PJV Quickie: I’m always up for a sexy paranormal romance novel with a hot werewolf, which was why I jumped at the chance to read Apocalyptic Moon. For the most part it just ended up making me feel a little underwhelmed and disappointed.
Author: Eva Gordon
Type: Paranormal Romance
Published: January 24, 2013 by The Wild Rose Press
Goodreads Purchase Author
Dr. Dora Adler’s life has been in disarray since the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, but when she gets bitten by one of the undead, her whole world is turned upside down. Held captive in a secret underground lab, the tall, muscular hunk in the next cell is her only hope for salvation. Unfortunately, he claims to be a werewolf. Yeah, and she’s supposedly a witch.
Dirk Gunderson is an alpha Arbor pack werewolf. Captured and collared, he’s sold to the zombie lab in hopes his blood serum can create a vaccine. He needs to escape, but not without the hot little brunette witch.
In the midst of enemy werewolves and the hordes of undead, Dirk and Dora’s sexual tension ignites a blaze hotter than the desert highway. Along their journey, they battle the inevitable: a werewolf must never take a witch as a mate. (synopsis courtesy of GoodReads)
I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters in this book, partly due to the fact that I found myself not connecting with them at all. They just seemed too generic and not developed enough to remember after I was done reading. I didn’t anticipate how much their names would bug me. I imagine it’s hard for an author to pick just the right moniker for a main character, but the ones chosen for this book elicited some pretty funny images for me. There’s Dr. Dora Adler, which of course made me think of a certain cartoon girl who teaches kids Spanish, and Dirk Gunderson, who sounds like he stepped out of an 80s soap opera. I’m not done with Dirk though; he also has red hair, a fact that Dora fawns over often. There are two things when it comes to a man’s hair that turn me off, and they are red color and curliness. Now, before everyone jumps down my throat, keep in mind: this is my personal preference. I decided to Google “men with red hair” just to get a visual for what Dirk might look like with his rippling muscles and nope, wasn’t attracted to any of them. The best likeness I could come up with was Sheamus, a wrestler for the WWE, which didn’t help me like Dirk any better. Another problem I had with the characters was that the entire middle of the book was full of the same thoughts over and over again. For Dirk, it was a loop of him having feelings for Dora and thinking how hot she was, reminding himself they couldn’t be together because she’s not a werewolf, then thinking about how much he wanted to have sex with her, followed by him resigning to the fact that again, they couldn’t be together. Return to beginning of loop and repeat. With Dora it was more of a loop about how hot Dirk was, but she didn’t want to settle down, yet maybe they could just have sex, but she needed to focus on finding her brother and niece. Again, return to beginning of loop and repeat. Also, Dirk had an annoying habit of calling Dora “babe” a lot. That can be cute every once in a while, but it was on almost every page, sometimes several times on the same page. I’m not just picking on Dirk, it annoys me in other series too; a good example is Ranger in the Stephanie Plum series (sometimes “babe” was the only word he uttered to her). Plus, Dora had her own annoying repeated phrase that she gleaned from Star Trek, in which she said, “Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor not a ______.” Again, it was clever the first time, but ultimately overused.
The romance between Dirk and Dora wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed it best when he wasn’t obsessing about his erection and she wasn’t obsessing about how ridiculously attractive he was (yeah, we get it). He was very protective of her, which was sweet and, while in the beginning he had plans to take her straight to his pack, he understood her need to rescue her brother and niece before getting to safety herself. I thought the sex scene was fairly hot, and the lead up to it amped up the anticipation. Which also means that, although their inner monologues were full of thoughts about jumping into bed together, at least they didn’t act on it right away. That might have something to do with the fact that zombies were chasing them most of the time though. The one thing that did irritate me is how Dirk was always yelling “mine” in regards to Dora. I get it, the whole werewolf bond is very strong and he’s super protective of her. Really it just made me think of a caveman dragging his woman back to his place for sexy times, or possibly the seagulls from Finding Nemo, since he said it quite often.
I thought the werewolf and witch elements were pretty vanilla and didn’t stray far from the normal stereotypes you see. The witches even rode brooms (or in this case, a shovel and a hobby horse). I didn’t particularly like the rhymes that Dora had to say each time she wanted to use her witch powers; they were extremely corny and made me facepalm a few times. The zombies were an interesting addition and added a bit of suspense to the mix, which was a welcome distraction from some of the other things that didn’t work so well for me.
I enjoyed the action and suspense toward the end of the novel. I don’t want to give much away, but Dirk and Dora find themselves in a predicament with a different group of werewolves, the Benandanti. They are basically the werewolf equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church, in that they are both groups of intolerant bozos who think they can do whatever they want. Dora was the one who really shined in this encounter, because she doesn’t just sit around and wait for Dirk to act. She takes control of the situation and shows that she truly is a heroine.
I wanted to love Apocalyptic Moon and it certainly had a lot of potential; for me, personally, it fell flat overall. My main problem was with the characters. I just couldn’t connect with them enough, and they were more apt to annoy me than to elicit any other, more positive response. What saved the overall grade from being lower was the ending, which just goes to show that a good strong finish can certainly help wipe a bad taste out of your mouth.
Paranormal romance fans will probably enjoy this one, as long as they aren’t opposed to having zombies thrown in the mix and don’t mind main characters who fall for each other rather fast.