Published by Pocket Books on January 8, 2015
Genres: Humorous, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: n/a
Reviewed by: Kristina
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Rush of Wings and The Maker’s Song series, a humorous, action-packed urban fantasy about a werewolf pack and an animal control officer in way over his head!
Someone is picking off fortune tellers and hippies in Oregon, snatching them out of their Birkenstocks mid-stride. And when the legend himself, Hal Rupert, Animal Control Officer, gets a whiff of the mystery, he knows he’s the man to solve it. In between proudly wrangling out-of-control cats and dogs, he’s noticed a peculiar uptick in another sort of animal…werewolves.
Hal infiltrates the country fair to investigate the disappearance of the flower children. But his real priority is protecting the love of his life, Desdemona Cohen, whose long purple tresses and black-glossed lips captured his heart the moment he first saw her standing behind the register at Hot Topic. Desdemona may have nicknamed Hal “Creep,” but he’s determined to win her heart. And, you know, save everyone else, too.
THINNING THE HERD was quirky and weird which is why I picked it up as a break from the more serious books I've been reading in urban fantasy. Hal Rupert, the main character of this story, is an animal control who protects the citizens of his city from shifters and other paranormal creatures. He's is an odd fellow. I thought it was amusing how Hal walks around town like everyone knows he is some big hero when all they see is some animal control guy who hits people with his pole a lot. At times I began to doubt whether the paranormal creatures he encountered were real or figments of a deranged mind. Considering he is mostly defending people who don't believe the paranormal creatures exist I could have very well believed it to until the monsters started appearing.
When the monsters appear and we begin to see the shifter world hidden among the humans is when we really get to see Hal in action. He really knows how to use his animal catching pole. I loved the build up to the big bad Hal battles. It starts out with a few missing hippies and evolves into a massive conspiracy involving old gods, a shifting of power balance in the world, and some interesting shifter mythology.
I did have a major issue with this otherwise humorous story. Hal seems to interpret any interaction between himself and another person as a positive experience due to his massive ego. It's really amusing to see how his view of what is really happening diverts so much from reality. One big issue I had with Hal was his 'relationship' with Desdemona. He's stalking her. He interprets his stalking and her dislike of him as them keeping their relationship a secret for reasons. I could not get past the stalking part which was probably the point as this man is seriously delusional. A good fighter but delusional. I was actually glad when the story shifted perspective to some of Hal's shifter friends and Desdemona because we got a short break from the warped mind of Hal.
THINNING THE HERD was a decently comical story with an entertaining plot revolving around shifters, a small town, and world domination. It's not your typical light urban fantasy read.