Seven Kinds of Hell (Fangborn series)
by Dana Cameron
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Gayle Surrette
47North Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781611097955
Date: 12 March 2013 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Zoe Miller loves the past -- the older the better. This love led her into archaeology, a field in which she feels at home. Some of her delight in history, artifacts, and the stories they tell is probably because she doesn't have any roots. She and her mother have been on the run from her father's family as long as she can remember. With her mother's death she feels adrift and maybe will now have a chance to settle somewhere, but first she has to find the papers her mother left with her grandmother and a friend.
Seems a simple premise, as Cameron slowly builds up Zoe's background. Her mother had been in an institution and escaped, met her father, and had Zoe. Seems that perhaps all the running might just be paranoia on her mother's part. Or at least that's what she thought until she has a run in with people who could only be from her father's family. Then her cousin gets kidnapped and they threaten to kill him unless Zoe gets the artifact they want from a collector.
And we're off -- at a breakneck pace with barely an opportunity to sift through the information to figure out who is chasing Zoe, how many different groups are after her, and are any of them 'good' guys? Even Zoe doesn't know what's going on because a lot of what is going on seems to be related to what she's always thought of as her psychotic episodes, but they may be real and the stuff of legends themselves. Zoe may be a werewolf.
Cameron does a wonderful job of having Zoe approach this new information about her heritage and bring her convincingly through the stages of anger, denial, and acceptance. Would you believe? Really, think about it -- in spite of wanting to think there are werewolves and vampires and other things out there, do any of us really -- deep down -- believe it's real? So, Zoe is faced with trying to grasp that what she'd always thought was delusional is in fact real, and it's not sitting that easy to adjust to this new reality.
Also, Cameron has changed the canon of werewolves and vampires. You may think you know what skills and talents these groups have but she's done some major tweaking of the identifying characteristics. Luckily, these new rules are consistent throughout the book and, hopefully, the rest of the series, but you won't be able to guess what will happen until you get used to this new interpretation of the supernatural groups.
Just dive in to the story and enjoy.