Series: ETERNAL WOLF CLAN
Plot Type: SMR
Ratings: V5; S5; H2
Publisher and Titles: Signet Eclipse
Dire Warning (e-book novella prequel, 2/2012)
Dire Needs (3/2012)
Dire Wants (11/2012)
Dire Desires (7/2013)
BOOK 2: Dire Wants
Once again, we have an extremely cluttered plot with multiple story lines and numerous points of view. Although the primary narrators are Kate and Stray, we also have many scenes narrated by Jinx, Gwen, Cain, Angus, Seb, and Killian. Trying to juggle so many POVs and story lines is a difficult task—one that the author mishandles more times than not. Time after time, the chopped-up narrative bumps along an error-filled path. Characters answer questions that aren't asked. They do things that don't track with what happened a paragraph or two earlier. For example, on page 235, Kate begins to read a grimoire that she and Stray just found that very night. In the same scene, on the next page, the narration says, "As she got to the chapter she'd stopped on originally a few weeks back...the same nervous feeling...fluttered in her stomach..." Wait just a minute! She is not reading the witchcraft book that she was reading a few weeks ago; she is reading her newly discovered grimoire. This is one of many examples of sloppy writing/editing.
Copyproofing errors compound the problem, especially when a reference to a particular character is made using a different character's name. For example, on page 263, we have this dialogue between Stray and Kate:
"Don't use your powers out here," Stray admonished. "you don't know who's watching. Bad enough we had to bring you out."
"I can't stay locked inside forever."
"It's not the time to argue with me. Stay close," Stray told her... He turned to talk to Stray for a minute, his hand still on hers.Notice that in the final sentence Stray turns to talk to Stray—to himself—when the line should have said that Stray turns to talk to Killian (his brother). If this were the only mistake of this type I would be more forgiving, but it is just one of many. All in all, this is not an easy or a pleasant reading experience.
The lead characters—Stray and Kate—are barely developed. Yes, we get the details of their back stories, but we never really get to know them as the people they are now. They fall in love almost as soon as they meet (which is a stereotypical action in paranormal romance novels), but they spend so much time mistrusting and misunderstanding each other that it's hard to see how their deeply professed love could develop so quickly under such unpleasant personal circumstances.
Kate is definitely a TSTL heroine who puts herself and her mate in danger more than once. And then there is the manner in which Kate develops her witchy powers, which is totally unbelievable. When the story begins, Kate doesn't even know that she is a witch. Then, as soon as she touches the grimoire she is instantly able to chant in strange languages and cast all kinds of spells. This might have worked better on the page if the author had developed some kind of mythology to explain it all, but that doesn't happen. That is quite surprising, because the author spares no ink when it comes to detailing the whole mythology of the Dires, which she explains over and over again, both in the narration and in an extensive glossary.
Another problem is that the Dires' planning process for their battle with the ghost army is slapped together so haphazardly by so many different players that it's difficult to understand exactly what is going on. I found myself going back and rereading paragraphs just to figure out who was saying what to whom and what was really happening. Unfortunately, when that battle scene finally arrives, it turns out to be the same old wolf-on-wolf combat that we've seen so many times before—in this series and in many others. You'd think that a Dire-vs-ghost battle would have a little something extra going on, but no, it's the same old thing. I was hoping that this series would improve, but that hasn't happened.
> Rifter (Rift): The reluctant king of the Dires. He was cursed by a shaman at birth to dream walk—to go into the dreams of other werewolves, push back their nightmares, and absorb their pain and fear.
> Harmony (Harm): The appointed king of the Dires, who refused to return after his Running and has spent his life living with humans. His ability is to charm and control people and Weres with his singing.
> Vice: Born with all of the seven deadly sins as a part of his sexy body and dark soul, he is ruled by his vices, but can sometimes use those extremes to help others find their balance.
> Jinx: Twin brother of Rogue, he has the ability to communicate with ghosts—the dead who are still earthbound.
> Rogue: Twin brother of Jinx, he can communicate with and control spirits—the dead who have gone on to the afterworld. As the series begins, he is in a coma-like state that was induced by a witch's spell.
> Stray: He is not an original member of the pack, but was found on the streets and adopted by the Dires. Although he has not admitted his talent as the series begins, he has the ability to read minds. He and his brother, Killian, are the key to a prophecy that foresees world destruction.
> Sebastian (Seb): An Adept, or master witch who was Rifter's best friend for centuries but then turned his back on the Dires and joined the witches' coven. Now he is one of the Dires' greatest enemies. He is the witch who put the coma spell on Rogue.
> Cyd and Cain: Werewolf twins who were driven from their pack for moon madness, they have been adopted by the Dires.
> Liam: The new werewolf king. In book 1, the Dires save his life after from a brutal attack by weretrappers and witches.