C. D. Bell

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Comics & Graphic Novels / Juvenile Fiction - AN­GELA WOLTMAN

Chooseco (NOVEM­BER) Hard­cover $17.99 (400pp) 978-1-937133-58-0

Chimera is a thought-pro­vok­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of what it means to be hu­man.

Be­ing a teenage girl isn’t easy—and it’s even more dif­fi­cult when you’re a were­wolf.

Chimera, C. D. Bell’s sec­ond book in the Were­girl Tril­ogy, ex­pands on the story of Nessa Kur­land, a seven­teen-year-old who was bit­ten

by a were­wolf and who now runs with the pack, when she’s not run­ning on her high-school track team. Nessa is ad­just­ing to her dual life as a high-school stu­dent and a wild an­i­mal when an in­crease in the vi­o­lent wolf pop­u­la­tion be­gins to threaten her home­town. Nessa knows that the wolves don’t want to harm hu­mans, but it seems that there’s no way she can con­vince the para­noid towns­peo­ple of this truth.

As she works with her best friend, Bree, and her were­wolf boyfriend, Luc, to save the wolves, Nessa is thrown into a tail­spin. Her mother is ar­rested for grand lar­ceny, and so Nessa must also delve deep into her mother’s case. She comes to re­al­ize that her mom is not the per­son she’s al­ways thought she was.

To help free her mother, Nessa is forced to work with her long-ab­sent fa­ther. Daniel Host, a bil­lion­aire sci­en­tist, has the re­sources and the knowl­edge to help Nessa’s fam­ily—but the price may be too high for them to pay.

Chimera is a fast-paced young-adult ad­ven­ture that fea­tures a solid fe­male pro­tag­o­nist and plenty of twists and turns. As a se­quel, it does an ex­cel­lent job of hint­ing at events that came be­fore, with­out re­veal­ing too much. Nessa’s story never seems in­com­plete, and the ac­tion is not bogged down by flash­backs or too much ex­pla­na­tion.

Nessa’s char­ac­ter is tough yet car­ing, and her re­la­tion­ships with her friends and fam­ily are be­liev­able and en­ter­tain­ing. Nessa’s strug­gles with who she is will be fa­mil­iar to any­one who has worked to find his or her own iden­tity, and the fan­tasy por­tions of the novel never hi­jack the char­ac­ter devel­op­ment that is at the heart of the story. Chimera is a page-turner as well as a thought-pro­vok­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of what it means to be hu­man.

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