Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso

Today I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the fourth Wilde Investigations novel, Wildest Hunger!

Book: Wildest Hunger by Laura Laakso

Publication date: 3rd November 2022

Ownership: Proof copy sent free of charge by Louise Walters Books. All opinions my own.

Content warnings: violence, injury, murder, and death, including of animals and children; cannibalism.

The oldest and gravest of the Wild Folk laws dictates that human flesh must not be consumed. When half-eaten bodies start turning up between Old London and the North, Yannia Wilde knows the killer can only be one of her kind. Yannia’s investigation is even more complicated when her betrothed, Dearon, insists on joining forces with her and Karrion.

While Yannia tries to balance tracking down the killer with the tension between her and Dearon, and Karrion, another case in Old London draws her attention. A West Mage Council member, whom Yannia exposed as a Leech only days before, has gone missing, and his girlfriend is found murdered in his flat. Is the Leech, a master of deception, capable of murder, or has someone framed him?

Caught in the web of Old London’s political intrigue, Yannia must learn to play the game and to choose her allegiances with care. But to catch a predator of her kind, she must also embrace her wildness and set aside everything that makes her human.

What a great new entry in this fabulous urban fantasy series! If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know how much I love Fallible Justice and push it on everyone looking for urban fantasy that has great queer and chronic illness rep alongside an intriguing magical Britain. If you’re yet to start the series, why not pop back and see my review of book one? It’s definitely a series you’ll want to start at the beginning, but I promise it’s absolutely worth it all the way through.

Everything I’ve said in my previous reviews about the depth of characters and how wonderful Yannia is as a heroine still stands. I really love the constant low-level awareness of her body that she shows; it’s hard to be a magical PI when running hurts, for example. In previous books we’ve seen some of her internal conflict about her origins in the Wild Folk conclave, removed from human society, and her need for modern human medicine; in Wildest Hunger that’s really brought to the fore, as her on-again-off-again mate, Dearon, comes to London and the culture clash becomes evident from a different angle. The mystery and personal plots alike seem to reflect this conflict very strongly – I don’t want to spoil anything, but everything that happens forces Yannia to reflect on where, and who, she wants to be. It’s very compellingly done.

This is the longest Wilde book yet, but it is incredibly pacey! I picked it up expecting to read a few chapters, and found myself 150 pages in before I looked up. The world is complex, but so well-described that you can’t help but be dragged along by the action. I did find the ending a little abrupt; I get the feeling that this book and the next will be more of an unofficial duology than anything, as more than the usual amount of plot threads are left open at the end of the book. It’s definitely a middle-of-the-series book, in terms of building on previous developments and drawing things together to move forward, so while it’s not necessarily the most satisfying standalone mystery we’ve had so far, it does a huge amount of work for the characters. Lots of little things seem to be building up to become a very dramatic problem for Yannia, and I’m really excited to see if my suspicions are right as to what’s going to happen next (though as far as I know, Laura’s planning for several more books, so we still may not find out everything!).

If you’re already a fan of this marvellous series, this is another fabulous return to Yannia’s investigations – and if you’re new to the series, go and get started, you won’t regret it! Four and a half out of five cats!

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