Guest Review by Melanie
Title: Caleb
Author: Jade Astor
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Length: Novella

Buy Links: Amazon  ARe

Rating: 3 stars

Caleb Lyall went off to college hoping to research his family’s lycanthropy in order to better understand werewolves and perhaps find a cure. Immediately he meets Desmond Quinn, good looking graduate student and his TA in psychology. Desmond offers to show Caleb around campus and introduce him to his professor and advisor, Dr. Arden.

Everything seems normal, until it’s not. Dr. Arden has a reputation for being creepy and interested in the supernatural. People are reporting weird animal attacks on campus, and Caleb is starting to have blackouts. Could he be changing and not know it? Desmond just might be his mate, but is he involved in the strange things happening around campus? Nothing is as it seems and it’s up to Caleb to unravel the mysteries before it’s too late.

Not having read the earlier books in the series, I was unfamiliar with the characters and their backgrounds. However, the first couple of pages give you a synopsis more or less so I don’t feel that is a hinderance in reading the book. There are too many other problems for that to be a concern. The main problems I have with this book are bland, one-note characters, and a plot with more holes in it than swiss cheese.

Caleb is twenty-six years old so I would expect some measure of maturity from his character, but time and again, he behaves like a coed in those Scary Movies. He has a family that supports him, but he doesn’t call them for help until the end of the book. Caleb and Desmond spot their professor naked inside a circle of naked students (during a study session) doing naughty, and for one student, objectional, things to each other. Do they inform campus security? Or the college president or anyone? They do nothing. What, not even a YouTube video?

Desmond is a TA but he doesn’t notice anything odd going on? Why is his professor having all those arguments with his honor students? And when one of those students runs screaming up to him for help? He closes the door on him! Doesn’t even ask questions. Dorothy Parker had that wonderful remark about a young Katherine Hepburn where she states “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.” Here they run the gamut of emotions from A to A (with my apologies to Dorothy Parker). Desmond is a mere outline of a person, so why have any expectations of him as a character?

Neither Caleb or Desmond do anything other than react to the situations around them. They are so passive and flat (like cardboard cutouts) it is hard to care about them. And the villain of the piece is spotted immediately, but seems less threatening than Snidely Whiplash. There is nothing remotely plausible about the plot and the characters sleepwalking their way through it. I finished it and then found it hard to retrieve names and events. Unremarkable, unbelievable, and finally unreadable. What a shame.

Cover: I like the cover and think they did a great job. The models are in keeping with the characters and the graphics are lovely.

%d bloggers like this: