette on Night Life
“NIGHT LIFE dives right into the action, and carried me along for the ride…If the following books are written with the same care and interest as NIGHT LIFE, they will be a welcome addition to this fantasy genre.” ―Arm Chair Interviews
From the Back Cover
When werewolves from Nocturne City's oldest packs start showing up shot through the head execution-style, police officer Luna Wilder must find out what's killing them and why…before she becomes the next victim.
Luna traces the killings to a band of shapeshifters made of smoke and shadow who drink the blood of their victims for strength. Believed to exist only in legend, their race is all too real―and now their leader, Lucas Kennuka, is out to wrest Luna's heart from her beloved Dmitri. To make matters worse, Dmitri is suffering from a mysterious illness brought on by a demon bite, and his condition grows more grave with each passing day. Now Luna must rely on Lucas to defeat an invisible enemy―a serial were-killer bringing death and destruction to all who stand in its path…
Praise for the Nocturne City series:
"Dark and cutting edge." ―Romantic Times
"A winner."―Karen Chance
"Hot, hip, and fast-paced."―Lilith SaintcrowSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
I swear I did.
Jim Butcher's "Kittredge is a winner" kept me reading her books long past the point where I normally would have thrown them in the shredder. I mean someone as good as Butcher can't be THIS wrong, can he?
So I read Night Life and Pure Blood, and though I wasn't all that impressed, forged on to Second Skin with hope in my heart and an eye out for the kind of subtle plot developments which would make the other two books (and Butcher's praise) make sense. No such luck.
Luna Wilder (yes. a werewolf named Luna) is a pathologically stubborn cop with a temper so bad one is hard pressed to imagine the circumstances under which she managed the psych review to get on the force, let alone five years of beat work in uniform and a promotion to Detective. Her werewolf condition makes her life difficult in random and yet conveniently controllable ways - despite nearly loosing control 3-4 times a book, Luna can be relied upon not to actually do so until an appropriate climax - and there is not a person in her life that she does not unremittingly bully, harass, shove away and generally cuss out for the horrible crime of not wanting her to walk all over them. I enjoy a 'strong female character', but not so much a 'completely selfish' one.
Much like Luna, the plot careens around from one graceless conflict to another. Much of the drama of the series comes from the synthesis of what the reader knows about the real world and how life in Nocturne City, with its werewolves, witches and other supernaturals, is different.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Luna's general nasty disposition and rudeness, makes her an unlikeable character. Sure sometimes it can be funny, but mostly she lashes out at people who don't deserve it.
Others have given a synopsis of the story. So I'll just point out the things that really bothered me about this book.
While investigating a case that she was not supposed to, Luna knowingly participates in aiding and abetting a killer. Said killer then tries to kill her on several more occasions and she still does nothing to bring the killer to justice as she swore she would do when she initially got involved in the case.
Her relationship with Dmitri is shakey at best, but she doesn't do anything to make it any better. On several occasions she goes out of her way to humiliate and embarass him. (As a side note: It's been a while since I read that book, but, didn't Dmitri get bitten by the daemon as a result of trying to help Luna in the first place?)
Since the main character doesn't appeal to me on any level I most likely will not continue to follow this series.
This is BOOK 3.
Book 1: Night Life (Nocturne City, Book 1)
Book 2: Pure Blood (Nocturne City, Book 2)
HIGH LEVEL: This isn't my favorite series, but its gritty, edgy style is sometimes exactly what I'm looking for. The characters are strong, the magic is visceral and the conflicts are desperate. The magic is intense. You'll find werewolves, witches, demons and any manner of cruel, evil beasts. The atmosphere is dark and wretched and hope is sometimes elusive, but always ready for a fight. It isn't the smoothest series and "romance" is closer to a four letter word than anything you might be familiar with. It isn't sexy, but it is tough with equal parts wry humor and grit rooted in a procedural cop mystery with a magical twist.
That said, this book took some real patience to read. I'm one of the most stubborn, contrary women I know- but even I wanted to punch my dear Luna (the heroine) in the jaw more than once. Don't get me wrong- I like her and I still like her, but her thorns grew more than teeth in this installment. Her normally obstinate nature, became completely obnoxious. She just seemed to be picking unnecessary fights constantly and it went beyond humorous. There wasn't much character growth here.
PLOT: was pretty good- brought in some new creatures, new magic. The use of a couple of supporting characters was also good. It left me with a solid impression of the story, but there was so much more to this book emotionally that just felt wrong. The character's prickly nature made it hard to stomach. The romance took a nosedive in a seemingly pointless fashion. I can only hope that this gets fixed in later books. Seriously- you'd have to be a saint, or a serious sinner, to fall for Luna and Dmitry should be getting an award, not the cold shoulder.
HOWEVER: The final resolution was, as usual, well done and satisfying and the set up at the end felt right- as if future books will finally have something of a solid base to work from. It was unfortunate that the relationships were somewhat torpedoed in the process, but at the end I was glad I read it and I plan on continuing the series- on another day when I'm feeling somewhat self-destructive and masochistic.
Karen Chance's two highly energetic, very sexy vamp series Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1) and the related series (start reading Cassandra's series first) Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1)
Jeaniene Frost's vamp mystery packed with action Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
Jennifer Estep's stone-magic wielding, hard, cold, vicious assassin Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, Book 1)
Kim Harrison's witch/vamp/pixie team of private eyes in Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, Book 1)
Lilith Saintcrow's two series, both darker and far more gritty Night Shift (Jill Kismet, Hunter, Book 1) and Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, Book 1)
Nalini Singh's creative use of angels and vampires in Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter)
Luna's relationship with Dimitri which is already rocky becomes more so after she agrees to help on the case. You can also feel the distance building throughout the book as the demon bite slowly takes over. I knew what the end result would be and wasn't surprised in the least when it happened. I'm hoping that Kittredge goes in a new direction in the next book.
Overall this has been my least liked book in the series so far. I'm not sure why. It has the same fast paced action and gritty style, yet I struggled to keep going. It may be because; I would like Luna to progress as a character on a personal level. Lose some of the harshness and start thinking about other people's feelings a little more. I don't want her to do a 180! Just maybe soften her very sharp edges.
I would like to have seen this character grow and develop, but she just doesn't. It's bad when all the supporting characters are so much more interesting than the main one. I wanted to go spend time with her sister and grandmother, who are practicing withces, and leave this heroine to her destructive and self-pitying rampages.
To start, I really think she ruined Dmitri. He was a good character and he had potential to be a great character. However, she threw him into Luna's house sitting around and just being an "annoyance" to her. I put that in quotes because I just think Luna is overall a rotten, unhappy person who doesn't know how to talk to anyone. She's continually abrasive to Dmitri and I don't think his "underhanded" means of trying to mark her is a big deal. Especially since she doesn't let him help her in any way.
His dominance doesn't bother me because he's still several steps below Clay from Kelley Armstrong's books and I love Clay to death.
I think that Luna, like many urban fantasy female leads, has just gone in a terrible direction. Being a strong heroine doesn't mean you are a relentless, rude person to everyone and that being mean to your supposed mate is alright.
I wanted to read the whole series but now I don't think I will. I hardly got through this one.
And don't be fooled. This is not paranormal romance. The closest to romance is every time Luna flips out on Dmitri for hardly any reason.