The Truth About Cats and Wolves
(Nocturne Falls Universe)
Release: January 24, 2017
Like many paranormals of Greek descent, Kai Xanthopoulos will not know her true nature until her young powers fully manifest. Unlike her parents—and much to the dismay of her stray cat best friend—Kai has chosen not to spend the rest of her life at the diner in Nocturne Falls. She takes a job at Delaney’s Delectables instead, a decision that puts her directly in the path of a fugitive werewolf that could change her destiny…Review:
Finn Kincaid is cursed. Literally. Accused of murdering his pack-brother, beaten and left for dead in the woods, he runs to Nocturne Falls to seek sanctuary with the one cousin who successfully got out of Tennessee: Ivy Merrow, the sheriff’s wife. On his way there, he’s drawn off course by a girl with no idea how much power she possesses, both within herself, and over him.
Together, Kai and Finn must find a way to break the curse and fight their fate, without destroying each other—and their future—in the process.
Team Jess girls, you're gonna want this one!
I've mentioned several times on the blog how much I love Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls series set in the town where every day is Halloween. Now it's expanding to include other authors in the Nocturne Falls Universe. Alethea Kontis looks at the YA side of the town in The Truth About Cats and Wolves.
Finn Kincaid makes a big impression when he arrives in Nocturne Falls, leading the sheriff's department on a chase through town. He's a misunderstood bad boy with shaggy hair and a leather jacket, but he's not really a criminal. He quotes Shakespeare and charms all the high school girls. He's totally Jess! I enjoyed his romance with Kai even though I didn't feel like there were a lot of surprises there. The really interesting elements were Kai discovering her magic and the removal of Finn's curse.
Throughout the course of the Nocturne Falls series, Painter has introduced several kids and the school librarian. Kontis mentions those teens but the story focuses on new ones she created. I thought she did a great job integrating the characters and places from the existing series, incorporating much more of the source material than I would have expected. But Kontis also adds bits of Greek, Egyptian, and Latin American myth and magic, which I loved to see. It makes the town truly feel like a melting pot. For all of its supernatural variety, Nocturne Falls wasn't actually very diverse.
Kontis also did a great job preserving the feel of the original series by using the Halloween parade in the story. I liked seeing how the teens contribute to the atmosphere - the cheerleaders performing in the parade for example. And I loved that Kai's friend Bellamy drove a giant jack-o-lantern. That was seriously one of my favorite moments.
My only complaint is with the obligatory YA love triangle, which felt one-sided. (Shut up, I hated geometry.) That is to say the wolf side was much better developed than the cat side. This might be due to the novella length, but I wonder if Kai's relationship with Owen could have been handled differently. Still, I'm intrigued by Owen and I'd love to see more of him.
I'd also love to get more YA set in Nocturne Falls. I had been thinking, though I don't know if I ever shared those thoughts, that a YA series set at Harmswood Academy was a great idea. If it's going to happen, Kontis is off to a great start with the magical teens she introduced here.
Recommended for fans of: Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls series, Jess on Gilmore Girls
ARC provided by the author