cover image Forbidden


Cathy Clamp. Tor, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7720-3

Clamp returns to the world of the Sazi with this faltering ninth installment, her first without longtime coauthor C.T. Adams. In 2010’s Serpent Moon, a combination of war and plague devastated Earth’s various shape-shifting races and forced them to rethink their concept of community. Ten years later, wolven agent Claire Evans goes undercover in the tiny U.S. town of Luna Lake to investigate odd goings-on and missing children. Soon she learns firsthand just how despotic the local leaders can be. Her unlikely ally is Alek Siska, a wolf who accidentally lands her in trouble on her first day; forced to work together to appease the tyrannical powers that be, they’re drawn further into the mysteries of Luna Lake. Naturally, they discover a strong mutual attraction, but they have little time to properly explore it, as long as danger hides in the shadows. While the characters have adequate chemistry, the romance isn’t entirely convincing, and the conclusion of the story is chaotic and muddled, with the resolution coming as something of an anticlimax. Series fans will hold out hope for Clamp to discover her solo voice and continue building this intriguing world. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Aug.)