Review: Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista

13 Jul

Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista
HarperCollins/AVON Impulse (July 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99 (released 7/26/11); ebook: $3.99
ISBN: 9780062113160
Favorite Lines: “You gave up the right to that information and tone when you decided to take ‘Blondie’ into our bed. I figure I’ve got another two years of unabashedly deserved hatred to work through. So you just need to grow a pair and live with the fact you were too stupid to see what you had.” (p. 154, e-galley)

Violet Jordan Rule #1 of being a superhero: No tights.

Dear Diary,

By now you know I’m hardly a normal girl. Last night I woke up naked in an alley after fighting off some werewolves. All in a day’s work, I guess. I thought I was dealing pretty well with the whole werepanther thing: the training, the apocalyptic prophecies. And the hot guy following me around, protecting me at every turn, is definitely a bonus. I’m even starting to become accustomed to the bloodshed and the violence—and that’s what scares me. What will tomorrow bring…

Diaries of an Urban Panther is a paranormal romance featuring shapeshifters and the fae. Each chapter reads like an addition to a private diary minus the date which can normally be found at the top of the page. I don’t really get why the title is Diaries and not Diary, but I’ll avoid boring you with my opinion of that choice.

The book starts out with an event, then backtracks two weeks to explain what is going on. It’s easy to follow and interesting. I never felt knuckle biting tension or excitement, but I didn’t stop reading the book either. It’s steady paced and filled with tons of information. However, it’s a romance and I expected there to be more in the romance department.

Violet is solidly footed in the mundane world despite her occupation as a horror script writer. She has no blood family and only a few friends. Basically Violet is the kind of girl who makes sure everyone around her is taken care of before thinking of herself. When she meets her guardian Chaz, a man who tracks and watches the paranormal world, she is swept into a prophesy only she could fulfill.

For me the story wasn’t about Violet and Chaz’s romance. It was about Violet coming to terms with her role in life and her friendship with Jessa. It seemed like the two had known each other forever for the first half of the book. Then it became clear the best friends and the only family the other has had only known each other for like six months. There’s a part in the book when the girls have a spat that gets taken to another level. Later on when Jessa explains what she knew and told how long she knew that information I felt like she was really using Violet.

For a while I wasn’t sure if I’d finish Diaries of an Urban Panther, but then the story began to pick up and I wanted to know where the author was taking it. However, I never fell in love with the book and I don’t see myself reading anything else in the series. I wish I’d have paid better attention to the book’s title. I should have prepared myself to read the story like I would a diary. When the action takes place there is no real excitement ’cause I’m not watching it happen. I’m reading about it after it’s taken place. I’m being told what happened.

To Buy or Not to Buy? If you want to read this one borrow it or pick up the ebook version. It’s several dollars cheaper than the paper version which hasn’t yet been released. It’s not a bad book, it’s just a mishmash of information. There is character growth combined with little villain action and a sprinkling of shapeshifters, fae and a witch.

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