Night Huntress (Sisters of the Moon, Book 5)
by Yasmine Galenorn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Night Huntress / 978-0-425-22546-2
The fifth in the Sisters of the Moon series, "Night Huntress" places us once again in the point of view of middle sister Delilah, as she struggles to sort out her relationship issues in the face of an oncoming potential apocalypse.
Like the previous novel, "Night Huntress" contains a large dose of "middle-of-the-series" syndrome, as at least as much time (if not more) is spent dissecting Delilah's love life as if spent on the search for the spirit seals. This is tempered, however, by Delilah being a more sympathetic and realistic character to sink into, and the problems with her lovers (infidelity and love-vs-lust issues) are more complex and less quickly solved than her sister Camille's one-trick-pony solution to all her relationship problems.
Bravely, Galenorn shakes things up a bit by making the search for the spirit seal the focus of the first half of the book, instead of the second, with the actual climax combining both a demonic showdown and some relationship drama all mixed in together. This choice breathes some fresh life into a series that otherwise seemed destined to follow the same format verbatim: Introduction, Relationship Drama, Spirit Seal, Repeat. The new format also serves to characterize the sisters as distinctly proactive forces, no longer just reacting to the demonic activity as supernatural firefighters.
This freshness is somewhat undermined, however, in the constant struggle to move things forward for long time fans without leaving new readers behind. Of course, all authors want to be able to snag new readers at any point in the series, but "Night Huntress" crams in massive back-exposition and repetitive re-angst of all the difficulties that have gone before. Long-time readers of the series will no doubt become frustrated with the repetition - there's only so many ways to repeat the backstory of the previous four books, the childhood history exposition, and all the relationship drama that has gone before - and large swaths of the book feel like you're turning the pages to get to the actual *new* material.
Overall, though, "Night Huntress" is a solid addition to the series, and even better than the previous entry (which also suffered from "middle-of-the-series" syndrome), and if you've stuck with it this far, I'm fairly confident you won't be disappointed. Chase-shippers may be disappointed with the character development (derailment?) that occurs for him in this novel, and the resolution may stick a little as a bit of a Family Unfriendly Aesop, but the overall plot is excellent and will keep you coming back for more.
~ Ana Mardoll
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