Source: Kenya Wright – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Dragonfairy Press
Series: The Habitat #1
Edition: Paperback, 276 Pages
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
I want to thank Kenya Wright for providing me with this book in an exchange for an honest review.
When Kenya emailed me her request and I looked at her chapter sample, I just knew I had to read it. The opening chapter was definitely one that pulled me in and put me straight into the action. It immediately painted a picture of an unforgiving world in which the supernatural beings are forced to live inside what is known as the Habitat, which is basically a walled off area isolated from humans.
Before I go any farther let me say this: This is not a young adult novel. It can be a bit graphic at times, both sexually and in violence. It’s not over the top but it’s unforgiving in it’s nature and I don’t want to mislead those who don’t like either aspect into thinking it’s a light read in that sense.
Now back to the review. I think the really only had one issue and that was the background story. The only real background you get on the Habitat is in the summary on the back of the book. I just wish that some of it had been explained in the actual story. Other than that I really enjoyed reading this. The idea is a fairly original one and I loved the uniqueness of the Habitat and the brands that the species are forced to wear to classify them. I also enjoyed the grittiness of the world Wright created, it’s far from perfect and she puts a lot of detail into showing the forced segregation will do to a society. The fact that it’s not only the humans who are separating themselves but also the Pureblood supernaturals is also a good take, and adds a good amount of tension to the story. Having a bunch of supernatural creatures in one inclosed area is something that spells trouble, and that’s exactly what you get. The violence and grit I mentioned comes as a simple fact of their existences with in the walls as they have completely different natures than humans. The gore isn’t focused on in a way that is going to put you into a horror frame of mind and it isn’t harped on. The cultures that Wright worked into this are also richly detailed and really interesting, I loved the different dialects and the fantastic inclusion of the Santeria religion. As I’ve said before I’m not a religious person, but I do enjoy reading about the different belief systems in the world and Santeria is not one that I’ve come across that often in fiction. The murder mystery aspect is also fantastic and truly the driving force in the plot, unlike the many other paranormal books that give you a murder and then work away from it. I can also proudly say that I never guessed who the actual killer was and I ended up suspecting just about everyone, there were times where I would yell at the main character for telling people the situation because it could be anyone.
Speaking of the main character, Lanore is a fantastic one. She’s sassy and tough, and a pyromancer. There were times when her need for independence kind of made me cringe but for the most part I enjoyed that about her. Then there is MeShack, who is a Were-cheetah with a bit of a protective streak. I think other than Lanore he is probably my favorite character, and not just because he shifts into my favorite animal. Normally a guy with that much of a possession problem would irritate me, but when their background is explained it all makes perfect sense and I sympathized with him. Lastly there is Zulu, who is as mysterious as they come until around half way through the book. He has a very unique power and is nearly as possessive as MeShack. Putting these three together you end up with a fairly interesting love triangle, and despite my usual misgivings of the dreaded triangle I actually enjoyed this one.
One of my favorite things about this book is the detail and thought that went into each species and power. There is a variety of supernatural creatures running around and each species with it’s own little quirks, that you end up with a world that’s easy to picture and easy to fall into.
Overall this turned out to be a wonderful and quick read, and I look forward to the next in the series. I’m simply itching to know what is going to happen with Lanore and how Angel is going to fit into all of it.