Sunday, May 6, 2007

Captive Moon

Hidden among us, with their own laws and leadership, are the Sazi, shapeshifters who take animal forms during the nights surrounding the full moon. Frenchman Antoine Monier, an entertainer whose act includes big cats, is the leader of the Sazi werecats. While in Germany for a performance, one of Antoine's tigers is stolen and slaughtered. At the crime scene, Antoine's superior sense of smell determines that not only is one of the many dead cats his own, but that the police have another cat in custody -- a female shifter, one of his own people.
At the station, Antoine is able to free the shifter, Tahira Kuric, an American woman of Turkish descent. Tahira is not Sazi, but of the Hayalet Kabile, who hold the Sazi to be their enemies. She and her brother were kidnapped by unknown assailants, who nevertheless knew they were shifters. Tahira must decide whether or not to trust Antoine -- to whm she is immediately attracted -- to help her find her brother.
And in the background, a greater power lurks, one which wants Tahira for her magical ability, one which will not let Antoine stop him from having her.
Captive Moon is many things rolled into one: adventure, urban fantasy, romance. It is published as a Tor Romance, so the reader knows right away that there's going to be a certain amount of longing glances, heavy breathing and a need for cold showers. But there's also the adventure story (Who kidnapped Tahira and her brother and why? Who is still trying to get to Tahira?) and the urban fantasy aspect of the Sazi's world, hidden right in plain sight within our own.
While this could be an uneasy mixture, Adams and Clamp have blended it all deftly. I do have minor quibbles: some of the French grammar was consistently incorrect (at least it was consistent) and a minor throwaway line contained a major historical inaccuracy. With a story of this type, even the tiniest details should be right if they're not to break the illusion that the authors are casting.
But even though the illusion is slightly flawed, the magic still works, bringing us to an ultimately satisfying ending.

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