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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent
Progress: 186/310 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Judith Newman
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

Moonlight's Silver by Rayne Auster

Moonlight's Silver - Rayne Auster

I bought this a while ago, primarily because of its cover art. This cover art, by the way, has very little to do with the actual story. The character on the cover looks like he's probably a grouchy, broody fighter. Ankerite has his wolfie ears, but that's about where the similarities stop. Ankerite's first response to trouble isn't to fight, because he knows he can't possibly win against a true werewolf, but rather to run or hide. I'm pretty sure Ankerite doesn't even have the character on the cover's facial scar.

In my review for Mary Calmes' Change of Heart, I wrote “On the one hand, I consider this book to be really flawed in a lot of ways. On the other hand, Calmes hit on enough of my favorite romance tropes that I was willing to put up with the flaws.” That's pretty much how I feel about this story, too. I've read it maybe three times now. The first time around, I didn't really notice its flaws because I was blinded by the parts of it that appealed to me. The flaws became more obvious after I reread the story. I still enjoyed it, but I'd hesitate to recommend it to other people.

I love reading about romance between an outcast character and a more powerful/popular/accepted character who doesn't care about the outcast character's status. Moonlight's Silver definitely pushed the right buttons with me in that respect. His whole life, Ankerite was considered a freak, unable to shift fully into one form or another. Linden stood up for him and protected him right from the get-go, without even knowing anything about him or why he was running from Cole. He immediately took issue with Cole referring to Ankerite as “it” rather than “he,” and he didn't like it when one of his pack members got a little too familiar with Ankerite. I loved that.

Like I said, though, this story definitely has flaws. One of them is that there's not much there – this story felt more like a lead-in to a longer work than a complete and self-contained short story. By the end, readers know very little about any of the characters, except for maybe Ankerite. And the information we're given about Ankerite just brings up more questions. How long has he been on his own? Did anyone in his family ever try to look for him? What about Sam, his bodyguard? Did Sam only take care of him because he was paid to, or did he genuinely like Ankerite? What was Ankerite's life like when he wasn't running from werewolves? Was he friends with any of this coworkers at the bookstore he worked at, or did he just hide at home whenever he wasn't working? None of these questions are answered, and, as far as I can tell, Auster has no other stories, novellas, or books set in this world that could help fill in the blanks.

The world-building, what there was of it, wasn't very good. There were werewolves, they had territories that didn't necessarily encompass whole cities, and half-werewolf children couldn't fully shift into either human or wolf form and were generally looked down upon by other werewolves.  Linden's pack seemed to be some kind of more-accepting offshoot. That's pretty much it. I couldn't even really say how homosexuality was viewed among the werewolves in this world, because, on the one hand, it seemed to be accepted without comment (Ron and Darren were more amused by Linden's protectiveness of Ankerite than anything) and, on the other hand, there was this thought Ankerite had when Linden kissed him:

“This was wrong but, at the same time, oh so right. Ankerite knew logically that they shouldn’t be doing this, but he no longer cared.” (21)

Was he thinking this because they were both guys? Because he was a half-werewolf and Linden was a full werewolf? I have no idea. Even during my first and most generous read, those two sentences confused me. This wasn't the only thing in the story that didn't quite make sense - how many modern-day people would be "crying for a stake" (17) after seeing Ankerite's ears? More likely, they'd initially think he was a cosplayer of something.

After my first read, I decided I enjoyed this story enough that I wanted to try one of Auster's longer works, so I bought Gatekeeper. Unfortunately, the flaws I was able to ignore in a shorter work like Moonlight's Silver became unbearable in Gatekeeper, and I have yet to finish that one.


(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)