Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima
Series: Celtic Wolves #1
Like father, like son
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.
Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.
When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it .
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Don’t let the cover dissuade you: CELTIC MOON is an interesting book. It’s not the best werewolf book I’ve ever read but it has some strong points.
First, I enjoyed the mythology that DeLima brings to the table. It’s Celtic, as you can probably guess from the book and series titles, which is something we don’t see too much in the genre. The author has created a novel history for her shape shifters (which is how the characters self-identify, as opposed to werewolves) and I really liked the details that are included. The main one, of course, is that there are basically two factions of shape shifters: those that follow the Guardians (there’s a long Welsh name that goes here) and those who are opposed to the Guardians, like our protagonist Dylan and his people. The Guardians are very prescriptive and dogmatic, which is why not everyone is enthused by their rules, which lead to the killing of children who can’t shift or who are born as animals, for example. They aren’t nice people so it’s easy to get on-side with Dylan and his people.
Another aspect of the mythology is that these shape shifters live for a very long time. Dylan is thousands of years old and remembers growing up in Wales back when it was called Cymru. Some of his followers and guards are his contemporaries while others are younger. Sophie, his wife, is a regular old human but I found her to be much more interesting because of the transformation she goes through to become the woman she is in present day in CELTIC MOON. We get some flashbacks to when she met Dylan and she was a much softer, naive version of herself. I liked tougher, warier Sophie a lot better, because she was more secure in herself and because she’s more equal to Dylan in strength of personality and conviction (even if she can’t match him for brute strength). You can see why they’re drawn to each other. I also really liked their son Joshua and I hope he’ll get his own book once he’s a bit older.
On the negative side, though, some of the plot/characters are a bit predictable. There are definitely moments where I was surprised, which I loved, but CELTIC MOON does have its more typical moments. Nothing distracted me from my reading — which I did in a single sitting — but you’ll be able to guess where certain plot strands are headed.
I’ve got the second book in the series, SUMMER MOON, for review so look for that to post over on Team Tynga’s Reviews some time in September or October!