Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Moonlight Bleu" by Renee Rearden - Review

"Moonlight Bleu"
By: Renee Rearden
Crescent Moon Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 978-0982306567 (Print)
Length: Novel
Publication Date: August 29, 2010

Saari Mitchell sees a psychologist in order to understand why-500 years later-she's still dreaming of her dead lover. Her shrink isn't helping, the nightmares come every time she closes her eyes, and the lack of sleep is interfering with her job at Sacred Heart Hospital. With her psychic ability to heal the human spirit on the fritz, her auric radar becomes as reliable as her spotty cell phone service.

By day, Dhelis Guidry works as a detective for the new Angeles Police Department investigating the missing or murdered women in the Full-Moon Killer case. In his spare time he hunts rogue vampires as a Tueri executioner.

Brogan Vincent is a Tueri healer. Though he could offer his miraculous talents to the rich and powerful, he has chosen anonymity and peace by only using his psychic abilities among the Tueri.

One look into Saari's tri-colored eyes and both men realize she is Tueri. One touch tells them each she's their soul mate. But can either of them protect her from the Full-Moon Killer?


My Thoughts

In perusing Ms. Rearden's website, it appears "Moonlight Bleu", is her first publication and IMHO it was an ambitious undertaking. While published as a paranormal romance, for me it read more as an urban fantasy/psychological thriller. Ms. Rearden demonstrates talent and imagination in crafting a future that not only hosts vampires and werewolves, but a species called lunates that shapeshift into a type of big foot creature at the time of the rare blue moon. Adding to the preternatural brew are beings called Tueri who possess various powerful psychic abilities.

The month and year is May 2023, at various times of the day, which we are reminded of because it is noted at the beginning of many, but not all of the chapters. The story is set in New Angeles, which is situated on the Nevada coastline because of a devastating earthquake which occurred in 2012. California was lost due to the quake and as I understood it, what was left of the populace settled in Nevada.

As the synopsis indicates, the heroine, Saari Mitchell is 500 years old and has a recurring dream about the night her first and only love Miko, was murdered in front of her eyes and she was cursed with immortality. She has only shared the secret of her immortality with a few close friends as she is fearful of what would happen should the information come into the wrong hands. Saari therefore consults a psychologist regarding the dreams, however they intensify as a result of the treatment. It was difficult to understand why she went to see the psychologist in the first place given the dreams were directly related to her secret and I was scratching my head further when her problem increased as a result of seeing this guy. Why keep seeing him? One would think after living that long she would be fairly insightful with respect to people, especially given she works as an Emergency Room nurse using her own innate psychic ability to heal.

Saari gets into a lot of scrapes and when she receives a seeming mortal wound from a rabid vampire she meets Tueri Vampire executioner and police officer Dhelis Guidry, and Tueri healer Brogan Vincent. Both these characters have unique psychic talents and Dhelis in particular is what is called a Stone Rider which allows him to travel invisibly at rapid speeds. Tueries have a specific mate with whom they share a physiological and psychic connection. It turns out that Saari is an unknown Tueri and she and the men soon learn that they destined to be mated. There are no love scenes in this story. There are scenes where a psychic connection and bond takes place between Saari, Dhelis and Brogan but these are not sexual.

The antagonist written for this story is a sociopathic murderer and a good deal of page time is spent discussing and seeing from his warped POV. Now I'm not saying this is bad because the story does have a suspenseful, thrilling sub-plot due to the mechanizations of this maniac. He is made even more dangerous due to the fact he isn't human and has preternatural strength and abilities. However, I have to admit it would have been nice to have seen more attention given to relationship development between the heroine and heroes of the story.

While I didn't dislike "Moonlight Bleu" or find it boring there were issues, aside from the one I mentioned above. Mainly I think it was the setting. I just couldn't buy that in a world where technology advances with light speed that folks would still be chatting on cell phones with poor reception and driving Ford Explorers. Especially after the kind of catastrophe described at the beginning of the book. I felt like the story took place in present day and there was really no lasting evidence or change after the earthquake of the magnitude described.

There is a lot going on in Moonlight Bleu and I wondered how Ms. Rearden was going to pull it all together at the end. She did, for the most part do so. According to her website Ms. Rearden is working on a sequel to this story and it will be interesting to see what happens with Saari, Dhelis and Brogan next.

My Rating: 3/5 stars


Chris said...

Nice review, Lea. I don't think this one's for me...

Lea said...

Thanks Chris!

Mary G said...

I enjoyed your review Lea. As usual
you spark my interest in a genre I don't normally read. I have to admire an author who has to world-build to tell a story. It adds an extra dinension to the work.

Anonymous said...

This story sounds like it might have faired better if the author pulled back some and honed the basics with more believability for the reader.
I think you did a great honest and insightful job reviewing it Lea!



Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

The premise of the story sounds great, but I had no idea it was set so far into the future... I thought it was a present day urban fantasy, but I've read quite a book recently where for some reason paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres seem to be interchangeable. I don't understand this reasoning, and this definitely sounds like UF, especially if there wasn't any true romantic encounters between the heroes and heroine.

Were there expressions of love?? It might have been interesting to see a menage or a choice between heroes.

When there's a lot going on, it's hard to the reader to assimilate so much information. I do love urban fantasy, so I'll have to think about this one. There appears to be some obvious issues with the book, but maybe some can be worked out in future books?

Thanks for another great honest review!

Dottie :)

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