Claire de Lune
Claire de Lune, Christine Johnson’s debut novel, is a good, but not standout, addition to werewolf lit. The simple way that this twist on werewolf lore is presented will make it a quick and satisfying read to ardent werewolf lovers, though it will have a tougher time winning the hearts of others.
In Claire de Lune, Johnson introduces us to a different type of paranormal world, in which only females can be werewolves. It’s not a feminist book, per se, but the dynamic that this sets up allows Claire to grow into a strong and self-reliant girl/werewolf. Here, it’s the girl protecting the boy, not the usual other way around.
Having a girl be the strength in a relationship would be a great story, but the book never fully lives up to its potential. Outside of Claire, I found the characters difficult to get to know, most of them only fitting roles expected to appear in a paranormal romance: the tensions among the werewolf group members, the love interest’s villainous father, the head-butting mother. I never found myself fully immersed in Claire’s family dynamics, with her mother’s Type A “bad parent” personality and their rather inconsequential au pair (who’s more a red herring than a useful character). All of Matthew’s father’s supposedly malevolent machinations and campaign against werewolves remained in the distant background and never fully took on immediacy.
I guess I’m just extra cynical when it comes to paranormal romances nowadays: it’s going to take a lot to make something stand out for me. Claire de Lune never reaches that point, but I have no doubt that it will find its audience as scores of werewolf lovers prowl the shelves for something equally supernatural and romantic after watching Twilight for the twenty-eighth time.