Howling Legion (Skinners, Book 2)
by Marcus Pelegrimas
Cover Artist: Larry Rostant
Review by Steve Sawicki
Eos Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061463068
Date: 01 November 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
This is the second book in the Skinners series. The first book introduced us to the universe and to Cole and Paige; Paige being the experienced hunter of evil supernatural things and Cole being the new recruit. The hunters are few and far between and the evil supernatural things--whether they be shapeshifters or vampires or something even more deadly--seem to be growing stronger.
So, now Cole is a skinner, being trained by Paige to be a kick ass monster killer. The Skinners are an ancient secret society of warriors whose job is to keep the evil things in hand. The monsters have primarily been sticking to the wilderness but now it seems they want pizza and dance clubs so they're coming to the city, Chicago to be exact. Cole and Paige have their hands full, not only with the existing beasties but with the new beasties that seem to be popping up here and there without warning. Book two continues the story from book one, expanding the universe and developing the characters further.
The premise behind the Skinners universe is not a new one, neither is the way in which the main characters get thrust together. What makes or breaks any of these series is the ability and the creativity of the writer. While the writing is good I think the basic idea of a mysterious ancient order of beast hunters is done better elsewhere. It's a scale issue. There just can't be that many things going bump in the night without the regular population taking notice. In this case entire towns are destroyed and cities invaded. I mean, granted it is Kansas City that gets invaded so maybe their used to such things, what with the huge influx of cows that go through there, but still.
I liked the book overall I just have some concerns that we may have hit the peak of the whole urban fantasy/supernatural romance sub genre. While I would hope the publishers would do some self-regulating here I'm afraid they'll just continue to forge ahead until they've pretty much driven a stake through its heart. I liked the idea, I liked the writing and I liked the characters. It was the world that troubled me enough to keep tugging me out of the narrative. And I find that really annoying. I'm willing to suspend my belief within reason. I'm willing to go along with the writer so long as they have provided a set of logical connections. I just found that Pelegrimas didn't provide enough of them to keep my sense of wonder flaring.