Smith kicks off a spinoff series to her Tantalize books with a noirish adventure featuring shape-shifting werepeople old and new. Eighteen-year-old ladies’ man (well, werecat) Yoshi, the younger brother of Ruby Kitahara (last seen in Tantalize), travels to Austin, Tex., in search of his missing sister. Upon arriving, Yoshi learns that Ruby is the prime suspect in the murder of Travis, a werearmadillo whose ghost haunts his nerdy friend, Clyde (“My werepossum metabolism usually keeps me warm enough, but Travis’s spiritual presence has a chilling effect. Like a ghostly mini air conditioner,” Clyde quips). Clyde, still recovering from injuries incurred in Smith’s Blessed, wants to avenge Travis’s death, but the unlikely trio of Clyde, his crush Aimee, and Yoshi are forced to unite when they are captured and taken to Daemon Island, to be hunted for sport. Smith’s fantasy smoothly switches between the three protagonists’ perspectives, while expertly blending the mythical and the modern. The story’s sharp banter and edgy plot make for an entertaining and clever story about loyalty and reconciling differences. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Feb.)
Teens who favor humorous paranormal romance that never takes itself too seriously will enjoy dialogue that sparkles with wit, filled with both literary and pop-culture references.
Smith takes readers back to the universe of the Tantalize quartet with this sexy, fast-paced new novel...[with] an ending that satisfies and should win her many new fans.
Smith’s fantasy smoothly switches between the three protagonists’ perspectives, while expertly blending the mythical and the modern. The story’s sharp banter and edgy plot make for an entertaining and clever story about loyalty and reconciling differences.
Fans of the Tantalize quartet will appreciate this companion novel featuring its supporting cast.... As before, Smith’s blend of supernatural suspense, campy humor, and romantic tension is addictive.
—The Horn Book
This fast-paced story, told from various points of view, captures the reader from the start. All three are well-developed, strong characters. This is a book that both genders will want to read.
—Library Media Connection
Gr 8 Up—This first book in a new series features Yoshi, a werecat searching for his missing sister, Ruby. On his first trip to Sanguini's, a vampire-themed restaurant where Ruby worked as a waitress, he meets Clyde, an injured werepossum and his friend, Aimee, a homo sapien. Clyde and Aimee are trying to uncover the truth behind their friend Travis's death, a murder for which Ruby is suspected. Clyde is being haunted by Travis's ghost, who has no idea who murdered him, while his family of royal werearmadillos put a bounty on the heads of both Ruby and Yoshi. After settling initial tensions Yoshi, Clyde, and Aimee continue their search for the truth together. What they uncover gets them kidnapped, sent to a deserted island, and imprisoned by an entirely new species of unknown origins. These "greedy yetis" imprison wereanimals of all types in order to charge wealthy vampires, witches, and humans for exotic "hunting" trips. Despite being separated, the friends work together to make this "hunting trip" their last. Told from the perspectives of the three main progatonists, the narrative gives readers a bird's-eye view of the action. However, with so many different characters, plot points, and story lines, it all adds up to one dizzying reading experience. The mix of paranormal, supernatural, mystery, sci-fi, adventure feels like overkill. However, this book will intrigue readers of the author's earlier series as it was written in part in response to fan queries about popular secondary characters.—Sunnie Sette, New Haven Public Library, CT
Shape-shifting werepeople battle to survive on a remote island while vampires, Yeti-like creatures and other creeps hunt them for sport in this action-packed, goofy companion novel featuring secondary characters from the series that began with Tantalize (2007). Werecat Yoshi heads toward Austin, Texas, looking to find his sister Ruby, who's been missing since her involvement in the death of an evil vampire chef and a well-liked teenage werearmadillo, Travis. He enlists the unlikely help of Travis' friends, a human, Aimee, and a wereopossum, Clyde. The trio is eventually kidnapped and spirited to the island, where the story takes its surprising Survivor/Hunger Games turn. Teens who favor humorous paranormal romance that never takes itself too seriously will enjoy dialogue that sparkles with wit, filled with both literary and pop-culture references. ("You're saying that you and my sister perform exorcisms on vomiting children with rotating heads?") Aimee, Yoshi and Clyde take turns narrating in the first person, each of them sarcastic, with varying levels of self-deprecating snark coloring their inner monologues. It may be difficult for readers to keep track of the vast ensemble of characters, particularly if they haven't read the previous four books, but many won't care--instead they'll be wrapped up in the playful, smart tone. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)