Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Tempting Danger" by Eileen Wilks


Lily Yu is a San Diego police detective investigating a series of grisly murders that appear to be the work of a werewolf. To hunt down the killer, she must infiltrate the clans. Only one man can help her--a were named Rule Turner, a prince of the lupi, whose charismatic presence disturbs Lily. Rule has his own reasons for helping the investigation--reasons he doesn't want to share with Lily. Logic and honor demand she keep her distance, but the attraction between them is immediate and devastating-and beyond human reason. Now, in a race to fend off evil, Lily finds herself in uncharted territory, tested as never before, and at her back a man who she's not sure she can trust

This book is noteworthy on so many levels. It is layered, complex, smart and well-written.

Things I like about the Story

1. The main character is an Asian American female, detective on the San Diego Police Department.  I'm Asian American, female, from San Diego with lots of friends on the police department. I found Lily easy to relate to.

2. We get a glimpse into some of the obstacles of being a female law enforcement officer, especially being petite and Asian.  

3.  The story makes me think about places where it is difficult to imagine.  As the lupi are being revealed and equality is being debated, prejudice and discrimination rear its ugly head again.  Could there be a time and place where we may be ready and willing to mandate registration and then forceably  require "the other" (in this case to lupi) to take shots in order to prevent the Change, effectively preventing the lupi from being in their nature, who they really are?  We are not that far from history when our government engaged in eugenics and had forced sterilization programs. 

Things I like about the Storytelling Telling
1. I like how Eileen Wilks lays out Lily's thinking, how she connects the dots in a manner  much like a detective would.  I also like how she connects the analogy to gardening: 

"Planning a bed was fun.  Planting was satisfying, and watching the garden come to life filled her in a way nothing else did.  But sometimes she just needed to dig and pull, dig and pull."

2. The first interaction between Lily and Rule is sassy.  These two are unexpected.  She lives a controlled, ordered life out of the spotlight.  He is the gregarious "prince" of the Lupi.  The are brought together as the Chosen, where their bodies are farther ahead than their actual relationship.  They may sleep together, but it is undecided as to whether they like each other.

3.  There are some pretty great lines including:  
"You are as close to perfection as it's possible to get without boredom."

And my absolute favorite,  in response to Rule's breath-taking, speedy driving: 

"Lily cursed under her breath. He glanced at her, and pleasure fled. "I'll slow down. You're pale." "I turn Caucasian at ninety miles an hour and up. Pay no attention."

Why I like the Characters:

1. Ms. Wilks strikes the right note when playing off of Lily's Chinese heritage.  Her characterization is not stereotypical, is not a caricature, and is not gimmicky.  Lily's Chinese American background is relevant, but is not exploited.  I don't often find authors who have the right balance; it is difficult to do.  This one is much appreciated. 

2.  Grandmother is a Padres fan. If you grew up in San Diego, you understand the agony and ecstasy of being a loyal Padres fan. Enough said.

IN A NUTSHELL:  I love this world and its characters.  I cannot wait to read the next book.

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