Schnaucl's Reviews > Feral

Feral by Joely Skye
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's review
Oct 06, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, october, owned, paranormal_romance, read_2009, e-book, glbt
Read in October, 2009 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I'm still not a fan of e-books, but when it's not available in book form I guess I don't have a choice. I'm also not normally a fan of were/shape shifting, but I read the excerpt and liked it enough that I thought I'd give it a try and I'm glad I did.

Ethan is a rare were-cat (cougar) who years ago had been caught and repeatedly tortured by a wolf pack for consorting with an even rarer she-wolf (it seems nearly all shifters are male). It's a little unclear what "consorting" means. Generally speaking it would imply sex, but the she-wolf in question was apparently more of a mother figure so I'm not sure if Skye intended for there to be a slightly incestuous angle or not. I don't think she did, in which case a less ambiguous word should have been used to describe the relationship.

Anyway. Ethan eventually escaped and the story opens with him having remained in his cougar form for nearly a decade and once again on the run from a bunch of werewolves. The torture from last time was so horrific that he'd rather die than be recaptured but a tranquilizer dart prevents him from reaching the cliff he'd been running for.

When he wakes he's been forced back into human form because Bram, one of the wolves who was chasing him, is holding him tightly and physical contact makes it harder to stay in cat form and harder to shift once the change to human has been made.

As it turns out, it's the same pack that had held him captive before, but this time they're attempting to civilize him again because when shifters stay in animal form for too long they can go feral and become dangerous not only to other weres but to the oblivious human population as well.

Bram, the low man on the totem pole, ends up doing most of the physical contact (mostly restraint but some kissing and fumbling around) and eventually a bond forms between Ethan and Bram just about the time Bram figures out that civilizing Ethan isn't the only thing on his alpha, Doug's, agenda.

I think one of the reasons this works for me when so much of the werewolf/shifter stuff doesn't, even in urban fantasy, is that despite the fact that despite the fact that Bram is an Omega (a term that goes unexplained for far too long, by the way) I actually don't get the sense from any of the characters that their individual identities are secondary and they're submissive to a pack or pack leader. The group think and dismissal of individual personalities and will is what really bothers me about most were stories. Bram doesn't even come off as particularly submissive, although I think that's what an Omega is supposed to be. He doesn't like confrontation, but that's not the same thing.

I really like Ethan and Bram. I think they compliment each other well and it was good to see that they both had their strengths and weaknesses.

The world is an interesting one, too, and I may check out the other stories set there.

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