It's been a few months since I've read a book by Kelly Armstrong but within moments of starting this one I was reminded why sheReviewed on Rabid Reads
It's been a few months since I've read a book by Kelly Armstrong but within moments of starting this one I was reminded why she's one of my all-time favorite authors. Her writing skills are top notch and her characters are so real I feel as if they're my friends. Tales of the Otherworld is a real treat for both new and old fans because it offers a peak into this series without commitment but also offers new insights into your favorite characters. There was one particular short story that I was looking forward to in this novel: the tale of how Clay and Elena met. My absolutely, most favorite, beyond the shadow of a doubt, werewolf couple. And rest assured that it did not disappoint! In fact, it was all that I could have ever hoped for and more! I'm getting warm fuzzy feelings all over again just thinking about it!
There are a few short stories in this book that are only a chapter in length. Not much to go on if you're new to this series but for long-time fans they're like the cherry on top of a delicious sunday. Short but oh so sweet! While these stories may leave a newcomer confused, don't worry because others are between 100 & 200 pages in length with ample content that'll convert even the most skeptical reader. One such story is about the beginning of Eve Levine and Kristof Nast's romantic relationship. Both of which are extremely badass and evil in their own right but this tale shows them in an entirely different light. Love doesn't discriminate and even bad guys have a soft side. By the end of this short story I actually liked Eve. I was shocked by the history between these two! A quick side-note, they're Savannah's parents, and because of this my interest in their lives grew two-fold.
The coup de grâce of this anthology for me was Beginnings. I've been dying to know how Clay and Elena's relationship first began. Bits and pieces are mentioned throughout this series but this story really brings it all together. Again, I was surprised by the events in this tale. Modern day Clay is very masculine, which is still true in Beginnings but a whole new side of him is also explored. When he meets Elena he falls head-over-heels and all of his walls turn into goo. I loved seeing this side of him. I already count him among my fictional boyfriends but this story made me pine for him even more! Elena is great too. In the more recent books of the Women of the Otherworld series she's strong, authoritative and the backbone of the pack but she didn't start out that way. In this tale she's vulnerable, insecure and human. I could go on forever on the reasons why I adored Beginnings but I'm afraid to ruin it for those who haven't read it so I'll stop here. But I LOVED this short story. There I go getting emotional again! Will I be re-reading this one? HELL YEAH!
Wedding Bell Hell and The Case of El Chupacabra are also brilliant! Lucas and Paige are front and center in both of these stories. Another one of my favorite fictional couples. The second tale gave me a whole new understanding of Lucas and the motives behind his decisions. What more can I say!? This book is incredible and I was enthralled from page 1. My expectations going into this novel were excessively high, but in true Kelley Armstrong fashion, she surpassed them by leaps and bounds. Read this anthology; in fact, read the whole series! I can't reiterate enough how fabulous all aspects of these books are so you'll just have to read them for yourselves and discover first-hand. ...more
I fell for the cute cover, and because Nora Snowdon’s humoristic writing style is supposedly comparable to that of Dakota Cassidy’s whose werewolf booI fell for the cute cover, and because Nora Snowdon’s humoristic writing style is supposedly comparable to that of Dakota Cassidy’s whose werewolf books I’ve enjoyed in the past. To my disappointment, JUST ONE BITE was neither funny nor quaint. Lucas had already accumulated three strikes by the halfway point, so when Rosie continued to pursue a romantic relationship with him after that, I was done with both of them.
You’re probably wondering how one man could manage to irreparably screw up his chances of winning the reader over by the 50% mark of a novella. Lucas’ first offense was stalking Rosie until she agreed to a second date after a chance meeting in a club. His second was disappearing in the middle of the night after sex. And, to round it out, he allegedly knocked another girl up, and is refusing to take responsibility.
A real winner, right? Ok, so a lot of the above-mentioned behaviour stems from Lucas being a werewolf, and eventually gets explained. But I’m sorry, I don’t care how good looking you are on two legs or four, if I hooked-up with a guy, and that was my initial impression of him, I would probably be filing for a restraining order ASAP. The author did absolutely nothing to justify me sticking around to give this man a chance.
Had the whole debacle been told in more of a comical tone my opinion of this short would have been different. However, other than Robert getting neutered by the ASPCA while in wolf form, I didn’t even crack a smile. The couple’s relationship went from run-for-the-hills to happily-ever-after in a nanosecond. I liked the bits where Rosie used werewolf Lucas as a therapist, but that’s the only positive thing I have to say.
The ALPHA GIRL series began to chart a different course after Tessa & Dastien’s story was finalized in the previous instaReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
The ALPHA GIRL series began to chart a different course after Tessa & Dastien’s story was finalized in the previous installment with a brief interlude for Claudia & Lucas’s HEA in book 4. I thought that it was odd that one couple got four novels vs. the other duos that only got one, and worried that fewer volumes would result in less polished characters. SHATTERED PACK and Aileen Erin proved that sometimes less really is more.
I was happy that this title brought with it a return to this author’s werewolves because as much as I enjoy her witches and fey, my heart lies with her shifters. Meredith was recently cured of a curse that prevented her from transforming, so I did have some concerns that this installment wouldn’t be Alpha enough for me. That unease was swiftly put to bed when Molloney walked the walk, and talked the talk with Donovan’s weres.
Cosette played a small role in this book however, she definitely made it count. We learn quite a whooper about her, mind you it was something that I’d already suspected, and even though she’s forced to take a back seat since the Courts are all in a tizzy over the wolves’ latest slip up, she covertly saved Meredith’s bacon. The pack politics were interesting enough, but they still didn’t hold a candle to the fey.
The ex-lover plot line has never been high on my fun-to-read list however, Vivian did bring new meaning to the crazy ex-girlfriend cliché. There were many factors at work that were causing the instability with the Irish werewolves, and I was surprised by how much I liked solving the puzzle. Friends turn into foes, nothing is as it seems, and Donovan must make some tough decisions that he’s been avoiding for far too long.
SHATTERED PACK was well worth the year and a half wait between novels....more
Bowman & Kenzie’s relationship is near impossible to put into words; they got married to unite Shiftertown, but never forReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Bowman & Kenzie’s relationship is near impossible to put into words; they got married to unite Shiftertown, but never formed a metaphysical connection even after fifteen years together, and a cub. The romance had a forbidden fruit / dead spark feel to it, however not because they can’t keep their hands off of each other, and live in constant fear of forming a link with someone else. Needless to say, it’s complicated, and that’s what made their story so gut-wrenchingly emotional. And, I haven’t even touched on the plot, action, or secondary characters yet! Yes lovelies, MATE BOND is in the running for my top werewolf read of 2015.
This was only my second encounter with Jennifer Ashley’s writing, and I was reminded once again why I NEED to one-click the rest of her SHIFTERS UNBOUND series ASAP. The world-building is top shelf, there’s an assortment of weres to fan-girl over—I’m partial to the wolves—and the dynamics between pack members, couples, and outsiders are exceptional. The author smoothly fuses humour, romance, and adrenaline while also going above and beyond in areas such as pop culture references, and mythology. I enjoyed the Guardian tidbits, and the DRESDEN FILES & IRON DRUID CHRONICLES hollas were just straight-up fun.
The protagonists are going to tie you up in knots with their crisis-of-the-heart, so brace yourselves for waterworks! Shifters place the mate bond above all things, and because Bowman & Kenzie have yet to form one, it’s expected that they call it quits if ever they find it with another. Both of them are tested in this book, and I was furiously cursing Ashley at certain points while mentally preparing myself for an ugly cry free-for-all. I loved the two leads, and how the author drove me into becoming wholeheartedly invested in the final outcome.
I liked how far reaching the story was from Ryan’s challenges as the son of an alpha, to Cristian’s problems with no longer being head honcho, and Gil Ramirez’s battle to find happiness. The villain’s depravity knew no bounds, just when I thought that his deviousness had reached its max, he pushed the envelope even further, and the last blow was godawful. Every minor thread was as all-consuming as the central plot was which made this novel seem as though it was superglued to my hands because I couldn’t pry it from my fingers.
Elena Michaels is my favourite Women of the Otherworld narrator and listening to her poignant point of view via audio this secReviewed by: Rabid Reads
Elena Michaels is my favourite Women of the Otherworld narrator and listening to her poignant point of view via audio this second time around made me love Frostbitten even more. Jen Taylor had me hanging on her every word because she reads this story as though it were her own. I only have one complaint with this novel and it’s that it was over far too soon.
Reading this book a second time was bitter sweet for me because on the one hand, I love Kelley Armstrong’s wolves and am ecstatic to be revisiting them but on the other, I know that this is the last installment in this series that features Elena as the narrator and it wasn’t nearly long enough for my liking. Compared to her other novels, this one felt more like a novella than a full length book; the plot is rather basic and the tone is much lighter than its predecessors. I did enjoy the descriptiveness of Armstrong’s writing in this installment as well as the playfulness that Alaska brought out in Clay and Elena but I couldn’t help but feel cheated. I wanted more.
Elena has come full circle as a character and Frostbitten really brings that to the forefront by sharing bits of her past, present and future. This installment was kind of a mini-recap of Michael’s life as a werewolf because it showcases aspects of her relationship with Clay, experiences as a mother and future role as alpha. It also revisits her life as a foster child by dredging up painful memories and putting her in situations that force her to confront her traumatic upbringing. These are the parts where Jen Taylor’s narration really shined; I could hear Elena’s distress in her voice, the pregnant pauses and contemplative quietness mirrored Armstrong’s writing beautifully.
Clay and Elena’s relationship is another element that has come a long way since Bitten and I enjoyed seeing them finally getting to experience their HEA. There’s an open line of communication between them which is something that they’ve struggled with in the past. Their dialogues about Michael’s struggles with alphahood and Clay’s inability to be the pack enforcer he once was were some of my favourite parts. It has been a long upward battle but I think that they’ve finally found their “happy place” and that’s more important to me than the overall ending of the Women of the Otherworld series.
I probably won’t be re-reading this series a third time because Armstrong’s other characters didn’t succeed in capturing me quite like her werewolves have. The only books that I’ll never grow tired of are the ones that feature Clay and Elena, and Frostbitten is one of them.
This book is one of the most important installments of this series in my opinion. Kelley Armstrong's world grows by tenfold wiReviewed by: Rabid Reads
This book is one of the most important installments of this series in my opinion. Kelley Armstrong's world grows by tenfold with the introduction of the various preternatural characters that'll make up the Women of the Otherworld universe. Most of these werewolves, witches, demons and sorcerers get their own books or at the very least, make appearances throughout this series. Elena, my favorite female werewolf, is once again front-and-center as the narrator of this tale and the villain is the kind of guy who you just love to hate.
Elena is forced to rely on her wits and cunning after being kidnapped and separated from her pack. This bare-bones environment allows her personality to really shine through. It's refreshing to see a female character actually grow stronger as a result of being separated from her mate. Clay's awesome in his own right but Stolen proves that Elena is equally as impressive if not more so. Michaels plays mind games with her captors and fellow prisoners in order to identify ally from foe. I really enjoyed watching her mind's cogwheels turn while she pondered her best course of action. This werewolf is tested on all fronts in this novel. Her decisions sometimes go against her morals but when the prize is freedom, sacrifices need to be made.
Kelley Armstrong couldn't have picked a better way of introducing her cast of supernaturals. The various breeds are literally put on display in glass "showcases". The resident scientists are studying these abnormalities and as a result, we learn their findings as the story progresses. I found that this was a clever way of listing each preternatural's traits; instead of a dull information dump, it's entertaining and helps the story to move forward. We meet two important characters in this installment: Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine. Book three, Dime Store Magic, features the first witch while the latter makes appearances throughout this series but doesn't actually get her own story until book eleven in Waking The Witch. Re-reading these novels is allowing me to pick-up extra details that I missed the first time around. I'm falling in love with the Women of the Otherworld all over again!
Tyrone Winsloe is a rich, powerful tycoon with an ego to match but all of these traits also make him an excellent villain. He's beyond warped which made his character all the more fun to read. Just when you think that you've seen it all, Tye pulls something completely unexpected and heinous out of his bag of tricks. I was happy that he got his just deserts in the end but I enjoyed the ride all the same. Clay plays a much smaller role in this book but I couldn't write my review without mentioning him in some way. Danvers is caught between a rock and a hard place; on one side he must obey his alpha but on the other he'll do anything to get Elena back. Tough call. On a good day, Clay's not exactly the most stable person so it was interesting to watch him trying to stay cool under pressure and use his brain instead of his muscles. Even when Elena was in her darkest hour she knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he would come for her. This is just one of the many reasons why I love this power duo.
Bitten and Stolen are two of my all-time favorite werewolf books. You won't find an author who's more capable of capturing the true essence of what it means to be a wolf in human clothing than Kelley Armstrong.
I finished listening to this audiobook a few weeks ago and have been procrastinating on writing my review ever since. Not becaReviewed by: Rabid Reads
I finished listening to this audiobook a few weeks ago and have been procrastinating on writing my review ever since. Not because I couldn’t find the words but because, well, how does one critique their all-time favorite werewolf novel without turning into the biggest, squealing fan girl ever? Not to mention, the added pressure of reviewing a story that I’ve been raving about and recommending to everyone who’ll listen since the first time I read it. I’ve concluded that: it’s impossible, so I’m just going to start typing and see where I end up!
The characters in the Women of the Otherworld series, more specifically those of the North American werewolf pack, are some of the most life-like in paranormal fiction. Their distinct personalities, histories and preternatural traits are so far reaching and palpable that you’ll find yourself thinking like a wolf in no time. Kelley Armstrong’s knack for getting inside their heads (both human and animal) will blow you away. Many shifter novels make the mistake of not using were-characters to their full potential. That’s definitely not the case with this book, it screams “wolf”. Reading Bitten is like being front and center to the best National Geographic documentary ever made. Except you get to experience it first hand by seeing the story unfold through the eyes of a werewolf.
I wasn’t big on Urban Fantasy back when this book originally came out in 2001 but I think that it’s safe to say that Armstrong is one of the authors responsible for bringing this genre to the forefront and for making it what it is today. I see glimpses of Elena in so many of the newer heroines and there’s a reason for that. She’s strong, fiercely independent and a natural leader. I adore reading from her point of view. Her snark and wit are unmistakable and really come through in Kelley’s writing. The audiobook amps this aspect up even more so too! I thought the characters in Bitten were lively when I read it the first time around but listening to the story is a whole other experience. I felt like I was there! Literally!
There are also so many underlying themes in this book aside from the obvious werewolf drama. Elena is struggling to keep her humanity, Jeremy is learning what it means to be a true alpha, and Clay well… He appears to be simple minded on the surface but read Armstrong’s anthologies and you’ll quickly realize that that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s also an undercurrent of sexism in Bitten. Werewolf society hasn’t exactly progressed with the times; they still believe that women are good for making babies, following orders and that’s it. Luckily Elena is just the girl to give all of these wolves the reality check that they need! Only now that I’m going back and re-reading this series am I realizing how connected the overall story really is. Questions that I never knew I had the first time around are resurfacing and being answered.
The plot’s brilliant, the pacing is stellar and the writing is phenomenal. Being the werewolf connoisseur that I am; I’ve often contemplated writing my own book in order to do my wolfish friends justice but who am I kidding? Bitten is that book. I couldn’t write a better story even if I tried. I formally acknowledge Kelley Armstrong as being the queen of the wolves! I will never, ever get sick of this book. Ever.
This book has been on my radar since before it was released back in October of last year so, when I won a copy of this beautiful hardcover book I was over the moon! This story is unlike any other werewolf book that I've ever read. Andrea Cremer creates a very unique and far-ranging world. On top of having two incredible wolf packs full of great characters there's even more otherworldly goodness thrown into the mix in the form of Keepers, Wraiths and Searchers. Upon finishing this novel I was happy to discover that Nightshade wasn't over-hyped nor is it just a pretty cover. This book more than delivers!
I adored Calla (love the name too!) right from the start. She experiences extreme growing pains throughout this tale and handles them all like a seasoned pro. This young lady's responsibilities include being a full-time student, wife-to-be and future female pack alpha. Talk about a heavy load to bare and she's only seventeen! Calla's strength and commitment to doing the right thing for her family and friends is unparalleled. I admire how strong-willed and determined she is. When confronted with the most impossible of situations Miss Tor always picks herself up and refuses to admit defeat. She proved herself deserving of the alpha position time and time again throughout this book. Calla's a girl who I'd be happy to have by my side in a fight and she's definitely BFF material.
Andrea Cremer's werewolf universe is one that you need to experience first hand. Its scope is so vast and its details are so minute that the only way to possibly do it justice is to read the book. These aren't your typical wolves and their purpose is shrouded in mystery. At the beginning of this novel Calla's path is clear. She might not always like it but at least it makes sense. By the end of this book, everything is turned upside down and put into question leaving Calla completely lost and alone. The writing style of this novel is so compelling that you'll feel like you're experiencing this tale first-hand.
The love triangle between Calla, Ren and Shay is complex and moving. I despised Ren for the majority of this book. His cocky attitude, promiscuous habits and sense of entitlement got on my last nerve. But he redeems himself ten-fold by making the right call when it counts. Also, his outward appearance turns out to be a protection mechanism. Ren's really not as shallow as he seems. I had a thing for Shay right from the start. His playfulness, sense of humour and loving nature paints him as a real sweetheart. Calla is faced with a tough decision: duty or freedom?
Nightshade culminates in the mother of all cliff hangers. This book may be 452 pages long but if I had a copy of Wolfsbane on-hand I would dive into it immediately. I can already feel myself going into Nightshade withdrawal so I downloaded Shadow Days, the novella, to tie me over for just a little longer. July 26th can't come soon enough! This book is a must-read for all Young Adult and werewolf fans. No wait, scratch that. Nightshade is a must read. Period....more
Kitty took a vital step towards becoming the strong heroine that Urban Fantasy buffs crave by severing ties with her dysfunctReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Kitty took a vital step towards becoming the strong heroine that Urban Fantasy buffs crave by severing ties with her dysfunctional pack in KITTY AND THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. However, she still has a long way to go in that area, and her submissiveness remains one of the biggest turn offs of this series for me. This book addressed the supes now being “out” development in great detail while also succeeding in keeping me engaged with multiple plots and new characters.
In KITTY GOES TO WASHINGTON, Carrie Vaughn goes well beyond skimming the surface of the paranormal revelation that rocked the human world in the previous novel. A Senate committee is formed, expert witnesses are called, and the topic is explored from a variety of standpoints including its political and religious implications. I really enjoyed the author’s approach, and the fact that the discussion is most likely far from over.
Cormac & Ben are quickly becoming indispensable secondaries, and I loved the surprising direction that Vaughn took with regards to the latter. Lawyer by day, and ___ by night! I also liked Alette, the vampire mistress of Washington, more than expected as well given how the story started out. The cast has gotten a smidgen out of control though for a second installment, and I was disappointed by the prompt resolution of Elijah Smith’s thread.
Marguerite Gavin began to demonstrate her versatility as a narrator in this title by tackling German and British accents which added an extra layer of authenticity to the author’s writing, and made it easier to identify the various characters. Her voice is perfect for the radio segments, and I think that she did an equally awesome job of Kitty’s off air personality. My only criticism would have to be Gavin’s male vocals; there’s definitely room for improvement in that area.
KITTY GOES TO WASHINGTON helped to steer this series back onto the straight and narrow....more
After a three book break, the Women of the Otherworld series returns to my best-loved narrator, Elena Michaels. In this instalReviewed by: Rabid Reads
After a three book break, the Women of the Otherworld series returns to my best-loved narrator, Elena Michaels. In this installment my favourite preternaturals (werewolves) go head-to-dead against my ultimate bad guys (zombies) and all out awesomeness ensues. There's some interesting role reversals going on in this story, Jamie steps up to the plate and proves that necromancers are not to be trifled with and Jack the Ripper is really a sorcerer! Okay, that last one's a lie but it sounded good!
Clay and Elena never disappoint and Broken is a prime example of that. Michaels is knocked up and bored; a dangerous combination! To help fill the void she begs Jeremy to allow the pack to complete one, seemingly easy, mission to help break up the monotony of her pregnancy. Ha! Can you say catastrophe waiting to happen? In this installment, my favourite werewolf couple undergoes a bit of a role reversal. They're both strong, pig headed characters who find themselves in a weakened state; Elena because of her pregnancy and Clay because of a zombie attack. I enjoyed watching them adapt to their changing circumstances; forced to rely on others and their smarts instead of only their brute strength. The whole ordeal also felt like a pre-parenthood test.
What starts off as an easy snatch & grab job quickly morphs into the Apocalypse. Yeah... leave it to Elena and Clay to turn a simple situation into the end of the world! I liked the domino effect behind this story's plot; one little screw up and all hell breaks loose. Every time you start to feel like things are wrapping up, the lens zooms out and you realize that there's an even bigger problem. Also, the fact that there are hundreds of pages left to read kinda blows the "fake" conclusion's cover. I'm curious as to how much of the Jack The Ripper storyline is fact vs. fiction. Armstrong doesn't go into vivid detail but there are a few interesting aspects that I wouldn't mind looking into, namely the From Hell letter. I thought she did a good job of incorporating period problems (syphilis, cholera, etc) into modern day society.
I enjoy this series' side characters almost as much as the main ones. Jamie Vegas is amazing and is next up as a narrator in this series. At first glance she comes across as a ditzy celeb but under her showbiz exterior hides a true friend and she's always able to put a positive spin on a doomed situation. Jeremy, the pack alpha, is a complex and fascinating character. I can never get enough of him! He's the polar opposite of Clay but still incredibly sexy in his own way. Readers also get little snippets of half-demon, Xavier Reese, and Zoe the vampire. The latter isn't your typical undead; she's rather wimpy and has the hots for Elena which I found quite comical at times.
Broken isn't my favourite installment in the Women of the Otherworld series but I enjoy Kelley Armstrong's storytelling and characters so much that it's still a 5/5 for me. I'm re-reading this entire series so that in itself speaks volumes to me.
It took me quite a while to get around to reading this book. I've thought about it many times but just couldn't get excited about the story. After reaIt took me quite a while to get around to reading this book. I've thought about it many times but just couldn't get excited about the story. After reading it, I can't say that my hesitation was entirely unfounded but I do think that this series has potential.
Kitty and I didn't get off to a good start. I found that she was weak and cowardly, not typically the sort of lead heroine that I enjoy. Although, as the book progressed she seemed to be getting more assertive. The ending of this book is what made up my mind to move on to the second novel even though the rest of the book left a lot to be desired. Kitty is pretty new to the werewolf scene and still learning the ropes so I'll cut her some slack. Later in the book she starts to take steps, such as leaning how to fight, to stop being a victim.
I liked the talk radio side of the story; powerful supernatural beings calling in to ask for help with their not entirely human problems. It was fun learning about what vampires and werewolves worry about in their day to day lives. Kitty is also a firm believer in that the show must go on, even when people are threatening her and trying to kill her. She doesn't stop the show. That takes guts, I'll give her that.
Cormac, the supernatural bounty hunter was a cool character. I'm not exactly sure yet if there's something between him and Kitty. Guess I'll have to read more of the series to find the answer to that one. It was funny to see his reactions whenever Knorville would call him with the oddest request.
Kitty's pack got on my nerves. Obviously, most werewolves are in packs but this one just didn't sit right with me. Maybe I've been sheltered in my reading because I've never encountered such a bunch of animals. These ones seemed to favour their wolf-sides. The majority of them could barely function in normal society. Not to mention their alpha, the pack's supposed protector. Carl abuses his power by acting like he owns all of the wolves and can do with them what he pleases. He has an alpha female but that doesn't stop him from forcing Kitty to sleep with him and smacking her around for kicks. Real wolves mate for life, obviously these ones didn't get the memo.
Scattered throughout the book were brief narrations from the wolf's perspective. This was a neat little addition. I enjoyed learning what Kitty the wolf was thinking and feeling in a given situation. As a wolf, she has a very different perspective. I think she was stronger as a wolf than when she was human and I don't just mean physically. Her thoughts seemed clearer and she made better decisions for the most part.
Kitty and the Midnight Hour was an okay start to the series but it definitely didn't hook me right off, it had to grow on me. The series has the potential to be good and this book was a starting point. The ending has lead me to believe that Kitty will grow a backbone in the next one. If that's the case, great, I have myself a new series to read but if not, I don't know if I'll make it past book two....more
After finishing Howling at the Moon, the first installment of this series, I was eagerly anticipating reading On the Prowl. Karen MacInerney did not dAfter finishing Howling at the Moon, the first installment of this series, I was eagerly anticipating reading On the Prowl. Karen MacInerney did not disappoint! I was immediately immersed in this second Tale of an Urban Werewolf. This novel took me all of 24 hours to read. My boyfriend's absence may have had something to do with that but, great writing and an awesome story were definitely strong contributing factors as well.
Sophie Garou is back and is as entertaining as ever. One of the main attractions in this series for me is the contrast between her human life and her animal one. She's just made partner at a high powered auditor firm and is expecting a proposal from her boyfriend Heath. Of course, that is until her second nature gets in the way. Sophie has been flying under the werewolf radar all of her life but in this book her secret is exposed and she's faced with werewolves galore. Not her idea of an ideal situation!
Miss Garou's constant battle against unruly hair growth was as hilarious as in the first book. I particularly enjoyed a bathroom stall conversation between her and Lourdes, a new werewolf. They're comparing hair removal horror stories with different techniques likes Nair, waxing, shaving, etc. The challenges of being a modern day female werewolf! This talk reminded me of the banter I hear in public washrooms but with a supernatural twist. I like the way MacInerney gives the characters dilemmas that are similar to every day life. It makes them all the more relatable. When Sophie pulled out her back-up razor for her friend I couldn't help but giggle.
I wish I had Sophie's problems with men! She may me a magnet for trouble but she's also one for swoon worthy men. A third handsome male is added to her plate in the form of Mark, her biggest new client. He's rich, gorgeous, chivalrous but there's more to him than meets the eye. Way more! The book doesn't entirely explain what's up with him; I'm hoping the final installment will. Mark sort of overshadows the two other men. Heath, her boyfriend fades into the background but Tom is as delicious as ever. Between Mark and Tom I'm having a hard time choosing a favorite!
Garou finally meets the local pack leaders and is sent on a reconnaissance mission for them. This fashionista isn't quite cut out for stealthy spying! Naturally, she blows her cover and find herself running from her enemies and her main concern seems to be her shoes. In her situation, shoes would not have been high on my priority list while running for my life. Then again, I wouldn't have went on such a mission wearing $500 high heeled shoes. But that's just me!
The ending of this book is a whirlwind of action. Secrets are revealed, questions are answered but like any good book in a series there are a few mysteries left unsolved. After finishing this book, there was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to read Leader of the Pack but it's always nice to get a little more incentive. I'm sad to say that there's only three books in this series. Right now I'm wishing that there were more but before I start whining I'll wait and see what the conclusion holds....more
Maggie Stiefvater's lyrical writing style is back in full force in this second installment. I didn't fall completely in love wiReviewed by Rabid Reads
Maggie Stiefvater's lyrical writing style is back in full force in this second installment. I didn't fall completely in love with Shiver as many others did but Stiefvater's style is so remarkable that I just had to file the whole series under "must read". Linger did not let me down. In fact, I loved this book! The addition of a new character and two new points of view made all of the difference. Shiver was good but Linger was better!
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Sam and Grace but the story didn't revolve exclusively around them this time around and for that I was grateful. The two love birds have sort of switched shoes in this book and I found that the role reversal suited their characters better. For the hardcore fans, there's still plenty of Sam and Grace goodness and their relationship is stronger than ever. Their love story is hopelessly romantic. Stiefvater manages to convince even me, a skeptical cynic, that happily ever afters are possible.
The new character, Cole St. Clair, stole the show for me. He's definitely my new favorite in this series. I wasn't a fan of him at first but he quickly won me over. He's a bad guy struggling to be good, or is it the other way around? It was hard to tell at times which is one of the elements that makes his character so intriguing! Cole is a famous rockstar looking to escape the spotlight and his past by joining the pack. I could totally relate to the way he describes the benefits of being an animal who relies on instinct vs the downfalls of humanity. We've all wanted to crawl into a hole and hide at one point or another in our lives. Cole puts those feelings into words and the outcome is incredible.
At first, I thought that having the story told from four different points of view was going to be confusing. However, that wasn't the case and Stiefvater pulled it off beautifully. The different narratives really allow readers to get into each character's mind and to know the nitty gritty details of their inner workings. My only complaint about this novel was the lack of werewolf appearances. After all, this series is called The Wolves of Mercy Falls.
Linger is a piece of art in book format. Stiefvater's lyrical writing style is unparalleled. The content is chock full of emotion and the words flow so well that you'll find yourself on the last page before realizing that you just read the entire novel in one sitting. There's also a monster of a cliff hanger ending that'll leave you impatiently awaiting the release of Forever later on this summer. If, like me, you weren't completely sold on this series after the first book; I encourage you to give Linger a try. You won't be disappointed!...more
For me, The Wolves of Mercy Falls series started off as a so-so read. Linger was definitely better than Shiver, but Forever...Reviewed by: Rabid Reads
For me, The Wolves of Mercy Falls series started off as a so-so read. Linger was definitely better than Shiver, but Forever...? WOW! This book manages to be uplifting, heartbreaking and magical all at the same time. I've been on the fence about this series for the past two books but this third and final installment makes me wish for it to never end! If only all of the novels could have been like this! I have a feeling that this story is going to stay with me for a long while. I typically don't re-read books because honestly, who has the time? But I'm going to make an exception for Forever. It's so much more than just a werewolf book or just a YA tale of boy meets girl. I turned the last page only mere minutes ago and I'm already missing Sam and Grace. Isabelle and Cole too, fancy that!
I'm never going to get tired of Maggie Stiefvater's lyrical writing style. It is art in text format; it really is. I'm currently contemplating starting her Books of Faerie series just so I can have another dose of her beautifully written prose. Sam and Cole's song lyrics are packed full of emotion and meaning. I think Maggie should consider producing a Wolves of Mercy Falls album. I'd buy it and I know that I wouldn't be the only one! The combination of her writing style, the characters' lyrics and random bits of quoted poetry turn this book into a living, breathing entity. Regardless of whether you like or dislike Young Adult werewolf fiction, Maggie's writing will win you over and you'll grow to love the story. Don't believe me? Read an excerpt and see for yourself!
Sam and Grace's love transcends space and time. It's so innocent and new but somehow manages to be as meaningful and deep as some of the greatest romance stories of all time. There's no sex in this book, there's barely even any touching but the message that's portrayed is incredibly powerful. I could feel the love that they have for one another through the pages. Forever was the first time that Grace and Sam were wolves together and I loved every minute of it. Back to my earlier comment, their love even carries over to their canine selves when all other thoughts are lost. That's how powerful their connection is. Look at me trying to do the impossible: describe the relationship between Sam and Grace. Just read the book. You'll see.
I was surprised to find myself as wrapped up in Isabelle and Cole's weird relationship as I was in Sam and Grace's. Theirs is an entirely different kind of "love". I'd describe Roth's and Brisbane's as light while as this unwitting duo's is dark. The contrasts and similarities between the two couples evoked such powerful imagery and feelings; it's also one of the reasons why I loved this book so much. This opposite ends of the spectrum effect wasn't as present in the previous installments.
The ending is a real page turner. In fact, the entire book is. Unfortunately, due to real life getting in the way, I had to put the novel down a mere 20 odd pages away from the end. The finale to The Wolves of Mercy Falls series took my breath away. It's happy and sad, satisfying but heartbreaking; in short, it was everything I'd hoped for yet it left me craving more. I'd previously given another Young Adult book the number one spot for 2011's YA fiction but it's not too late to change my mind! And change my mind I am! Forever is in a class all of its own, it has no equal. I loved every word on every page. Goodbye to The Wolves of Mercy Falls, I'll miss you....more
13 to Life is a great series opener. The book starts off slow, gradually building the characters and background story. There's not a lot of action but that's not surprising considering there's already two more installments in this series. Shannon Delany builds a solid foundation and her skillful writing style masks the slower plot pace so that it becomes irrelevant. The storyline of this novel is much broader than I expected from a Young Adult read. The werewolves took longer than I would have liked to reveal themselves but then again, because there was such a build-up I feel compelled to read Secrets and Shadows immediately.
Jessie is an unusual character. She's the most selfless teenager that I've ever encountered. It probably has something to do with the tragic way in which she lost her mother. Her martyr-like attitude was frustrating at times but she's such a genuinely nice person that it's impossible to hold it against her. Sarah is Jessie's best friend and that in itself is incredibly messed up. I don't want to give up the reason but once you discover it for yourself you'll be dumbfounded. Guaranteed. I racked my brain trying to understand Jessie's reasons but couldn't so instead I settled for giving Sarah the evil eye through the pages. Then to top it off, Jessica pushes Pietr into her evil-BFF's arms even though she clearly has a thing for him. What an infuriating young lady!
Pietr is one strange dude and Jessie realizes this the moment she meets him. He may be an oddball but he's a charming one. Rusakova's childhood story is nothing like his crush' but they're united by similar tragic circumstances. There's a confrontation that occurs between him and a K9 drug sniffing dog that gave me goosebumps. Pietr's intensity in this scene is fierce! I loved it! I found that he complemented Jessie nicely, that is whenever she'd let him of course. I enjoyed the slow burn approach to the love intrigue side of this tale. There was no quick "I love you"'s. Both protagonists take the time to explore their feelings, it was a nice change of pace from typical love triangles. Pietr's family is also very interesting and complex. I liked Catherine most of all but Max was a close second. I can't wait to discover more about the Rusakova's in the second installment.
The only downside of this book for me was how long it took for the werewolves-side of the plot to kick in. The wolfish action lasts for about 50 pages and then culminates in a cliffhanger. That's just cruel of you Shannon Delany. Shame on you! This novel won't have you rapidly turning pages in anticipation of the next action-packed scene but it will have you hanging off of Delany's every word. She is a master storyteller and it shows on every page. I LOVED this book! 13 to Life is the start of something beautiful....more