Title: Velvet Claw
Author: L.J. Hamlin
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 160 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: I really enjoyed this book despite some issues that it had.
Reviewed By: Jenn
Blurb: Evan Kidd journeys to a small town to solve the mystery of what’s making children sick—but only cat people are allowed in the town without permission, and Evan’s permission is granted on the condition he be constantly escorted by a guard.
Rene is assigned to be Evan’s guard, and he doesn’t like humans, and he especially doesn’t like doctors. But Rene is also lonely, and despite his best efforts, hating Evan is not as easy he’d assumed it would be.
Review: I really enjoyed this book despite some issues that it had. Whilst the prologue was interesting to get background on the world the author had built, I would have loved to have seen this woven further into the main story as most of the modern history was done. That being said, I’m not sure how much thought the author put into her world and how the changes she inserted would have affected the world we live in today.
One particular thing that jumped out at me was that she referred to some members of her Felis species as Caucasian, which would be a sub-type of human, and I would have expected the Felis to have their own sub-types. I was more willing to accept that some of the Felis could be different nationalities, such as describing one as being Shoshone, given that there is a huge cultural element rather than genetic tie, though some nationalities may require that genetic link. It would also be interesting to know how these Felis-only cities developed, given their precarious standing in the national government.
The characters themselves were interesting and well developed and showed you more of their personalities as you read on. I really admired Evan’s mediator attitude, without letting himself be walked on. It fit perfectly with Rene’s brash and standoffish mask. Evan’s patience and understanding with Rene helps to build a strong foundation for the relationship and allow it time to breathe until Rene is ready to potentially leave the Felis-only city to continue it.
In a lot of ways, the primary plot was quite hard to decide, as I felt it should have been the investigation into the children’s mysterious illness; however, given how the novel continued past this, I believe the author made Evan and Rene’s relationship the main plot of the novel with other subplots developing that primary plot. Whilst the author did drop suitable hints earlier on in the book about how the ending was going, I feel they could have been woven in a bit better and a few more scenes added in leading up to the climax.
I look forward to any further novels set in this world, seeing how it develops and takes root.
You can buy Velvet Claw here: