Never Cry Wolf (Night Watch #4) by Cynthia Eden
June 28, 2011
I know it’s a bad sign when I sit down to write down my thoughts on a book and I can’t quite recall the character’s names and I have to look at the book again just to refresh my memory. That just about sums up my reading experience of Never Cry Wolf by Cynthia Eden.
Sarah King is a charmer, that is she’s a woman who can talk to wolves. In this story we are told that charmers are rare, but that each charmer generally can only talk to one kind of animal. There are lots of kinds of “other” beings out there too from shifters to vampires to demons, and in this world the “other” are very much your typical fare (secret from humans, normal ‘rules’ seem to apply). Lucas Simone is the Los Angeles area wolf alpha – a strapping specimen of wolfy manhood.
Our story opens with Lucas in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. As he contemplates going wolf and ripping his way out of jail a woman walks in giving him an alibi and he is set free. Of course this woman (Sarah King) has come to him because he’s the one man who can keep her safe and alive.
The problem is – the plot and most of the over played drama was nonsense. No, really. The whole “this guy is after me” and all the double crossing felt complicated during the book but at the end it all shook out real simple. There’s a bad guy – the heroine’s ex lover – and he needs to die. The heroine is constantly thinking about how she has to lie, deceive, and otherwise conceal truths from Lucas. Yet when it all shakes out there really is nothing all that bad in her history. It is a pet peeve of mine when authors manufacture angst and torchy emo characters that end up feeling ridiculous and like drama queens instead of adding emotional depth to the story.
So we have a liar of a heroine who is utterly without personality. She is a good shot, and she’s constantly thinking of herself as strong and capable – other than that she’s forgettable. She’s paired with an alpha male who is the classic ‘had to avenge dad’s killer at young age, the weight of the world is on my shoulders’ kind of dude.
I also didn’t like how the shifters were portrayed in this book. From page one they’re considered animals in need of a leash:
“His pack had to know where he was. A leader didn’t just vanish, and if he didn’t make contact with them soon, Lucas wasn’t exactly sure what would happen.
Probably hell on earth… or wolves running wild in LA, which, yeah, that equaled hell on earth. Especially if he wasn’t there to keep the wilder wolves on their leashes.
Everyone already knew that wolf shifters had a tendency to dance on the edge of sanity. Once those leashes were gone… hello hell.”
Animals in need of leashes? No, that’s not good stuff if they are the ones that are the lead in this book. My true nature is to be a psycho killer, but with this leash I can be the stuff of romance novel dreams? No. I won’t even get into the “I love you” scene in this book (to paraphrase: What is love? Me alpha wolf. Me have rough life! Me no know love.) – it wasn’t good.
That really is the bottom line – between the cardboard characters, the plot that had twists but ultimately was overly simple, the lack of reasons to believe in this relationship or why these people were so into each other outside of sex, and the utter lack of world building or unique elements this book just wasn’t a good read for me.
I know that this author has other books that are related to this one and that characters show up in those – but I don’t see how that could have increased my enjoyment or added any richness to the reading experience of this novel. I believe it stands alone just fine. At this point in my reading, it takes a special paranormal story, characters I’ve not seen before and a plot that is gripping for me to really like a book from the PNR genre.
While I can’t come up with something specific to say that is positive about this book, I did not ever consider DNF’ing it and I did enjoy some of the scenes and plot lines even if they did turn out to be underwhelming or disappointing.
Buried By Books– 3/5
Kindle l Nook l Kensington
Yikes, not good. Sure sometimes I forget how to spell names if they are foreign to me, but not to remember them at all….
Paranormal Haven says
This one was ok. I’ve read Cynthia Eden’s Night Watch series and really enjoyed it. Never Cry Wolf is suppose to be part of that series but I had a hard time trying to figure out how. I guess at some point they mention Lucas and his pack and apparently I totally missed that.
thanks for clearing that up – I wondered HOW Lucas was ‘finally’ a character when I saw very little of anyone else who felt like they could have had their own story already.
And yes it wasn’t a DNF or fail or anything – it just also wasn’t a win…
Great review May. I’ve reviewed a few books where everything seemed to run together and by the end I was like, “Whaaa?” lol
I have yet to read this author though I have her Fear series on my Nook.
Interesting review- I have this one on my Kindle but haven’t gotten to it yet. I was kind of underwhelmed by the last Night Watch book so we’ll see what happens with this one. Thanks for the heads up!
This was a DNF for me, I just lost interest halfway through and I got bored. The hero was meh, the heroine was annoying, the only character I kind of liked was the hero’s brother and that was mostly because I liked him from the previous book where he had a bit of a part. I’m a huge fan of Cynthia’s work but lately something has been missing. Her next book is about angels and it sounds promising, I really hope she gets her mojo back for that one.
for some reason i really liked this book. it really worked for me. the other 3 in the series however, i couldn’t get into.
I haven’t read anything by this author, but it doesn’t sound like a big miss in my bookreading life. Thanks for the review.
Wow such a bummer. I loved the early books in this series but have to admit I’ve struggled with the one before this. Guess I can wait on this one.
I haven’t read this author..but I get sitting down and thinking – who are the characters again? Not a good sign. That being said, I have heard some of her other books are better…will have to keep her in mind.
Thank you May :) Not for me I think.
It is a pet peeve of mine when authors manufacture angst and torchy emo characters that end up feeling ridiculous and like drama queens instead of adding emotional depth to the story.
In a word? Yes.
I’m disappointed to hear this one was just so-so. I love Eden’s books, although I’ll admit I like her Rom Suspense better.
Barb P says
What can I say, Cynthia is one of my fav authors. I have really enjoyed this series and this . book. I do understand the feeling though, when you start reading a book and you realize that it just isn’t working for you. I have read some books written by some really popular authors that I either didn’t finish or when I did, went ” Is it just me?”.
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