When the entire population of Shade go missing, investigative reporter Mila Watson knows this could be the big break she has been waiting for. Setting off into the mountains to the village of Shade, Mila soon learns that the village isn’t as deserted as she first believed it to be and that creatures lurk in the shades…
It’s no secret that I LOVE Tim O’Rourke’s writing. Every single piece, be it novel or novella (and there are a ton–over 50 currently, I believe), has captured my attention from the very first page, and I’ve been drawn into the seamless, heart-pounding stories where the characters and landscape come alive before my very eyes. And so is the case with O’Rourke’s latest serial, Werewolves of Shade, a 6 part story that is absolutely mind blowing.
Opening in the creepy, dismal town of Maze, we meet Mila, a young woman hell bent on finding out what happened to her parents when they disappeared so long ago, traveling to Shade, a town where everyone seems to have vanished.
Her uncle has been less than forthcoming, and as the first installment takes off, readers learn that a war between Werewolves and Vampires once plagued the lands, but since the ONE came, they have all disappeared. But, have they?
The first novella, approximately 70 pages give or take, chronicles Mila’s abhorrence as the truth about her parents emerges, and I loved her characterization. She is definitely the heroine of the story, but knowing O’Rourke, some terrible events are bound to take place for this young adventurer. While her lover, Flint, seems to be another main character in this series, I am interested to see how their relationship pans out in the next few installments. I like him, but I’m not sold on him yet.
And of course, there are O’Rourke’s sprinkle of creepy moments when the possibility of tragedy, horror, and death take the forefront. I love how he keeps me on my toes, nervous for the characters, but always dying to know what happens next.
Five Stars for Part 1
Grab part 1 now for just 99 cents: Amazon
I made the mistake of starting the second installment in the Werewolves of Shade Serial late at night. I know better, I really do; I’ve read nearly all of O’Rourke’s work, and I know that the suspense and horror he places in his books means I should never, ever, pick these up at night–I have a rather active dreamscape fraught with nightmares–but I just couldn’t help myself. The first installment ends on an enticing cliffhanger, and I just HAD TO KNOW what happens next. So I started the second portion immediately, and I was not disappointed.
Mila has made it to her destination, the town of Shade, but something lurks in the darkness, and the few people she finds in the town are… less than forthcoming. I can’t decide who I like more: the sweet and sexy Rush or the frustrating and sardonic Calix. For those who’ve read O’Rourke’s Kiera Hudson series (and if you haven’t, please do!), I’d almost liken Calix to a younger version of Potter, and I just love Potter… so I’m torn between the characters. But neither seem to be very truthful, and their sudden appearance, almost out of thin air, has me suspecting that they aren’t all that they seem… making me wonder just who they truly are, and whether they’re for or against Mila.
And, I am about to pick up the third installment right now, because once again there is a lovely cliffhanger, and I am dying to know what happens next. Especially as some events in this novel, such as a lack of blood where there should be blood, and that penetrating glare from what seems to be distant eyes–but are they?–has me on pins and needles.
Five Stars for Part 2
Grab part 2 now for just 99 cents: Amazon
The story just keeps getting better and better as the plot thickens. Every time I think that I know what’s happening, or who these characters really are, O’Rourke throws another wrench into the story, and I find myself derailed yet again. Truthfully, this is part of the allure of O’Rourke’s books for me–I love that he always keeps me guessing.
As I previously mentioned in my review of Part 2 of this series, Calix is indeed very much like Potter from the Kiera Hudson Series. The similarities continue to abound, and I find myself falling in love with his cocky mannerisms, especially when it comes to Mila and his interactions. Do I trust him? Not as far as I can throw him, but as I get to know him, I’m really enjoying the banter and his overall self-importance.
Of course, the already eerie series is beginning to take on a more gruesome feel as there is a death of a minor character, yet it’s jarring all the same, especially when the reader gets to the cliffhanger and realizes that not everything, or every DEATH, it what it seems… I had chills as I read the final paragraph, and I am so excited to start part four right now. This is just too good to put down.
Five Stars for Part 3
Grab part 3 now for just 99 cents: Amazon
I’ve been reading each part of this series faster and faster through all the plot twists and turns, and I just can’t get enough. The people of Shade are strange yet alluring, and while Mila seems to be second guessing herself and making some terrible decisions, I just can’t look away, even though I’m finding myself constantly yelling at her through the pages. I’ve said, “don’t do that!” at least five times in this installment alone, and I can only imagine it’s going to continue and O’Rourke works up to the climax of the series.
O’Rourke always hits the ground running and completely takes me by surprise; in each of the installments so far, he’s left readers with a cliffhanger that has made me, personally, dying to read the next installment, and I love how he’s able to create suspense and terror in each one of these short novellas. At approximately 70 pages, one would think that the story would grow stale, but such is not the case with the Werewolves of Shade series. I’ve been on pins and needles as Mila uncovers eerie truth after eerie truth, and while it doesn’t all make sense yet, I know it eventually will… though I’m seriously beginning to wonder if any of what Mila’s uncovered is real, or if she’s just imagining it all, like Calix and Rush keep asserting.
I feel I have a good handle on who, or what, the people of Shade are, but there are so many different directions this series is going that I’m just not sure anymore. On to part 5.
Five Stars for Part 4
Grab part 4 now for just 99 cents: Amazon
Things are starting to get really out of hand in the town of Shade–who to trust and what’s real versus what’s fantasy have me, and Mila, scratching our heads as this roller coaster of a story unfolds. But I’m loving it. What I thought I knew has been thwarted by a few intense events that have happened in this specific installment, and I have to admit that at one point I was so confused that I was afraid to continue… but I know O’Rourke will bring it together for me in the end, because he always does, and when I look back at all the crazy that happened in this installment after I finish the 6th and final portion of this amazing serial, I just know it’s going to come together like a perfect puzzle.
Who are the people of Shade? Where did they come from? What’s with the strange writing in the textbooks and on Calix’s body? Who was this Julia they speak of, and why is there a werewolf stalking Mila–is there a werewolf stalking Mila? Why aren’t the dead in the grave? What of Magic? These are just some of the questions that have arisen for me while I’m reading, and though I know O’Rourke will eventually answer them all for me, the wait is killing me! But the ride makes it so much fun.
I love the characters, the bit of sassy romance, the strange, sensual dreams, and trying to decipher fact versus fiction in order to understand the strangeness of the townsfolk in Shade… it’s just amazing. Part 6 is going to floor me, I just know it.
Five Stars for Part 5
Grab part 5 now for just 99 cents: Amazon
This final installment of the Werewolves of Shade completes the Beautiful Immortals Series One, but it’s not technically the end of the story. It does answer many questions, but also leave readers with a jarring cliffhanger, one that they might have figured out through context clues given in parts 1-6 (I didn’t, though), but I guarantee there are still questions. And since there’s so much more of the story to tell, O’Rourke has thankfully begun work on the next series, Beautiful Immortals Series Two, which is aptly titled Vampires of Maze, again written in serial parts just like Werewolves of Shade. Part one is slated to release on September 8, 2015.
And I can’t wait!
O’Rourke’s Werewolves of Shade has been an amazing ride, and while I did figure out a few of the plot twists, O’Rourke kept them coming, and the revelation at the end nicely tied together a ton of my questions that arose in parts 4 and 5, but as I already said, there is so much more to tell; so much more I need to know.
Overall, the characters in this series are very well written. While some are more of a static character, like Rush, Mila has definitely flourished. She’s been at war within herself over the duration of the serial, and she’s really matured and come into herself. She extremely real, as is Calix, and I’m excited to note that one of the characters from Part 1, Flint, makes another appearance in this portion, which ties together a few loose ties concerning romance while also throwing some wrenches into the entire story. Full of suspense, horror, mystery, and intrigue, this is a series that you simply must read; fall in love with Mila, Rush, Calix, and Flint. Come on, September 8! I need more!
Five Stars for Part 6