Author: Cathy Clamp
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Luna Lake #1
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publication: August 18, 2015 by Tor Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.
Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians.
There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.
Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.
When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly—but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.
I haven’t read the original Sazi series by Clamp, and while Forbidden is somewhat a continuation of the series, it focuses on new characters, location, and overall plot making it easy for new readers to join and follow along. Clamp did a great job explaining the history of how the Wolven agents formed and how the hierarchy of the Sazi Council works. Sazi is a term used to describe shifters, and Luna Lake, is full of all sorts of Sazi living together from owls, wolves, cats, bear etc. And that’s exactly what makes Luna Lake different from all other Sazi communities. Most Communities comprise of one type of Sazi, since most Sazi are known not to get along with another species. But it isn’t the only reason why Luna Lake is different. The town’s Major enforces strict and harsh rules that make it difficult for newcomers to adjust to. Our heroine, Claire (a.k.a Clarissa) is sent there to investigate a string of missing children and is in for a rude awakening when she is made the town’s omega.
I’ve read some of Clamp’s other work but in my opinion they weren’t as good as Forbidden. I really like the Sazi World, and the foundation, world building and characters seemed more well-rounded and better developed. I also like the two leads. Claire and Alex are strong, independent, compassionate and kind characters, which made them both likeable. I’ve seen some people write, why is it so importable to have likeable character? Well, for me it’s a must. If I don’t like them, then I wouldn’t care for them. And if a reader didn’t like or care about the characters, then why read it in the first place…right? But back to the point, Claire and Alex make a good team. They never got carried away from the most important task at hand, which is to find the missing kids. The supporting cast was just as great from Dani to the former omegas Rachel and Scott. I wouldn’t mind getting a Rachel or Scot story, I would definitely be interested in them.
Overall, Forbidden was a great, solid reintroduction (or introduction for newbies) to the Sazis. I highly recommend this new urban fantasy series to those looking for great characters and an engaging plot/story. I look forward to reading more of the Sazi/Luna Lake world…it’s certainly something worth checking out!