Review: Night of the Wolves by Shannon Drake

First things first – Night of the Wolves sounds like it should be a werewolf book but it is in fact a vampire hunting book. In its defense, the series is literally called “Vampire Hunters” but if you’re going to present yourself as a paranormal romance and put wolf in the title there are going to be hopes raised. Ok, now that’s out of the way.

This is a hybrid of books I rarely read: paranormal romance and western times romance. This is actually perhaps my first western romance book (though I don’t feel I’ll have had a good intro to the subgenre til I get a purely western romance under my belt) so there were a lot of things to complicate this reading for me. But let’s start with a synopsis.

Alexandra Gordon, the heroine, has visions that lead her back to her father’s home in Victory, Texas to hunt for his murderer. There she meets mysterious and sexy lawman Cody Fox, a veteran of the Civil War. Vampires attack, all is not what it seems, yadda yadda you get where this is going.

Folks, this book has Problems. First of all, the Native American characters are staggeringly stereotypical complete with feathers. I got real Tigerlily a la Peter Pan vibes from their portrayal in the book and it was squicky. Also the black caretaker of Alexandra’s place gives off a real “Mammy” archetype vibe in how she is written which was rough. Also rough is the discussion of the Civil War talking about how it was the most heinous thing ever and no one should ever get beyond their disagreements to that extent.

You know what’s worse than the Civil War?

Slavery.

No punchline, just facts.

I wasn’t invested in the romance but part of that was because I kept getting distracted looking for werewolves and wincing over the more problematic aspects of the book. Also it was published in 2009 so for those who may be believers in defending a book with Product of Its Time (I am not one of them – a post for another day), this book doesn’t get that pass either.

I kind of appreciated that vampires were (mostly) villains in the book because while I was an enthusiastic participant in the mid to late 00’s vampire craze, Dracula is one of my favorite books and I sometimes miss vampires being bad guys instead of just sexy sad people. In the end, I could have gone without reading this book and don’t intend to continue the series. It did make me want to read an example of a good western romance and a good paranormal romance, either combined or in separate genres, so if anyone has good recommendations please let me know!