ARC Review: Nocturne by Christine Johnson

Posted August 13, 2011 by Carmel in / 3 Comments

Title: Nocturne
Series: Claire de Lune #2
Author: Christine Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: August 23rd, 2011
My Copy: Galley Grab

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Claire couldn’t be happier that her life has finally settled down. She’s been fully initiated into her family’s pack of female werewolves, her best friend Emily is back in town, and she’s finally allowed to be with Matthew, the human love of her life. But when a new girl arrives, everything starts to unravel. Not only is the intruder getting close to Claire’s best friend and boyfriend, but she may also know more about Claire than she’s letting on. If Claire’s secret gets out it breaks all the rules of the pack, and the consequences may be more than Claire can handle….

The first book in the Claire de Lune series was just okay but unfortunately, as far as the second installment is concerned, it didn’t even achieve that much. The saving point of book one was the action which Nocturne severely lacks. Also, Claire transforms from being a lovable character to being down right annoying. Basically, this novel is similar to its predecessor minus all of the elements that made Claire de Lune a passable read.

The plot line was monotonous and nothing really significant happens until the end. It seemed to me that this book revolved mainly around Claire learning to use her werewolf fire lighting skills. She spins this minute task into a massive, insurmountable undertaking that was just insulting in its ridiculousness. This young wolf is worried about the repercussions she will face if she fails which are laughable in my opinion. In her position, I would have been like screw it, do what you have to do. Claire’s supposedly struggling to find a balance between her human and werewolf selves but is failing miserably. She lets all of her human life fall to the sidelines and focuses on her furry side. I found it hard to believe that a sixteen year old girl would value a pack of old ladies’ (whom she just met) opinions more so than her BFF’s and boyfriend’s. Where’s the teenage rebellion!? When I was her age, my mother didn’t ask of me anything close to what Marie asks and I still never hesitated to give her a piece of my mind and do my own thing regardless of how she felt. I wasn’t a bad kid either. Claire’s actions are just so far from believable that I had a hard time finishing this book.

The ending just added insult to injury. After 300 pages of nothingness the last 50 pages or so throw in a twist that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the story that came before it. It was as though the author realized that there wasn’t enough action in the book so she threw something together at the end to try and make up for that lack. Claire makes the exact same mistake that she made when faced with her fire lighting dilemma. She blows a little snippet of information way out of proportions, gets the whole pack involved before verifying the facts and almost ends up making the biggest mistake of her life. I would have liked the book better if it’d maintained it’s uneventful pace until the end. At least it would have been consistent!

I hate writing negative reviews, especially when werewolf books are concerned but I’m unable to find a single thing that I liked about Nocturne. Claire de Lune was a passable read but this!? I dislike giving up on a series after only two books but unless drastic changes are made in the next installment, I’m going to have to pass.

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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3 responses to “ARC Review: Nocturne by Christine Johnson

  1. BJ

    Interesting point about the protagonist not seeming enough like a “real” teenager. As an adult reader of YA, I’ve realized that’s a difficult balance to find – if a character is too immature, I can’t stand it…but if they’re too mature, it doesn’t feel real, and I lose interest.

    Good review! Won’t be bumping this series to the top of my reading list…but might still check the library for it.

  2. DJL

    After reading your review for Claire de Lune and now Nocturne, I have to say I’m glad I was hesitant about these books. The first one didn’t really appeal to the werewolf-lit lover in me, and I hadn’t really seen much acclaim for it. So I shall keep it off my TBR list for werewolf-lit. Thank you for your honest critique, Carmel. 🙂


  3. @BJ @ Dark Side of the Covers – It’s definitely challenging to write a YA novel from a teen’s POV when the author’s an adult. Unfortunately for the Claire de Lune series, it doesn’t seem like Johnson’s cup of tea. Thanks for stopping by!

    @DJL – I’ve been hesitant to read this series as well. I should have listened to my gut! But how could I turn down a werewolf series?? I’m glad that only one of us had to waste out time on this one! 😛