I met the author when we were selling our respective books at CONduit in Salt Lake. J.K. is a heckuva nice guy. But I suppose you're not looking for a review of him. On to the book!
Glacial Eyes is an urban fantasy tale about Jasmine, a young woman/snow leopard who attends the University of Utah. Okay, Salt Lake only loosely qualifies as "urban," and a lot of the action takes place in Ivins, Utah. Stop being so picky. The supernaturals hide themselves well enough that Jasmine -- who is herself a wereleopard -- is unaware of their existence until shortly after her own powers manifest, and she accidentally kills a fellow student who slipped her a roofie and tried to assault her. The other supernaturals (vampires, werewolves, were-leopards, kitsune, and witches) put her on trial, but let her off with a very strict warning: learn to control your powers, or we have to kill you. Nothing personal, mind you.
The trial isn't all bad. She meets a few new people there who will eventually become her friends: David (a werewolf) and Rachel (a techno-geek witch). Logan (a gorgeous half vampire who drives a motorcycle and has a band, which quite honestly beats the "reader should think he's sexy" message half to death) gives her a ride home from the trial. They stop to forage at Denny's -- to be clear, they forage in the "order a Grand Slam" sense; waitresses are off the menu -- and they find themselves dating.
She begins taking lessons with the local werewolf pack, which leads to the gruesome death of a fluffy bunny. The supernatural government also assigns her jobs, the first of which takes her on a road trip to Southern Utah. Unbeknownst to her, a killer is targeting supernaturals in the area, and the killer follows her back to Salt Lake. As if studying for midterms wasn't enough to keep Jazz busy. She spends the rest of the book alternately hunting and being hunted by the killer.
Jazz has been described as the anti-Bella, and I wholeheartedly agree. She's tough, she makes decisions and takes action, she often protects others and rarely needs protection herself. She drives the plot instead of letting circumstances control her. If anything, she's a bit too eager to take action, and often needs a friend to remind her to slow down and come up with a plan instead of going in guns blazing.
The writing is straightforward, with the occasional spark of humor but no lyrical flourishes. The book is written in the first person, leaving us stuck with whatever Jazz happens to be thinking about at the moment, interesting or not. For example, Jazz has a turbocharged metabolism, and spends a lot of time thinking about her empty stomach, where she will acquire food, how she'll afford all this food, etc. But I found it easy to forgive. Glacial Eyes isn't trying to be more than it is: a fast-paced romp through a supernatural world, following a tough-but-adorable protagonist and her good friends.