Felix Gomez #5: Werewolf Smackdown

It’s pretty much a cardinal rule of the horror genre that vampires and werewolves never get along. Thus, it was inevitable that Felix Gomex would eventually find himself facing some lupine adversaries. Let’s pit fur against fang with Werewolf Smackdown, by Mario Acevedo.

Synopsis:

A sure-to-be-bloody civil war is brewing between rival werewolf factions, and P.I. Felix Gomex will do anything he can to make sure it doesn’t explode into a vicious battle that engulfs all creatures, living and dead. Between that, the sudden reappearance of an ex-girlfriend, and a gang of other vampires trying to take off his head, this is one rumble even a fanged detective extraordinaire may not be able to handle.

Source: Back of the book (and here’s the Goodreads link)

SPOILERS BELOW

Felix Gomez has stumbled into the center of werewolf war. With two rival alphas gearing up for a conflict that threatens to expose the supernatural world to humans, he finds himself under fire from bot sides – the most dangerous place in any conflict is the middle. The result is a fast-paced, action-packed book that sits near the top of the scale for the Felix Gomez series. No weird alien stuff here; just classic fur-against-fang werewolf/vampire fight scenes.

The book also does nicely in the continuity department, featuring the return of love interest Wendy Teagarden and villain Paxton. Having familiar characters show up again raises the stakes, as it adds a personal investment to a conflict which Felix otherwise wouldn’t have much of a stake in.

Finally, the flow and pacing of the book is much better than the last one. It still has many short chapters, but the placement of the breaks feels much more natural than in the previous book; it doesn’t have that choppy, broken-up feeling.

If the book does have a flaw, it’s in villains. The werewolf alphas never really rise to pose the appropriate level of threat: the characters keep talking them up, but they never actually come off as all that tough, and the resolution comes off as pretty anticlimactic. Paxton, while getting points for being a returning nemesis, is revealed to be so badly disabled from their last encounter that he basically lacks the ability to fight Felix at all anymore; he too is dispatched with hardly any difficulty at all. As the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew put it in Space Mutiny: “And our hero boldly roasts the disabled guy!”

So, yeah, overall, this one was pretty decent. It even had a non-cringeworthy title for a change. Maybe this trend can continue into the next and final installment of the series. Let’s see… Rescue From Planet Pleasure. Sigh. Oh, I have a bad feeling about this…

Final Rating: 3/5

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