Recap #58: Books of Blood 2: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner

Books of Blood 2: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner
Books of Blood 2: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner

Title: The Hunger by M. C. Sumner

Summary: Her friends are disappearing – and Talli will be next.

Chris is still in high school, but his sister is a teacher, and together they move to Westerberg after the death of their parents. Driving into town they notice posters on every telegraph post depicting missing teenagers. Slowly Chris finds out they were killed by vampires.

Tagline: The Hunger will eat you alive…

Notes: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy. I will now refer to the bad guy as “Muffin Man” because of The Mall. Nope, I’m going to refer to the bad guys by name, because that’s the kind of book we’re in.

Initial Thoughts:

Well, since I really enjoyed the last one, I have high hopes for this, although sequels generally are not as good as their originals. And if you guys want to get into a lively debate in the comments section on successful sequels, I’m all for it. (I personally like Scream 2, Terminator 2, and Halloween H20, better than the originals.)

Once again, I’m going to recap as I do my first read through. True, last time this resulted in one of the longest recaps ever, but I can see the benefit. If this sucks, I only have to read it the once.

Note from the future: Thank god I did. As it is, it took me four days to do this book.



We open with Chris Delany and his sister, Donna, driving into town. They’re from Chicago, they have dead parents and debts, which Donna handled like a pro, despite the fact that their family assumed a dainty little angel as young-looking as her couldn’t do it. Chris never doubted her, because she may be dainty on the outside, but inside she’s a badass. It was Donna’s decision to make this move, and because Chris trusts her judgement, he’s making the best he can of it. And I’m thinking M. C. Sumner is a woman, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy in this genre (in this particular time period) write a supportive guy, much less go two for two in the same series. Note from the future: Nope. M stands for Mark.

[Wing: Donna and Chris are fucking amazing, and I love their sibling relationship. Sumner, you are one of my new favourites.] [Dove: I know right? Love these two.]

Chris notices two things on the drive into town: 1) the sheer amount of missing posters (again, like the intro to Lost Boys. I really hope Sumner’s a fan of that movie.); and 2) the really pretty redhead with startling green eyes. (That would be Talli. She was too busy dealing with vamps and dead friends last book to get a good description in, and I’m ok with that.)

Chris asks Donna about the missing posters, and she says she heard something about a bunch of kids running away together, and maybe the old principal was involved. Chris thinks this sounds fishy, as runaways tend to be loners, not a whole bunch of people at once.

Then we swap over to Talli, who notices the unfamiliar car driving into town and can’t help but panic that strangers are coming, they might be vampires. She sees Lisa in the reflection of her car window and freaks again. Various voices speak up in her mind – and I really hope this isn’t “madness”, I’m really hoping it’s just panicked thoughts – and she tells them to shut up.

She has a dry clinical voice that keeps telling her that everything was in her imagination, there were no vampires. This voice scares her the most.

And then she thinks she’s crazy. *sigh* So, good, that’ll be handled nicely. The thing is, it’s totally ok if she’s depressed, stressed, anxious and has PTSD from what happened, that would be perfectly normal. It’s just that the story is going to imply that being “crazy” is the worst thing ever. Damn, book. You’ve disappointed me.

Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 1 (Essentially, “crazy” is a blanket term for a bad person with no qualms about killing anyone and everyone. Often because they are “crazy”. Because that’s how mental health works.)

[Wing: So, interesting point here, because I am actually fairly okay with how her “craziness” is handled in this book. She saw something terrifying, and she’s hearing voices and seeing things. It’s quite possible that she is having a breakdown, at least from her point of view. And really, all of this boils down to how hard I identified with a scene later, that I will point out at the time. Totally don’t blame Dove for giving this a trope point, because it does do that shitty thing where being crazy is the worst possible thing in the world, but otherwise, I think it handles her fallout pretty well.]

She feels utterly alone because Lisa and Alex, her BFF and boyfriend, are dead, and her parents were completely mind-controlled when Volker came to kill her. She thinks if she could talk to another person, the voices in her head might have less to say.

Aren’t we crazy? asked a voice in her skull.

Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 2 (+1) *sigh* If we keep on at this rate, I’m going to just assign a blanket number of counters and move on.

She blames herself for Alex’s death, if only she hadn’t left him, but she’d been under Volker’s mind control. I must have missed that when I read it, because I know I didn’t mention that in the recap.

[Wing: She didn’t leave because she was under Volker’s mind control, she left because she was finally able to break it for just a second, but Alex couldn’t, and she couldn’t get him to move enough that he could escape with her.] [Dove: That’s what I meant, but clearly I’m not making much sense on this.] [Wing: Well, the book doesn’t always make much sense either.]


Alex awakes. He initially can’t remember where he is – mostly his thoughts are utterly consumed by the need to feed, including all of his memories – but after a few moments of thinking, he remembers that he’s in a shed, hiding out, and he needs a meal. He kills the couple who own the property he’s on, then hitches a lift. The guy who picks him up says he’s going to Westerberg. Something about that name picks at him.

Next chapter: Donna wakes up Chris before school and asks if her outfit is teacher-y enough. The outfit is, but because she’s so young-looking it doesn’t quite work. However, Chris says something carefully supportive that isn’t a lie (and damn, Sumner, well done for writing a male character that I like).

The moving van hasn’t arrived yet, so the only thing in Chris’ room is his mattress and a suitcase, and still it’s messier than his mum would like – then he gets sad, because he hates it when his thoughts about his parents blindside him like that, and it’s not quite as clumsy as I’m making it sound. His parents were murdered and they never found out who did it. I’m guessing vampires. Note from the future: Nope. Shooting.

He decides to walk to school, rather than getting a lift with Donna, who needs to be there early to set up her teaching room, so he can get something to eat. And what he does next gives me a tingly little crush on him: he picks up his Agatha Christie book and counts the remaining pages to make sure he has enough book to last him until he gets home.

Fucking swoon. Not kidding. That’s massively attractive. Also, he’s read all of her books at least three times. Cute.

[Wing: He is seriously the greatest male character we’ve run into during all the years we’ve been recapping. I kind of adore him. I would adore him more, except I adore Talli so much I don’t have much room left.]

He starts walking to school and sees an abandoned house, and thinks it would make a great Halloween house – I’ll assume this is Volker’s old place. Next he sees an orange car pull out (Talli’s). A painfully skinny guy says “She’s nuts,” and then introduces himself as Paul Katz.

First things first: Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 2,200 (100 points for each chapter x 22 chapters – I’m being aggressive on this because of the whole “voices” shtick which doesn’t seem to be going away) – let’s just get the blanket score out of the way.

Second of all: Hi, Paul Katz. I guess you managed not to burn to death in the pool of the Volker house.

Paul also says that Chris has moved into the Deveraux house (RIP Sam). Paul says that Talli’s been crazy ever since her boyfriend and friends went missing. He offers Chris a ride to school, but Chris declines, saying he wants to get the lay of the land.

On the walk to school, Chris feels like he’s in a ghost town. He sees the Calloway Public Library (please, please be a shout out to Mark Calloway aka The Undertaker – wait, no, quick google shows I spelled Calaway wrong. Damn.) which cheers him up.

He notices a missing poster for Samantha Deveraux (RIP Sam) and realises that she could have lived in the house he now lives in, and wonders how he can find out for sure.

Same morning from Talli’s point of view now. She gets up, looks at Volker’s place and one of her voices suggests she go over there to look for Lisa and Alex, she says a big NO to that. Her parents are worried about her, and they’ve arranged for her to see a psychiatrist, Dr Aston. Talli agrees, deciding it will be good to talk to someone, even if she has to lie and say it was serial killers and kidnappers, not vampires. She worries that even if he keeps her confidentiality with the content of the meetings, he might just tell everyone she’s “crazy” anyway. As she leaves, she sees Chris and worries he’s a vampire – one of Them, is how she thinks of them.

[Wing: This was really interesting to me. She desperately wants someone to talk to about it, but can’t quite convince herself she can trust the psychiatrist. And that’s a very valid feeling. There is doctor-patient confidentiality, even for someone under the age of majority, but if she’s a threat to herself or others, she can be involuntarily committed. And it’s very possible with any of these stories that the psych would consider her that. This is a familiar feeling for me.]

Alex is still on his way to Westerberg and he’s overcome with hunger, so he chows down on the driver, while the car is in motion. This causes the car to crash through the barrier and roll down a hill. Alex is thrown free, breaking a bunch of bones as he goes. He blacks out – but only for seconds, because when he comes to, rocks are still falling from the crash – and his bones are already mending. However, the sun’s up and it’s burning like it never has before. He rushes to the broken car, and crawls in. His driver/meal is already dead, so Alex hunkers down to wait it out.

Chris’ first morning isn’t very productive. As mentioned in the previous book, the classes are overcrowded, and in most classes, he has to stand at the back with a bunch of other students who didn’t get there in time to grab a desk. At lunch, he meets Casey Pays, who is tall and slim with curly brown hair. She asks if he’s related to the new teacher, and he says yes. Casey likes Donna, and says her dad is the coach of the football team and also helps out with the baseball team (oooh, the next sequel is called The Coach – so either he’s going evil or dying).

They bump into Talli as they head outside to eat (once again, the cafeteria is overcrowded) and Casey notes that he’s into her, and says that Chris isn’t her (Casey’s) type. He tries to deny it, but she says she’ll tell him all about Talli. Basically her knowledge is that Talli’s boyfriend and best friend are among the missing, and people assume they hooked up and left her. Again, fair assumption, given the public knowledge – I love this. I love that people don’t make stupid assumptions, or know far more than they should.

[Wing: I would be rooting for Casey to be gay, because she’s so adamant that Chris isn’t her type, but I refuse to root for another dead queer girl. Yes, yes, spoilers. You’ll get there soon enough.]

Chris is surprised when Casey says a “few” principals went missing, and actually, she’s right: Shay went missing first, then Volker and his assistant principal, Lynch.

Their lunch is gross, so Casey offers to finish it, which Chris comments on (“For someone so thin, you sure know how to eat.”) and this could either be that “compliment” thing that was strong in this era, where being described as anorexic was a compliment on how pretty you are (gross, I used to rage on this all the time); or, given the subject of this series, a note on how she’s a big eater with a great metabolism and could be supernatural. Oh please god, give Wing some werewolves. She would fucking explode. But in a good way, for the first time ever.

[Wing: *cries* That would have been such a better story, oh my god.]

Talli has a class with Donna, who introduces herself as taking over from Ms Batkawitz, and that she’ll be taking drama too. Within about three paragraphs, both Talli and I have a massive crush on her. One of the gobby lads in class asks for Donna’s phone number, and she shuts him down like a pro. Talli notes that not only did she get a guy half her size and twice as mouthy to shut up and back down, she’s a really good teacher too.

[Wing: Seriously, Donna is the best adult we’ve seen in all this time of recapping. I am in love with the characters of this series. (And, okay, the Bad Blood series, too.)]

After class, Talli says she really enjoyed the class and Donna asks if she’ll be at drama club. Talli’s surprised she knows about this and how does she know Talli’s name. Donna has memorised the yearbook. Talli says she’ll be there, but inside she worries again: Donna’s an outsider, and she’s taking drama – and the auditorium isn’t her favourite place (the drug/Volker incident; and the scary invisible monster who vanished when the lights came on) – but tries to calm herself. Donna seems nice, and being away doesn’t mean that she’s a monster, right?

Alex wakes up just before sunset to the sounds of a couple trying to help him. The husband says he’s going to try and get the car open while his wife drives to the nearest phone to call the emergency services. When husband gets in the car, Alex pretends he’s hurt and needs him to come closer, then om nom nom. The sun goes down, and he feels much better. The wife comes back, and calls down to her husband, but can’t see clearly. Alex wonders if it’s dark enough for him to pass for the husband. Then he feels all mushy, as if his bones have melted. He feels stubble on his face, so checks his reflection in the wing mirror. Alex has just successfully shape shifted for the first time. And om nom nom on the wife.

Chris hits the library with Casey in tow. They check out old newspapers on the microfilm and Chris makes a note of all the missing kids and asks if they have anything in common, and Casey says no. Obviously Alex and Lisa knew each other, Sam had a different clique, some guys were bullies, etc. Then Chris turns to the rest of the paper. He asks about Volker, but Casey says it’s weird, nobody really remembers who told them that Shay was moving away and resigning, it took awhile before anyone looked for him and then couldn’t find him. Same with Volker, he just showed up. Chris notes that the disappearances stopped when Volker left town. Chris also says that while Volker was around there were twice as many deaths in town as the week before or after Volker left.

[Wing: Chris is so fucking smart about his research. I love him.]

After school, Talli attends the drama meeting. There are loads of boys there, which is unusual, but since we’ve already established that Talli and I have a crush on Donna, you won’t be surprised to find out the rest of the school feels the same. Donna’s plan is to put on three plays over spring, one a month: a classic; a modern; and an original penned by Talli, who won a short fiction competition. Talli feels nervouscited about it, and asks Donna if she’ll help her. As people shout out suggestions on which plays to do, someone calls out “Dracula”, and Talli decides to write about vampires.

(Also, there’s a nice note about someone called Marcia Malone speaking up, she used to be perky and upbeat, but her brother is among the missing, so her mood has turned “thorny”, and it’s just nice to see this consistency in the world-building.)

[Wing: I love her too. My love in this book is a terrible thing. *cries*]

Alex talks his way into a house by saying he’s had an accident. There’s only a woman home, so Alex steals a bit of her energy but doesn’t kill her. While she’s knocked out, he raids her husband’s closet for clean clothes, then practices shape-shifting, and wonders if he can shift to be anyone, or if it has to be someone he’s fed from (assume the former, because Morris shifted into Lisa, and it felt like Volker ate Lisa), and whether he can make major changes, such as being a woman. He steals their car and heads to Westerberg.


Chris wakes up, gets a lift to school with Donna, who has figured out he’s into Talli, and tells him not to make life worse for her if he gets involved. He has a mosey around school and winds up in the auditorium, where Talli is working on her play. They have a massively awkward meet-not-cute, which culminates in Chris asking if she wants to go out some time. Talli turns him down, because she’s only ever dated Alex, it’s only been six weeks since all that shit went down and it all feels a bit wrong and too much right now.

Alex is eating his way to Westerberg, and as he gets closer, he’s hit by images of things past. He has to pull over and crash out in a barn, because the sun is coming up and the images are too much for him. He remembers a child playing baseball and flying a kite, and feels that it’s him, but doesn’t personally remember it. He wonders why he would do such a thing – was it a way to take his mind of the hunger? This is actually kind of cute and sad. He really doesn’t remember being Alex and is trying to reason why he remembers things that Alex did.

That night, for the first time, Alex dreams, and it’s of the time when Volker changed him. On waking, he understands that he used to be Alex, that there was a time before the hunger, and that if he gets closer to Westerberg, maybe he’ll see more images and understand more.


Chris and Casey are at the library, again recapping the weird things they’ve found in the paper. I don’t know if it’s because I’m recapping as I go, but I’m not quite feeling this book. There’s a lot of sitting around and thinking about stuff in this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still massively better than most of the PH I’ve ever recapped, but the first book set the bar a little high.

[Wing: I love the slow build, and the way various little things keep coming together, both from the first book, and from this book. I could have done without the Alex sections, but even they aren’t the worst.]

We’re halfway through and all that’s happened is that Alex has eaten everyone he’s met; Talli is “crazy” and writing a play; and Chris is doing research on the book I just read. I get this is a sequel problem – you want to show the world you built last book, but introduce new characters, and this is what you have to do. I guess last book was so action-packed the repetitive nature of library research is pulling me down a little.

They head over to see Talli, help her go through a box of clothing in the art department, and they talk about how Chris is looking into the disappearances. At the end of the session, Chris asks her out again. Talli initially says no, then changes her mind, and makes plans for tomorrow. She likes him, and having him and Casey around makes the voices in her head pipe down.

Alex kills a man and steals his face.

He remembered the man who was lying dead back in the hotel room. Alex wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He had always tried to stop feeding before the person died, but he didn’t really know why.

Have I missed something? As far as I can tell, thus far Alex has killed everyone except for the woman who was home alone. [Wing: Actually, up until the car crash, he left them just barely alive. They’d take a few days to recover (though I don’t think we learn that until later). It’s only when he’s so hurt during the crash and then in the sun, so he needed the extra energy.] He sees Talli’s car and follows her home and HELLO TWILIGHT INSPIRATION watches her through the window as she undresses and brushes her hair. He tries to get in but can’t. Then he says her name.

[Wing: I fucking love how he’s in pain from being so close to the house, which as a home has protections.]


Chris walks to school and bumps into Paul Katz, so asks him about Volker. Paul talks all the way to school, but we don’t see most of it. What we do hear goes as follows: Paul got sent to Volker’s office, and whatever happened made him so sick he didn’t come back to school. He stayed home and listened to what people were saying, and listened to the way their stories changed. Either they don’t remember what really happened or they don’t want to remember.

[Wing: I actually love this, too, especially about how people talked about the strangeness at first, and then pushed it aside when their brains couldn’t handle it.]

After school, Talli goes to another drama meeting and talks to Donna again. What she doesn’t know is that Alex is also there. He ate two teenagers (yes, ate, so ignore the quote above again) [Wing: Again, he only started killing at the car accident, before that he left the victims we saw with a tiny spark inside them, i.e., alive.], and stole one of their looks and followed Talli about all day. He woke up absolutely obsessed with her and thinks the best way they can be together is if she’s a vamp too, so she’ll know the hunger. After Talli leaves, Donna notices him and asks if she can help. Alex says yes and walks over to her.

[Wing: NOOOOOO NOT DONNA GOD NO. Also, I think this scene has one of my favorite background pieces, which is that Donna is doing things to help all her students, including a quiet black boy who volunteers to be the director, even though he’s only worked in the background until now. It’s something he will apparently be great at, and exactly what Donna was hoping he would do when she talked about what being a director means, and it made me love her even fucking more.]

Chris and Talli go on their date, and they talk about what actually happened with Volker. Chris says that one thing’s bothering him. Usually there are no more than seven deaths a week in this town, the week Volker was here, there were fourteen. There’s been eleven this week.

See, Alex, you do kill. All the damned time. However, I’m not going to hit that with a continuity score because I’m pretty sure that Alex is an unreliable narrator deliberately. [Wing: I don’t think it’s a continuity error. When we first meet him in this book, he’s not killing, until he’s forced to kill, and then apparently gets a taste for it and is starting to lose control. He’s become a killer, and it is getting worse the more obsessed he feels with Talli, which is creepy and fucked up and wonderful.]

Outside of the diner, Alex approaches Marcia (the girl whose brother went missing) and kidnaps her. He takes her to Volker’s house and remembers the time that he and Talli broke in to look for Lisa. Then he feeds from her until she dies, then he tries to reverse the process, to put the energy back in. Basically, he’s practicing changing people so he doesn’t mess it up with Talli. At first he thinks she’s dead and it failed, then she sits up. Then she backhands him across the room. This is the same room Sam was in, so this must be the Room of Backhanding. There’s a little fight, then she kind of elevates, contorts into something horrific (picture any exorcism movie that employs a double-jointed body double), and the collapses into ash. And Alex decides he’ll get it right next time.

[Wing: I loved it. I wanted more of his monsters taking on the world.]


Donna is kind of out of it – saying she thinks she’s getting sick – after school she invites Talli over for dinner, but she’s a bit weird. She reassures Talli that she’s “not mad” that Talli’s dating Chris. Talli finds that odd, but agrees to dinner.

Chris asks for a lift home because Casey was a no-show.

Alex poses as Donna to kidnap Casey with the intent of turning her too. He ties her up in Volker’s house. [Wing: NO NOT CASEY. *weeps*]

Chris and Talli get home. While Talli is in another room, Alex-as-Donna starts strangling Chris, while ranting about how big city kids come to small towns and take what they want, and he can’t this time, not Talli. Once Chris is down for the count (dead? Passed out? *shrug*), he morphs back to Alex and Talli confronts him. At first she’s delighted to see him, then she sees that he’s knocked out/killed Chris, and then she realises he’s a vampire. She tells him to stay back or she’ll kill him just like she killed Volker. That was news to Alex, he didn’t know that Volker was dead.

He keeps pushing, so she grabs a knife and stabs him. He yanks it out and tells her that was a mistake.

Chris wakes up exhibiting several signs of a massive concussion (dizziness, scattered thoughts, nausea, etc.). He follows a thumping noise to the basement, where he finds Donna tied up. Once he releases her, she says that Alex brought Casey down here too. They locate her and start untying her, but unfortunately she’s a vampire, she starts stealing Donna’s energy, so Chris has to stab her to get her to stop. Casey says she’s hungry, then she cracks open and turns to ash.

[Wing: YES DONNA LIVES. NO CASEY DIES. I am feeling some emotional whiplash here. Where are my werewolves?]

Talli and Alex have a chat – he’s even built a log fire for her at Volker’s so she’ll be warm while they talk. He wants her to be with him, he doesn’t kill people and he just needs her around. Talli has known Alex long enough to know when he’s lying. She lies back, saying sure, just give me a day to say goodbye to my life, then I’ll be with you. Alex sees through her lie as easily as she saw through his. And he grabs her and starts stealing her energy. Then he gives it back, and she likes the feel of it.

Chris staggers to the Volker house.

In the center of the room Talli and Alex stood wrapped in each other’s arms. Bolts of green and blue lightning swarmed over them like writhing snakes. Alex’s eyes were open, and he looked down at Talli with an expression of expectant glee. More terrible than that was Talli’s face. Her eyes were closed, and her head was tilted back. She seemed to be experiencing something close to pure joy.

Alex’s head turned slowly, and his eyes fixed on Chris. “Stay back,” he said. Ribbons of fire rolled out of his mouth as he spoke. “It’s too late to help her now.”

Talli moaned out in pleasure and moved her hands up Alex’s back. A wide smile split Alex’s face, and blue sparks chased themselves along his teeth. “You better get out of here now, Chris. When we get done with this, my girlfriend here is going to be very, very hungry.”

Vampire!sexy!subtext is a go.

And Chris isn’t into it, so he stabs Alex – with a knife from “the good silver”, which Alex-as-Donna had gotten out for dinner. [Wing: Nope. He didn’t get out the good silver, Chris retrieved it from the box that the china had also been stored inside. Which is why Alex didn’t know it was the good silver when Chris stabs him. Silver apparently does serious damage.] Damn, I’m going to miss Alex, when he gets in character, he gets in character, even if it would mean his own demise.

Alex does a fake death, then lunges at Chris to steal his energy, but Talli kicks him and he rolls into the fire. Talli drags Chris out and lets Alex burn.


Talli wakes up while it’s still dark. She feels happy that the whole vampire thing is done now. She can move on and shit. Then the sun comes up and her skin starts burning. Sequel Hook 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Final Thoughts:

As I said in the middle of this, I didn’t quite feel this the way I did the first one. There’s a lot of repeated scenes. And I get that the narrative needed something like that, but it would have been nice if there had been more different stuff. There were a lot of misses rather than hits in this book, and a lot of things they could have either cut or made more of:

  • Less Alex eating people, I get it, he’s on his way to Westerberg. I don’t need every other scene to tell me that.
  • Less research chapters – I read the first book, and I liked it far better as a book than a recap in book 2. Again, this didn’t need to be every other scene. [Wing: I actually liked the research part quite a bit, both as a way to get in beats from book 1, but also as a way to show us the other things going on that Talli didn’t know, and therefore we couldn’t know either.]
  • Talli’s drama club – either do something with it, or don’t waste pages and pages on it. [Wing: I would have loved a lot more of this, too, though I did enjoy what it gave to us about Donna.]
  • Casey – allegedly a good friend of Talli’s, but they share less than a single page together. [Wing: Agreed. More Casey would have been great.]
  • Talli’s “craziness” and “voices” – either embrace it, like Stephen King did in Gerald’s Game, where the lead had names for all of her voices, or shut up about it. Don’t make a huge thing of it for three chapters, then drop it when she meets a boy. Mental health doesn’t work that way, and it would be utterly ok for Talli to have some kind of anxiety/stress/depression following Book 1. [Wing: Actually, the voices calm when she starts writing, which is the hook on which all my love for this book hangs. There’s a scene where she specifically says she’s writing to stop the voices, and that hit me so hard and so true in many ways. I write for a lot of reasons, but one of the most important is because it gets out what is inside me, especially when I’m manic. I loved this detail, and because of it, everything else with Talli and how she feels. Though, I would have rather seen a more clear haunting of what happened before; early on, I read it as an actual haunting by the people she failed to save (a la in The Howling), and I would have loved to see more of that.]

Overall, I was bored for a large amount of this book, and I think you can tell in my recap. There’s nothing even offensive to note, it’s just boring. This was a big miss for me. Maybe Wing liked it?

[Wing: Wing loved it and wasn’t bored at all. I didn’t love it as much as the first, but I thought it was a solid story with some truly amazing moments, and I adored some of the characters. I hope some of them turn up in the next book, too. However, after Dove made her little reference, I can’t stop thinking that this needs more werewolves.]

[Dove: I’m thinking that the real problem with this book is reading and recapping at the same time. I might have had a higher opinion of it if I’d just read it, and then recapped. I probably still wouldn’t be a massive fan, but I probably wouldn’t feel quite so deflated about it. It’s ok to read a book and note its flaws, but if you’re reading for the first time and writing down all the things that don’t work for you, you’re going to walk away with a lower opinion of it than if you’d simply read it.]

[Wing: That’s really interesting to me, because I’m the opposite. I tend to like a book better when I recap it than when I just read it, e.g. when reading to comment on your recaps, because I better remember the things I love when I recap them. So if I’d recapped this, I might have completely fallen in love with it, good grief. I can see why you normally read it completely and then recap if that is how it works for you, though.]

Final Counts:

Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 2,200