Bella Luna, the beautiful moon, demands a balance of light and dark. Shifters are the light, protecting humanity from the evil darkness of the werewolves. What happens, then, when the light becomes corrupted with threads of darkest black?
Werewolf Killion Frost doesn’t know quite what to think when shifter Colton Dacarie shows up at his door asking for a favor. He’s even more stunned at Colton’s request. Colton wants Killion to kill him, so he can have an honorable, clean death. He won’t tell Killion why, but he’s determined the werewolf do the deed. Killion is stunned, but not speechless. In fact, what pops out of his mouth is as shocking as Colton’s request: spend one night in my bed and I’ll consider it.
Of course, he doesn’t really intend to consider it; but then he doesn’t really expect Colton to agree. It takes some time but eventually Colton gives in, expecting torment at Killion’s hands and figuring he deserves it. Instead the werewolf treats him to a BDSM odyssey, complete with a scarlet satin collar and leash. When Colton later finds himself wounded and with his soul corrupted beyond bearing, Killion rides to his rescue and helps Colton find his moral and ethical center again. What follows is a classic struggle between good and evil, where the roles aren’t clearly defined and the good guys might just have to sacrifice their lives to win.
A Thread of Deepest Black is Finn Marlowe’s first published book, and it’s a sophisticated and compelling debut. While the plot is dark – and gets progressively darker with each chapter – Marlowe provides moments of humor and tenderness that make the characters multi-dimensional and extremely likable. Colton begins the story as a victim, so beaten down he can’t bear to live, but proud enough to want an honorable death that won’t shame him or his family. As the story progresses, through his interactions with Killion, Colton begins to regain his will to live and finally gains the courage to face the corruption that is taking over his entire society.
Killion, on the other hand, makes a great deal out of being wicked and evil. He’s flip and sarcastic, selfish and demanding. He’s also a sexual sadist, and makes no bones about what he likes in bed. Yet somehow, he’s also endearing, generous and vulnerable – quite a great accomplishment for an author, especially a new author. The sex is often brutal, but always consensual and pretty darned hot. Marlowe deftly changes the tone halfway through the story, as Colton is redeemed. Often such a change can completely interrupt the flow of the story, but that is not the case in A Thread of Deepest Black. Instead, the change feels very natural, leading the characters on the next leg of their journey easily (well, easily for the reader – Colton and Killion might disagree).
The main conflict wraps up neatly (again, Colton and Killion might disagree on account of all the blood and dismembered bodies), leaving the reader with a happy sigh of completion. But Marlowe leaves room for a sequel – the shifter society is in upheaval, and the Prince of Thorns might be a teenager, but he’s damned charismatic, and he’d make a great hero. All in all, A Thread of Deepest Black will stay on my Nook for a long time to come, and Finn Marlowe is an author I’ll be looking out for in the future.