From time to time--when the need is great, when injustice can no longer be tolerated, when the very heavens cry "Enough!"--a champion is born. Even though she doesn't know it, Bethany Ann is such a champion. Fiercely loyal
to what's right, a defender of the weak and innocent, she is the
Daughter of the Howling Moon.
(Note: this official synopsis does no justice to how absolutely incredible this novel is! Also, how awesome is that cover?)
RH Burkett was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was famous from birth because she and her brother were the first set of boy/girl twins born at the local hospital. She studied drama at the University of Arkansas and joined Rogers Little Theatre acting in many musicals and productions. She married a United States Air Force Sergeant and moved to Salem, Massachusetts, to work for Parker Brothers Games as a sales analyst. From there she moved to Galveston, Texas to work in banking. A hurricane brought her back to Fayetteville.
Burkett is a professional Tarot card reader who discovered her gift for writing when she penned her first novel, Soldiers from the Mist, which broke open the dam for many more novels to follow.
She has won many writing awards, including the Ozarks Writer's League 2010 Book of the Year for Soldiers from the Mist; Storyteller Magazine People's Choice Award; The Clouse Literary Arts Award; and the 2010 Hightower Award.
Find R.H. Burkett
Allow me to start out by saying that this is my very first read from the mind of R.H. Burkett. I have heard about this novel for months via social media, and have always had it on the back burner. I didn't know what to think about this read, and the synopsis really didn't speak to me. What is this? Great question. Who was this written for? Better question. Did I devour the entire thing in an effort to find out? You better believe I did.
Oh man readers, I don't even know how to BEGIN this review. Actually yes I do. WHY ARE YOU READING THIS?! Go buy this book!! Seriously guys. Woah. As any of you guys who follow me know, I read a whole lot. But honestly, what book blogger doesn't? In addition to blogging, I'm also reading for my agency internship, so seriously, book are my life right now.
Over the past two months, I've been on a roller coaster of reads. Everything is staying pretty mellow for me, then every 4-5 books, one knocks it out of the park and raises the stakes. Every so often, a book totally takes me through a cobra rolling-corkscrew twist of events (some roller coaster lingo for you guys there). It isn't often that a book pulls me in for the ride and won't let me off, but guys, let me tell ya. I rode this ride, got off, and got RIGHT back in line. Can you say incredible? Holy hell Batman, in-cred-i-ble!
So, in true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads fashion, allow me to start out with my negative critiques of the novel. Here we go. Well..... it..... Hmm..... Well guys, this part is going to be real short. Guess what? I don't have a SINGLE negative thing to say about this novel. Not a ONE. When was the last time you saw that in one of my reviews?
Rather than critiquing, here's a few "warnings" you may want to be aware of. There are a couple of special topics that some readers will want to be aware of. First, this book does deal with some pretty dark material, primarily rape and murder. It's heartbreaking, but an all too real part of life for lots of people. Burkett does an incredible job of showcasing such delicate topics with grace and maturity, something that isn't easily done in the book world. Also, religion plays a huge role in our story. Not in any kind of pro or anti-God kind of way, I just know that some readers like to know what they are getting themselves into! Like Camille Faye's Voodoo Butterfly, which I reviewed a few months back, this novel also takes place in the Louisiana bayou and is full of voodoo and mysticism. Fair warning, it puts the awesome in awesome-sauce.
Now let's get to raving about this incredible read!
So let's start with the setting. The swamps of the Louisiana bayou. Mysterious, dangerous, eerie? Oh yeah. Maybe it's my love of all things voodoo and paranormal, but I love anything that is set in this area. I just feel like there is a lot of fun to be had, especially during this time period. Burkett never gives a specified data, but one of our main characters fought in World War II, so I am imagining this story takes place in the early 1950s? I could be wrong, but that's what I pictured. A simpler time of RC Cola and enjoying a mild summer breeze on your front porch. Southern culture oozed out of every crevice of this novel and I loved it! Burkett does a whole lot with only a little in this novel. Sure it isn't 300 pages, but I haven't connected this well to a setting or time period in some time. With Burkett and this novel it's all about the quality, not the quantity!
What about those characters? Bethany Ann is going on my list of favorite book heroines, no questions asked. Raised by a loving mother and a father who is the epitome of crazy, Bethany Ann has seen a lot in her short life. When a starting secret about her lineage changes her life forever, Bethany Ann takes ownership and blossoms into an amazing character. Strength, clarity, intelligence, Bethany Ann is everything you want in a protagonist, and more. As for Benjamin, our male MC, WWII vet and current sheriff deputy, I was just as impressed. Male characters written by a female author tend to be pretty boring, in my opinion. It's as though all women authors view men in one way and for one purpose. Not Burkett! Benjamin played just as pivotal a role in our storyline as Bethany Ann, and I thought that in itself was awesome! Our characters develop so much throughout these 200 pages, that is is hard to believe it's the same characters by the end of the novel! As per Jedidiah Wayne? Holy smokes! I seriously think Burkett may have created one of the most evil villains I have
ever had the pleasure of reading. Kudos to you for that Burkett! Seriously, this guy was EVIL.
The plot for this novel was one of my favorite parts about it. After reading that synopsis, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. After reading the back cover, I was even more confused. The best thing I can say about this novel is this: just read it. Don't ask questions. Extremely unique, Burkett has taken an original idea and howled her way into my bookish heart. Daughter of the Howling Moon is the perfect read for paranormal lovers!
Burkett deals with a plethora of themes in this short read, but the one that sticks out to me the most is revenge. Revenge is never an easy topic to think about. We all know it's wrong, but at what point does revenge become necessary to procure justice? Burkett hits home with this theme in the novel as we see multiple characters struggling for the right answers. She definitely keeps you guessing until the very end, and does not disappoint!
Not really related to the novel specifically, but I'd like to make a few comments about Burkett's writing style. This being my Burkett novel, I wasn't sure what to expect. As soon as I opened the novel, I fell in love. Why? Burkett isn't trying to fluff up her writing. Burkett writes it like it is. Straightforward and to the point. Something I have massive amounts of respect for. In this read I was able to escape from the craziness of life for a full 190 pages. I didn't have to decipher her writing or spend extra time analyzing her verbiage and allegories in order to thoroughly enjoy this novel! Especially with a title such as this, I found myself comparing Burkett to the great Charlaine Harris in terms of writing style. They are both extremely fun and gripping with their words, while creating beautiful worlds where the readers can full lose themselves. Huge kudos to Burkett! I know she has gained quite the fan in this reader!
Okay, enough raving. Let's wrap this up. All-in-all, I am granting Daughter of the Howling Moon by R.H. Burkett a well-deserved 5-star review. Seriously ya'll, I loved every second. I don't know if Burkett has considered developing this read into a series, but I can absolutely tell you I will be first in line for a copy, if so. Do yourself a huge favor and get yourself a copy ASAP!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Daughter of the Howling Moon by R.H. Burkett. While this was my first read from Burkett, it most certainly will not be my last! I have a mountain of reads on my TBR right now, but I have added her other works to the stack. I urge any and all paranormal fans out there who are looking for their next favorite read to check this one out! It's exceptional. I have no doubt this will be making an appearance on my favorites lists this year! Maybe if we're lucky, we can get R.H. Burkett to participate in the 2nd Annual Halloween Author Invasion in October? What do you guys think!? Head over to get your copies of this incredible novel now! Also, go give Burkett a virtual high-five via Facebook or Twitter; tell her Ethan sent ya!
**Special thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review**
Until next time, Happy Reading!