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Children's LiteratureTom, a reluctant werewolf whose humanity keeps him from giving in to his wolf tendencies, and Kate, his friend, find themselves on the run from Kate's werewolf mother in the second book in this trilogy. Searching for a mysterious shaman who may or may not be able to help Tom, the pair travel to New York City and meet up with a group of Hispanic gang members, who themselves are threatened by the increasing presence of marauding werewolves. The youngsters team up with each other and together they interminably battle the werewolves as Tom tries to sort out his feelings toward Kate and a new girl named Jasmine. While the action is fast and furious—and, at times, the characters are worthy of sympathy—the story line in this book is wholly contrived and the violence is both gratuitous and tiring. A small and dedicated audience of gore and monster fans will appreciate this book for its dark, shadowy feel but for most mainstream teen readers, the book fails on many fronts. The characters are so thinly drawn that it is hard to understand their motivation or the conflict they supposedly feel. The other problem is that the reader never really feels a sense of tension. Since this is the second book in a trilogy, the reader can be fairly confident that the two main characters will survive for the third installment, while the other characters are so insignificant that the reader cares little whether they survive or not in the final conflict. In the end, the payoff is smaller than the time invested. 2004, Razor Bill/Penguin Group, Ages 14 up.