Viper Moon: A Novel of the Earth Witches by Lee Roland
Cassandra Archer is a Huntress for the Earth Mother. On her eighteenth birthday she took a vow to serve and save children abducted by the Darkness. She’s committed herself to the hunt in Duivel, Missouri where the Mother has created a prison to bind her nemesis the Darkness. For ten years she has gone into the Barrows, the long forgotten downtown bowels of the city, and the creature’s cage, to save lost kids. The Barrows of late have become a nest for the unnatural and gangs, an increasingly dangerous labyrinth of mythical and modern day monsters. It’s become a hard and taxing life Cass is leading, and she’s not afraid to voice her discontent. Along with High Priestess Abby and her pets, they have been handling things as best they can. But two very important children have gone missing, One from a Warlord another from a Guardian, and if Cass can’t find them before the dark moon the evil kept at bay under the Barrows will be unleashed.
The title of this book gave me the impression that it was going to be a witch story. I was disappointed. It was actually quite light on magic and more heavy on mythology. Cass doesn’t have any magic just some enhanced strength and speed, and an ability to communicated with animals. It’s clear she’s modeled after Artemis. Rowland touches on quite a few beliefs and myths, including an angelic Michael, a geeky computer god named Thor, and Phelan the wolf. I found this book at times a bit muddled trying to include too much innuendo then it needed. The setting was hard to believe, and the story seemed forced, trying to make everything fit. The characters were interesting, and the idea was good, but I think it could have used some refining. There were some some great action scenes and a nice whirlwind romance crammed in there.
All and all Viper Moon felt like bits and pieces strewn together from other stories I’ve read. Cass is an Artemis inspired heroine like Nikki Glass from Dark Descendant with a little Gin Blanco thrown in. Flynn had touches of Donovan Caine in him but just less rigid, more likable. It were the little details like these that brought up other books and made me question the story’s uniqueness.
Viper Moon had a lot of good things going for it, it was entertaining, and had interesting characters. Maybe the author’s second effort will show some growth. I think it was good enough to give the next a try. It’s a decent book for a first effort, if your looking for some thrills give it a try.
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