Review: Silver Kiss by Naomi Clark

Good literature makes you breathe the air of another world, feel all the pleasure and pain of another being, and stirs the heart. Naomi Clark’s Silver Kiss is such a novel.

Ayla Hammond had left her werewolf pack after the brutal death of her cousin, Adam. She has returned home to be with her family and is trying to become a community resource officer. In the meantime, she pays the bills by working as a cashier at a tattoo parlor called Inked. Shannon Ryan, her girlfriend, is establishing her PI business in their new hometown. When Shannon takes on a missing person case, it leads to a mystery involving drugs, Klan-like prejudice by a group called Alpha Humans, and pack politics.

The case involves Tina Brady, an outcast wolf. Her daughter, Molly, has vanished and investigation seems to tie her disappearance to a new drug targeted at werewolves called Silver Kiss. Ayla’s pack connections will prove necessary to unraveling Molly’s whereabouts.

The horror genre offers authors the chance to not only spin an engaging story, but also to highlight ugly social truths that need addressed. At its best, a well-told horror story makes people to see the world in a new way. Clark realizes this power. She uses it to spotlight prejudice and the struggle for GLBT equality that continues today.

With its gay sensibility, Silver Kiss is a breath of fresh air. It is a pleasure to see the three-dimensional characters, the intimacy, and the loving relationships portrayed. Gay and lesbian readers will surely be able to relate to elements of Ayla’s story, such as her parent’s dismissal of her sexuality as “a phase.”

As a couple, Ayla and Shannon face genuine issues. Shannon deals with the frustrations of not having the business contacts, friends, and allies of their previous home. Ayla feels guilty about moving Shannon in order to be by her pack.

The reader is sucked in by the emotional reality Clark weaves. You care about these characters. You laugh with them, feel frustrated with them, and find yourself immersed in the experience of being a werewolf.

Clark did an excellent conveying of the wolf experience through her sensory descriptions. You feel the rush as the wolves catch the scent of blood on the air. You feel pleasure of the wind, the sense of freedom, as wolves run through the night. You feel the sense of home and protection that comes with being part of the pack.

Clark has a captivating, conversational style to her writing. She is gifted with the ability to write very realistic dialogue and unique imagery. Excellent pacing keeps the reader, turning page after page. Bottom line — Silver Kiss is an engaging read that leaves the reader wanting more.