NATURAL EVIL by Thea Harrison
NATURAL EVIL is the latest ebook release in Thea Harrison’s Elder Race series. Like True Colors, Natural Evil departs from Thea’s Elder Race- Wyr storylines to focus on Luis, a 27 year old shapeshifter and Claudia a 40 year old woman with some telekinetic powers. Although Thea never does reveal the source of the heroine’s powers, it appears that she may have some psychic ability as well.
Claudia is a retired major in the Specials Forces, on her way to Vegas. Although she really had no destination in mind, driving along she finds a rather larger animal wounded and dying along the highway. With her telekinetic powers, Claudia lifts the injured animal into her car and drives forward, in search of help. But the help that is offered is not what she had expected. It becomes rather obvious, that more than one person is looking for the ‘wounded animal’ and the local law enforcement is more than willing to euthanize the animal ASAP. Claudia is soon suspicious about the real intent of the Nevada sheriff. And there are others who are not willing to relinquish the controls on the investigation surrounding the tortured animal. There are secrets among some of the more prestigious families, and the ‘dog’ is somehow connected.
Luis is a shapeshifter, who was sent by the Wyr to investigate the rumors of missing people and the Power of the silver being mined. But a miscalculation by Luis results in his capture, drugging and inability to shift back to human. Tortured and left for dead, Luis is rescued by Claudia and nursed by to health by a friendly retired veterinarian. Seeing intelligence in the animal’s eyes, Claudia and the Doc soon recognize the animal as a member of the ‘Wyr’ species and Claudia attempts to communicate telepathically. But it is with the information obtained from the doc that drives Claudia forward in an effort to save Luis life. Hoping to trap those responsible, Luis and Claudia eventually return to the silver mine, in an effort to destroy the people involved in the discovery of the mine and its portal to the other side.
Once again, the Tarot Cards make an appearance, as they did in True Colors. When Luis questions the origins and the Power of the deck, Claudia remembers that a woman gave her the cards saying the ‘cards’ communicate and choose their owner. They have a Power of their own. And at the end of the storyline, the Tarot Cards will once again find themselves with a new owner.
The relationship between Luis and Claudia is slow to build. Luis remains in his shifted form throughout the first ½ of the storyline, therefore the romance is negligent, but there is a connection between the couple. Claudia is concerned, as their sexual relationship develops because of the age difference between she and Luis, and she will make an attempt to dissuade any physical contact, although both are highly aware of the attraction.
Natural Evil is not one of Thea’s best storylines. It was a quick read, like all novellas. The story was interesting until Luis and Claudia went to investigate the mine and its’ missing people. Here is where the writing changes. It becomes jumpy and the flow is not smooth. I found myself going back-wondering if I had missed some information. If Thea is to continue her ebook format with the Tarot Card adventures, I think a change in venue and perhaps a shift back to the true Elder Races may be advisable.
Reviewed by Sandy