Mortal Danger by Eileen Wilks is the second book in the World of the Lupi series. I started reading this one right after I read and reviewed Tempting Danger. Should the series be read in order? Yes, because we follow the same set of characters throughout the whole series and it would be too confusing if the books aren’t read according to how they were published. For the benefit of those who haven’t read the first book, I won’t be going into specifics to avoid bringing up spoilers. Even just the premise of the second book already has spoilers for the first one so skip reading that if you’d rather not know too much before going into the series. Before I get into anything else, I just have to comment on Mortal Danger’s cover because I’m really not a fan of it – all blue background with a fuzzy picture of a scowling guy. I don’t think it represents the contents of the book well, I’m not even sure who that guy in the background is supposed to be – Rule? Cullen? So if you’re being discouraged to try the book because of its cover then you can go ahead and ignore it. In this case, you really shouldn’t judge the book by its cover.
As the title of the series suggests, Eileen Wilks’ urban fantasy world does have werewolves in it. They’re more politely referred to as lupi (singular: lupus). And they’re not the only magical beings in this world. What makes the setting interesting is everything is changing as the series starts – lupi have recently been recognized as citizens (with human rights) instead of being hunted down as they used to be. They’re a very secretive bunch, as a result of their persecution in the past, and I keep reading because I want to know more about them. We do learn a little more about the lupi in the second book but there’s still more to their culture and history that can be explored. With all the changes happening in their lives, the main characters – Lily and Rule – grow as people. As a result, their relationship also develops. What I like about their connection is even though the physical bond is there, they still have to work on the emotional side and all the baggage that comes with it. Both of them are also big on family so their relatives play a big part in their relationship. That’s something that I feel will continue with the rest of the series.
“She wasn’t entertainment for him. He didn’t need her to make him laugh or bolster his ego or to figure him out so he wouldn’t have to. A lot of men who said they were looking for a relationship really wanted a combination sex buddy, therapist, and mirror.”
The romance is an important aspect of the series but there’s more to the books than Lily and Rule’s love story. That comes with the territory, given that they lead complicated lives because of their roles in society. I felt that the first book had a slower pace that what I’d usually like in my urban fantasy reads and I guessed that it was because it served as introduction to the series. I was partially correct because the second book had more action than the first one. However, there’s still a lot of explanation and speculation going on – people trying to figure out the unusual and unexpected things happening in their world and trying to come up with ways to adapt to them. And also to solve the problems that pop up along the way. I didn’t have much of a problem with the pace, I’m currently in the middle of the third book and I feel like I’ve gotten used to the writing. It helps that all those explanations help us readers to understand the world better and there are many details to like in this world. Not the least of which is Lily’s Chinese heritage and how her background and her family give the series an Asian flavor. I was also surprised at the direction that Mortal Danger took and like I keep saying, it’s a good thing when the book that you’re reading manages to surprise you. Everything got resolved in a very satisfying way but still left me hungry for the next installment. I recommend this series to fans of adult urban fantasy. As my friend Estara pointed out: the World of the Lupi was published before Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, the Alpha and Omega as well as the October Daye series. And yet it isn’t as well-known as all of those other novels. As I continue reading Eileen Wilks’ books, let’s see if I can try to convince more readers to pick them up too. They are definitely worth checking out.