Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.
But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.
Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.
Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She'll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Q: … Chase and I were … whatever Chase and I were. (c) Eloquent. Q: Being raised by a psychopath will do that to you. (c) Q: Growing up with people who could turn you into an afternoon snack had a way of giving you an unusual perspective on playing bait. (c) Q: For a fragile little human lotus blossom, I had an annoying habit of coming out of things unscathed. (c)
Color me irritated by all the were antics.
Bryn's still being stupid. Why is she taking it like it's a badge of merit? Q: Blow me and Screw you both seemed like strong contenders, but the peanut gallery in my head appeared to be favoring castration. (c) Q: I’d take a physical fight over Touchy-Feely Share Time, hands down. (c) Q: It was possible that in the history of our friendship, I’d gotten Devon into more trouble than I’d gotten him out of. (c) Q: “Did you actually just accuse me of normally having common sense?” (c)
Callum is still his irritating meddling self. I wonder if he's just winging things as he goes instead of being the omniscient Alpha? Whether he just goes internally, like: 'I have no idea what the fragg I'm doing so I'll just do some random stuff and if it doesn't wind up all right I'll sweepp it under the carpet and if it turns out all right, I'll do some parade or smth?'
Devon's a clown.
Chase is quite sweet.
Handing 9 weregirls to Bryn? Isn't that like a free for all signal to everyone? I get the fem angle but isn't that still too extreme?
Psychic coven bent on being rogue. Ouchworthy trope. Bryn's response to that is so very Bronvyn. She's learning the tropes. And being Resilient helps a lot: Q: Being Resilient meant being resistant to dominance and having a knack for escaping even the direst situations. (c)
Enter Caroline, the little miss hunter: Q: “They’re scared of her—the kind of scared that involves pupils twice as big as they ought to be.” (c)
Lake: Q: “Have you seen this kid? I reckon I could take him with three paws tied behind my back, no shotguns, no knives.” “If you had paws,” Devon volunteered helpfully, “you wouldn’t be able to use a shotgun.” (c) Q: She’d been taught all her life not to attack humans, but knock- ing them unconscious with tranquilizer guns was more of a gray area. (c)
Not sure if I'm just being grumpy but seriously?? Q: As the leader of our little group—not to mention the alpha of Devon’s pack and his best friend since kindergarten—the responsibility for shutting down his boy-band tendencies fell to me. (c) Seriously?? They need an alpha to shut up smb? Q: ...our very human—and easily fascinated—classmates had no idea. To them, the four of us were mysterious and magnetic and just a bit unreal—even me. (c) Oh, come on… Gag reflex triggered!
Ok, this is better than the oh-so-magnetic packity-pack quack: Q: The only thing standing between us and delicious, feral freedom was the setting of the sun. (c) This, I'm getting.
Sweet: Q: Chase had told me once, a lifetime ago, that as a human, before the Change, he’d loved four things—and one of them was me. Forget that he hadn’t ever seen me or talked to me or even known in any concrete way that I existed. Forget that when he’d spoken the words, we’d met exactly twice. His wolf had known, and Chase had known… (c)
Other fun stuff: Q: “Show of hands,"... "Who thinks we're screwed?” (c) Q: It’s lonely. It’s impossible. It’s all-consuming.” It is what it is. (c) Q: I didn’t want to be anyone’s last hope any more than I wanted to be some kind of werewolf legend: the Little Human That Could. (c) Q: Monsters like that don’t like knowing there’s a part of people that you can’t touch unless they let you. (c) Q: When it came to maneuvering around the rules, I’d learned from the master. (c) Q: “Doubts. I could tell you that I’m devilishly handsome, have an impeccable sense of style, and am much, much stronger than I look, but I could also claim to be the reincarnation of Humphrey Bogart.” (c) Q: “I sent you an email.” ... “Does this email happen to explain why the entirety of the Snake Bend Pack is playing peekaboo across the border to my territory?” (c) Q: “Well, if you’re not open to the idea of a trade, perhaps you’d prefer a wager?” I would have preferred Shay be abducted by aliens and vaporized at the molecular level... (c)
Favourite Quote:I could feel his heart beating, feel his mind and thoughts blending with my own as the two of us stood there, bathed in the moonlight and feeling its effects like a drug. Whoever Chase was, he was mine.
There is a lot of good werewolves books out there but the Raised by Wolves series would have to be my absolute favourite. So I was a little nervous about book two but it didn't disappoint with it pulse pounding plot and awesome characters.
Barnes writing is fast paced and engaging. I love how even though werewolves tales are a popular genre Barnes still manages to make it seem fresh and unique making for such an exceptional read. Trial by Fire has a solid plot that is filled with action, suspense and plenty of unexpected delicious twists.
My favourite part of this series is Bryn. I like that even though her life is full of danger she is drama free. Just likeable and down to earth character who is strong, brave and a great leader. There is a distinctive bunch of secondary characters who are just as fantastic. All the characters are fighters and the underdogs. They never back down and always try to do what is right. You can't help admire this constantly entertaining pack and love the strength of their friendship and loyalty to each other.
Another thing I love is that this series always ends perfectly. It wraps things up nicely but at the same time leaves you wanting more. If only all series could end like these.
Overall, Trial by Fire is enthralling and exciting tale. If you haven't read this series yet and are a fan of all things paranormal and supernatural, I recommend you pick it up immediately.
*Review* Trial by Fire is the second novel in the Raised by Wolves series which features Bronwyn (Bryn) Alessia St. Vincent Clare as the only human Alpha of a werewolf pack called the Cedar Ridge Pack. She was raised in Callum’s pack since the age of four after her parents were murdered by a rogue werewolf named the Rabid. I’d recommend reading Raised by Wolves first since both books tie in together and you can better understand why Shay is such an asshat.
Bryn has come a long way over the course of two books. She is learning more about her resilient powers that gives her a knack for survival and the ability to break pack binds if necessary. She is worried that Shay (Alpha from the Snake Bend Pack) and other members of the Senate will come after her because of the fact that her pack has nine female werewolves. Female werewolves are a valuable quantity to the packs. In reality they are nothing more than a baby making factory for the male pack members. They were all saved from the Rabid by Bryn, Chase, Devon, and Lake after he turned them into were’s and abused them.
Bryn isn’t he only human in the Cedar Ridge Park land. Ali, her foster mother, is also around with along with her twins Katie and Alex. Ali was Bryn’s protector in Callum’s pack and left after Bryn was beaten to an inch of her life by Devon’s mother. I like Ali and enjoyed watching her stare down the Psychic coven mother and eventually putting an end to her when Bryn was in serious danger. I also found Ali’s background to be interesting in that it leads readers to wonder if she has some abilities of her own. I believe it also makes Ali a good mother figure to Bryn in that she isn’t afraid to stand side by side with her when danger comes knocking on their door.
While Bryn and the rest of the pack are celebrating Thanksgiving, a badly beaten werewolf ends up on their doorstep. Bryn feels that Lucas needs the pack’s help and assistance, but she also realizes that this could be a trap set up by Shay. Lucas claims that he was tortured and beaten by Shay. After further discussion, he admits that he was beaten by another group which turns out to be a group of humans who have abilities that are frightening.
Soon, thereafter, Bryn finds that someone is playing mind games with her with fire, and in school she wakes up to find her skin reddened as though it was burned. Come to find out, Shay and a Psychic coven have made a deal to go after Bryn’s females. Things spiral from there as Bryn has to figure out a way to save Lucas and avoid an all-out war with the both Shay and the Psychic’s.
Head slap moment #1: When Callum sends her a present of a horse, like all teenagers of this generation; she totally misses the significance of what it means. Hello, Trojan Horse anyone!?!?! Callum even though he can’t get involved in Bryn’s pack business, or offer any suggestions without having the rest of the Senate find out, has a tendency to see future events especially Bryn’s. Bryn knows this since she grew up with him but for some reason misses the warning that something bad is coming her way.
Head slap moment #2: Maddy falling hard for Lucas who in the end betrays her and ends up on the wrong end of things thanks to Bryn’s powers. A blind person could see that Lucas had an agenda and that regardless of what happened he was going to do something absolutely stupid.
Positive # 1 – There is no teenaged angst in this book. Bryn is a human yes, but she is much more than a mere human. She tries to go to human school, but realizes that the pack needs her and school is not so important to the overall survival of her pack. She doesn’t whine and complain and throw temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. She is in charge. She has responsibilities to twenty-two pack mates.
Positive # 2 – No three way love triangle. Bryn and Chase are bound together because they are resilients and the fact that she saved his life. Bryn and Devon are best friends that grew up together in Callum’s pack. There is no disharmony when Bryn ends up sleeping in the same bed as Chase. Both Chase and Devon are part of Bryn’s bodyguards and have no hatred or thoughts of outdoing the other.
The please don’t moment for me: I don’t care much for characters who feel the need to change who they are just because they have some idea of what they believe is best. Unfortunately, I’m not the writer, and therefore have as much to say about the story direction as I do with the idiots in Washington who have no clue what they are doing.
Overall, I enjoyed this book probably more than the first one. I liked learning more about Ali and watching her strength and courage when it came to defending Bryn from the Psychics. I like watching Devon, Chase and Lake stand up and take the responsibility of watching Bryn’s back and in return, her trusting them completely to do so. I also am definitely a Devon fan after what he does in this book. He definitely is a character to watch out for over the next book.
We return to the best YA werewolf series known to the genre, this is said by Melissa Marr, and me.
Bryn knew all along that the other Alphas that make up the Senate--besides Callum--would come after her at some point in time for the female Weres in her pack. And when Shay comes to the forefront of a new feud between the Cedar Ridge Pack and the Snake Bend Pack, it comes as no surprise. Shay, being Bryn's best friend's older brother and Alpha of the Snake Bend Pack, has instigated the most unassuming and by-the-book tactics in order to acquire what he wants most. The rare gems in the werewolf community: female werewolves.
When a foreign wolf enters Bryn's territory badly broken in all meaning of the word, and invades her pack's lives, Bryn feels it is her duty as Alpha to protect this wolf from his previous Alpha and the others willing to fight to get him back. Only those others are nothing like anything Bryn and her Pack has ever encountered before. We're talking a whole new ballpark here.
Barnes strikes another wonder with this new installment on the insight of Bryn's new life as an Alpha. Not only does it feel like Bryn is maturing as a character but she faces some astronomically tough decisions when it comes to the safety of all those dependent on her. She always feels like she should be on the front line, fighting against future threats head-on but soon comes to realize, that though she has a responsibility toward her pack, she is not the least bit alone. Barnes is able to construct scenarios where the Alpha gets the final say, and where she also has to consider all the options and determine that the safest choice may not be the best. Being Alpha is impossible, and Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare is an impossible girl.
What was a major theme throughout the whole duration of Trial by Fire was the constant participation of other characters in almost every scene. I do love when the main character--heroine, in this case--is in a solitude state to recover from the latest fiasco, but in this book you get a dose of any and all other characters. At times, I did not appreciate the constant intrusion but, otherwise, it really helped unravel Ali's--Bryn's foster mother's--past, more information on the inner workings of Chase, and the villainous temperament of all that is Shay; among other new characters that are introduced with a deadly mindset and whose histories were interesting to flip through too. Minor twists in the plot really kept the ball rolling, and closer to the second half of the book, things got really interesting. Barnes orchestrated the events in Trial by Fire like a music director, always in sync to the outcomes and surprising the heck out of me when I read Bryn's logical solutions.
I hope that the series continues with those troubling moments because what I enjoy the most is the depth that Barnes presents to the choices that Bryn makes, and that constant possibility that she may not outlive them. (Being the only human Alpha in existence in their werewolf world.)
I would not recommend reading this book as a stand-alone, just because I thought the first book, Raised by Wolves, really holds some valuable informative issues that provides the starting point of everything Bryn.
I really loved this book. There aren't a lot of Werewolf books that I can say that I totally love, but this series is definitely one of them. There really isn't a lot I want to say about Trial by Fire, so I'll just keep it short and sweet. I absolutely adore Bryn. I love her strength and fairness and I love how even though she's alpha she doesn't take advantage of that power. I love Chase and Devon, those two are my favorite besides Bryn herself. I think Chase is really good for Bryn, such a sweet couple. I like how Devon always has her back and he's got some really great humor. And then there is Callum. I don't know why I'm so drawn to his character, but I really love that he's in this book, even if it's not as much as I wanted. But my favorite thing about this book is Jennifer Lynn Barnes writing style. It's smooth and the way she sets up the story line really pulls the readers in, making it remarkably vivid, even cringe-worthy vivid. But best of all I always associate Werewolf's with words such as dominance, strength and power and this book is filled with that exact flavor. Really looking forward to seeing what happens next. These books are truly amazing and I recommend this series to anyone who loves this kind of paranorm!
This series just keeps getting better. Barnes has written a beautifully complex and entertaining story. This is one of the best if not the best werewolf series that I’ve ever read!
The characters, this story, it’s simply amazing. It’s addicting.
Bryn continues to be a character that I admire. I thought that the girl had guts in the first novel, but now that she’s alpha there are new characteristics that began to shine through in the second installment. That impulsive girl in book one is now responsible for an entire pack, a family and she takes her responsibility very serious. As with the first book, I felt like I was there with Bryn. Agonizing with her in her internal struggles and not always knowing the right answer but trying her best to benefit her family. This character amazes me!
Trail by Fire isn’t the action packed story that Raised by Wolves was. This story is more of a puzzle a mind game that the characters are playing, especially Bryn. One piece falling in to place at a time. Barnes absolutely threw me for a loop. I was so distracted by other elements of the story that I never saw it coming.
The conversation with Callum was definitely one I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I’m VERY interested to see how that plays out in this series.
This is a great series, even if you don’t like werewolves, these are characters and a story that will more than make up for it!
You might like Trail by Fire if you like: Jeri Smith-Ready & Andrea Cremer.
Wow! Just when I didn't think the storyline couldn't possibly get better than it already was, it did. Trial by Fire is a fitting and mindblowing sequel to Raised by Wolves. I loved every single moment of it, so much that I couldn't even put it down for a single second. An amazing read.
This was a delightful sequel to Raised by Wolves, and yes, I rate it as highly as the first – which is very unusual for me.
Bryn’s cosy little life as alpha of her own pack didn’t stay cosy all that long.. and let’s face it, if it did, it would have been a rather boring book.
Obviously it all starts when a beaten and broken Were turns up on her doorstep – Lucas. Now, personally, after he didn’t disclose all the information, and the politics involved in Pack rules – I would have turned him away when he asked to join this Pack... but Bryn didn’t. Her human side sympathises all too well with being broken.
I liked the fact you got to get an insight into Ali’s past – this made me respect this character all the more. It made me think that her decision to leave the Pack in RBW was all that much harder – she finally had a life, felt like she belonged, was loved… but then, her decision to leave was so much clearer (even though it wasn’t murky before) – she would do anything for her daughter – something her own mother never showed the courteously of doing.
I liked the involvement of psychics… it brought another dimension to the books other than Were’s.. and gave another story other than Pack politics. This part of the story had a few twists – Valerie being Ali’s mother, Caroline being Ali’s sister, Shay had killed Valerie’s husband – on request of Valerie. From the moment Caroline came into it, I thought she was a major character – her entrance was too short (if that makes sense)… but was she the answer to stopping all this??? I had thought that right up until she shot Devon - a major OMG moment, even though I knew silver couldn’t hurt him, a bullet to the heart is still not a good thing!!!!!
Shay – what a pure evil thing he is!!!! But yet, you have to respect how smart he is! He had the whole thing planned out – with plans right from A-Z. He covered nearly everything. But my heart was going a million miles an hour when he was playing pool with Lake…. For some reason, I was enthralled with that whole scene – was it the sleazy way he looked at Lake? Was it me thinking that I don’t trust Jennifer to give us the happily ever after that so many authors seem to? The whole thing, enthralled me – all the options: Bryn taking the “easy” option and handing over Lucas (which I would have done by the way) and the following consequences (ie Maddy), Lake offering herself, Bryn offering herself, Devon going if Lake went, the game, the stakes, the whole thing was very riveting.
And then… Chase attacking Caroline, Caroline shooting Devon… and then the fight… Shay’s Weres waiting to come and collect the females, Ali joining the fight, young Weres getting hurt, Chase getting shot and bitten by a snake to save Maddy, Caroline showing up, Ali shooting Valerie… and then finding out Valerie was Ali’s mother – making Caroline Ali’s sister, Bryn/Chase’s dream sequence – so very sad, and then finding out Shay was the one who killed Carolines “father” and that is why the coven was doing this, finding out Chase was okay (the dream put this in major doubt)… to then, Bryn welcoming Lucas into the Pack – BIG MISTAKE. I couldn’t believe that Lucas challenged her as Alpha!
Like I said, Shay covered most bases. It didn’t work in the end – but it was certainly a close call at some points. Well played. Whilst I did enjoy those moments with Chase, I did feel that his character was rather secondary… I would have liked a little more substance to his character. Yes, he is totally devoted to Bryn, and where it seemed he was going to die was terrible, but other than that, there was not much too him. Whilst this is good in the fact that the romance isn’t the driving factor of these books, I feel there could have been a little more without it being romance driven.
Devon and Lake are in my opinion the two best characters of this book. Much like in the first book, they are strong characters, with strong characters, and actually – you would think that these two would not get along (musicals vs gun-weilding – Dev is happiest when he can sing and dance whilst Lake is happiest when she playing with any form of lethal weapon) but they complement each other perfectly. Lake is sassy, tough and full of conviction and Devon is devoted, funny and a pillar of strength. Devon, I must say, was stronger in this book, which made my “conflicting” views on him even more prominent whilst trying to visual him. He seemed to be more manly – powerful,strong, both physically and mentally – which while trying to imagine him isn’t good when you consider his love for musicals. To be honest, I have to say Dev is my favourite.
Callum is as cryptic as ever. I wish there had of been more of him, as I do like his character. I must say I got frustrated at the times that Bryn thought that he didn’t care – in my mind, he cares for Bryn more than any other individual – and the fact that she cannot see that annoys the hell out of me. I did think when he hung up, that he would have been on his way to help, however, Callum knew that he didn’t have too. And I cannot believe that she didn’t get the meaning of the Trojan horse until the end. Oh, and I cannot believe she has asked Callum to turn her into a Were (as indicated at the very end but its not actually said)…. Nooooo! I think it kills Callum to have to hurt Bryn by hiding stuff from her – how much will it kill him to physically hurt her?? He couldn’t even look at her after Devon’s mother beat her at his demand.
There are still things I wasn’t overly happy about in the book (but that's what happens in books) – it was rather slow to begin with, the fact that Bryn was willing to consider any deals with Shay for Lucas… to allow Lake to put herself up as the prize – shear stupidity as far as I am concerned – she was letting her human side rule over the alpha side in trying to protect Lucas… but then again, without it, one of the best scenes would not have existed. I didn’t like how she thought Callum didn’t care and I didn’t like that didn’t naturally assume Lake was 3rd in line… the only other contenders Were Maddy (who left in the end) and Phoebe (who was an peripheral), neither which had the passion and devotion that Lake has shown Bryn her whole life, Maddy leaving – after everything she risked to keep Lucas after she realised what he meant to Maddy, the lack of Chase and the lack of Callum.
I cannot wait for the third (and final?) of this series. There had better be another – I cannot find information on it. Still so much left unresolved, and let’s face it, Shay won’t give up. I am hoping for a little more substance between Bryn and Chase, but I do not want it to become a driving factor of the story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
If you loved and enjoyed Raised by Wolves, then you will also love and enjoy Trial by Fire. It did not disappoint me at all. Once I started this book, I didn't want to put it down. I had to see what happened, because poor Bryn had everything coming at her and the pack. Bryn's pack contains a lot females and young children. Bryn has to do whatever it takes to protect them, especially from Shay. Lucas shows up hurt asking Bryn to help him. Of course, Bryn can't turn anyone down. She is a true Alpha and like she says, her pack is different.
Bryn is the Alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack. She is a very strong female character. Her pack comes first. She would even sacrifice herself for her pack. Bryn kicks butt. Even though she is human, she fights until the end.
Chase is amazing!!!! I have loved Chase since the beginning. He puts Bryn before himself and the pack. He loves her that much.
Devon is hilarious!!! He is also a great character. He is Bryn's best friend and second in command. He would also do whatever it took to protect her and the pack.
There are so many characters I love in this series. I really got to know the whole pack, and I fell in love with the whole pack. They grew on me. There are a lot of the old characters in from the first book in this series. Don't forget about Callum. I can't wait to see more of him. The way he is with Bryn, you can't help just to love him.
Boy, what an ending!!!! I so didn't see that coming. This story actually had a few twists that I didn't see at all. I can't wait to see what the third book has in store.
I really enjoy this serious, it has depth, great plot, and characters you know and care about, plus the added bonus it's a romance. This story takes off were it left off.Bryn is Alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack, and getting accustomed to what that means to her the human non werewolf girl. I really like Bryn she is spunky, smart, speaks her mind, cares about whats hers, has a big heart, and is willing to sacrifice. She has lots of responsibility to her pack, and she takes it seriously. This story has an appearance of a mysteries girl, and a mysterious wolf boy who shows up on their front doorstep. Who is this mysterious boy who as been beaten, who sent him and why. This story was a tangled web of pure adventure and mystery and I loved every moment of it. The ending through me for a loop I had no idea that was going to happen! Bryn uses her wits, smarts and knowledge she has learned from dear old Cullen to unravel all the threats facing her and her pack, it takes time and is a process that we the reader get to enjoy right along with Bryn. There is a wonderful romance to to this story, being Chase and Bryn, I love their deep connection, like they know what each other needs before it is even spoken. Chase is beautiful, tortured, strong, gentle, and swoon worthy. Chase is a perfect match for Bryn he is her quite strength. I love Ms. Barnes writing style, great description, words flow smoothly from the pages. Great sequel and I hope PLEASE LET THERE BE A THIRD BOOK!! from what I could find there is no definite third book yet. So, so good!!
Though I really like all of the characters in this series, I felt Trial by Fire was weaker than Raised by Wolves. I was little bored until the last 30 pages of the book.
Bryn is still an interesting character, but now that she's alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack, I would expect her to be "scrappier" than she was when she was just a human in a pack. But, no. She's pretty mild now that she's the leader and there's no Callum for her to rebel against.
The personalities that really sparkled in Raised by Wolves also seemed to be muted in the sequel. Lake was so distinct in the first book. Now, she's just there. Devon had a bit of his flair, but not much. Chase is still a fairly one-dimensional guy. His loyalty to Bryn is made very clear, but I still have no idea why he's drawn to her. Their relationship is like that of an old married couple. No heat, chemistry, desire. Just reassurances that they feel each other, need to be close.
There are several threats to the pack in this book including a coven of humans with "knacks" and another pack that's desperate for female werewolves. There isn't much action until the end.
There's a nice twist at the end that ties in with a gift Callum gives Bryn early on. That was pretty cool. Despite my lukewarm feelings about Trial by Fire, I think I may return for the next book in the series. Bryn wants something that will make a lot of people unhappy and I'm curious about Ali's reaction to it, as well as Devon's and Lake's.
In this sequel to Raised By Wolves, Bryn is trying to settle into her new role as a human alpha of a werewolf pack. Her troubles increase when a teenager werewolf, beaten and bloody, is found on her doorstep. Because he is not from her pack, his alpha can claim him, and there's nothing Bryn can do about it. Or is there? While she is trying to find a way to claim the boy as her own pack, Bryn stumbles across secrets that may endanger her and her pack even further. will she find a way out? Or will she be forced to relinquish her wolves?
I really like Bryn. Despite her troubles, she is not whiny and refuses to down without a fight. I also love her second, Devon, and Lake, her old time friend. I do not care much about Chase and the relationship between him and Bryn. I mean, they instantly connect in the first book, I was expecting to see a little romance between them in this book, but other than chaste pecks and cuddling together in bed nothing happens! Caroline really creeped me out with her stalker-I-never-miss-a-shot deal. However, I would like to know what happens to her, now that she's free of her mother's influence. For the next book, I want to know if Callum will go through with his promise to Bryn and how Ali will react to the whole thing. And more Devon!! I don't think he'll try and take out Shay in the thir book, but I can hope, right?
Trial by Fire definitely doesn't suffer from Second Book Syndrome. If anything, it's much better than the first book, Raised by Wolves. I vaguely remember reading that book a while back, and I also remember thinking it was good. However, the writing in this book takes everything up a notch.
*hands shaking on the keyboard* Ok. I'm just gonna say it. This thing reads like one of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson novels! I know that any of you out there who are fans of Mercy, know what a huge deal it is to compare anyone to Ms. Briggs, but I'm not kidding. I've found a new author to add to my Best Urban Fantasy list. I'm sure Jennifer Lynn Barnes is clapping her hands and squealing with happiness right now!
*crickets chirping* Ok, maybe she's not. But you don't need to be cruel about it, Jeez!
Wow, this was a great book! Definitely not a filler middle book. Bronwyn (Bryn) Alessia St. Vincent Clare is an Alpha- the pack leader- and she's human! If that's not enough she is intelligent way beyond her 16 years, they often are in YA books, but she is like no other heroine that I know of. She asks for advice, she's caring, compassionate, she kicks butt big time, she is great at thinking on her feet, she always tries to do her very best and she leans on her pack while still maintaining ultimate authority. Plus her siblings ( babies/puppies) are so darn cute and playful.
There were so many twists, turns and OMG's did that just happen moments. It was suspenseful, unique, thrilling and heartbreaking too. Jennifer Lynn Barnes knows how to go there and tells an awesome story. Bring on book 3!
P.S. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Eileen Stevens whose performance was fabulous, especially with those cute babies/puppies! Their adorable personalities came to life. Maybe I should get a puppy?
Trial by Fire is the sequel to Raised by Wolves, a book I read and liked last year. I also liked this sequel....although not quite as much. Don't get me wrong, it was excellently written. Jennifer Lynn Barns has some serious writing talent. I can't wait for her to write more books. Her writing is lyrical and easy to follow, and it just...flows. I can't explain it. Just read it, will you? At least give Raised by Wolves a try, if you haven't already.
Normally, I'd go for an in-deapth review and commentary on every aspect of the book (plot, character development, setting, writing, cover, resolution, and the works), but since it's late and I have to get up early in the morning, I'm going to be lazy and just tell you what I liked and didn't like. Hopefully, I'll cover all the important stuff.
May contain some little spoilers, but no major ones. I won't tell you anything about the plot.
Things I Liked:
- Bryn. She's brilliant, and loyal. She's a good Alpha to her pack, even though she's human. Her romance with Chase is cute. She's got a good heart, and a decent head on her shoulders. She's interesting, and relatable. Easy to like.
- Further development on Chase. You may recall that I didn't particularly like Chase in book one, because he had very little character development. He was all one-word projected thoughts, and very little else. In this book, we get to see deeper into Chase's character. Not a ton, mind you, but enough that I grew to like him. Added Plus: He and Bryn are good together.
- Devon. Do I even have to explain how much I love him? A straight guy who liked ABBA? Count me in. Why aren't you real???
- Lake. She's just awesome. Trigger happy, yes, but awesome. And smart. And willing to risk her future for the sake of someone else. She also plays a wicked game of pool.
- Devon/Lake Am I the only one who ships the two of them? When Devon says that if they loose to Shay he'll go with Lake to protect her? Awww. Come on! I couldn't help but ship them. I did in the first book, too. They're both great characters, but they are so much more interesting when in a scene together.
- How evil Shay was. Sometimes, I want a bad guy I can just hate. Shay is the perfect one.
- The setting. I like how in this book the setting is more confined, just to Mitch's restaurant and the area around. I like that. It gave me a better view of how everyone acts when confined to the space their pack inhabits, and when they're forced to deal with each other.
- The writing. As I mentioned, Jennifer Lynn Barns is really, really good at what she does.
- The title. Trial by Fire? Awesome title, although I like this cover less than the one for Raised By Wolves.
- The Plot. Although I refuse to give anything away. Sure, some of it I guessed early on, but some of the twists I refuse to spoil.
- The Werewolves I freaking love werewolves. As long as they're done well. I've seen werewolves I hate, too. But these are not those. These ones are awesome.
- The Pack dynamic. Just so great. They function as both individuals and a group. It's fascinating to read.
Things I Didn't Like:
- Caroline. That girl just got on my nerves sometimes. Was she seriously that invincible? I doubt that.
- Bryn. I know, I know, she's on the things-i-liked list too, but she needs to be on both. She gets too obsessive over everything. Also, her relationship with Devon gets a little weird sometimes. It's sibling-esque for him, but she seems oddly possessive, even though he's her brother figure and she's in love with Chase? What the hell? Okay, maybe I'm just thinking too hard. Also, I think she should have named Lake third in her pack. Lake's been in the game longer than Chase and Maddy, and thus would make a clearer leader, but Bryn doesn't think that. There were other times when I just wanted to shake some sense into the girl.
- The Coven Thing. A little bit muddled. What are these people's motives, exactly?
- Callum. I hate his guts. I just do. I know, I know, he's supposed to be doing what's best for Bryn in the long run, but I don't trust him. He let her get beaten an inch from death in book one, and now he's just manipulating her from afar. Sure, she'd probably be in a more difficult position without him, but I'm not convinced that he's on her side.
- Casey. That guy just needs to go away and not come back.
Overall: Good book. True, I like the first one better, but once again don't let the three stars fool you. This is a good read. Read Raised by Wolves first though, because I don't think this'll make much sense without the first one.
Plus, werewolves. Got to love well-written werewolves.
**This review (and the book itself) contains MAJOR spoilers for Raised by Wolves. You have been warned.**
Brynn thought spending the first fifteen years of her life living with the werewolves of the Stone River Pack was hard. Turns out being the alpha of her own pack is even harder.
Brynn is still human, she is still a teenager. But she is also the alpha of the Cedar Ridge pack meaning she is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of an entire pack of werewolves--living day to day with Were who could just as easily kill her as choose to let her lead them.
Worse, being alpha means dealing with the other packs and their--ruthless, older, male--alphas who would mostly want nothing more than to see Brynn dealt with and her pack absorbed into their own. Callum, her former mentor, might want something else but with a Were like Callum it's impossible to know for sure.
When a battered teenage boy appears in the center of Cedar Ridge territory asking for protection things get even more complicated. Brynn can't claim another alpha's wolf without starting a war. She can't send the boy away to let him die. Strange dreams of fire and other threats start appearing everywhere.
No one said being alpha would be easy. No one said how long Brynn would last as alpha either in Trial by Fire (2011) by Jennifer Lynne Barnes.
Trial by Fire is the sequel to Barnes' powerhouse novel Raised by Wolves.
Trial by Fire is a great sequel. Barnes capitalizes on the unique world she created in Raised by Wolves while continuing to develop the world of the North American packs and some other supernatural beings to great effect.
All of the characters readers will want to see from the first book are here with further character development and expanded histories, particularly Lake and Devon. Chase, by comparison, still has a lot of question marks about his past and his general character but that is, at least, explained more in this installment.
It hardly seems possible but this book is even more exciting than the first. Brynn is facing challenges from all sides with very few options for help. With danger looming from all sides, Trial by Fire is a definite nail-biter that will draw readers in with action, adventure and even more twists than the first novel in the series. Not to mention a dynamite ending that will leave readers clamoring for a new installment about Brynn and the Cedar Ridge pack.
Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Divergent by Veronica Roth
You can find this review and more on my blog Miss Print
This is fabulous sequel to Raised by Wolves. I loved getting back into the world Jennifer created and getting to see how much Bryn has grown and continues to grow as a character and as an alpha with her pack, of broken, lovable, and relatable characters.
Bryn is fiercely a devoted alpha and will do anything for her pack. The love and support they have for each other continues to grow stronger as they form a united front when a rogue wolf enters their territory, they're threatened by a coven of psychics and Shay continues to dance along the lines of not breaking covenant rules and taunting Bryn. I loved everything Jennifer threw into this fabulous sequel. I loved seeing how the bonds continue to form within the pack, Ali and Bryn growing closer together and getting to know Ali more. Ali's back story is shocking and I love the twist that Jennifer throws into Ali's story and the psychics.
While I really liked the added paranormal power with the psychics, my favorite part of the story was Bryn. Bryn and her pack are powerful and unique. Not only are they young, but many of them are broken in some ways, which allows them be accepting and close with each other. What I admire most about Bryn is her ability to lead and play by her own rules. She has a talent for being able to find loopholes to the rules in the touch situations she finds herself in. She has a constant need and desire to want to save everyone in her pack, especially the emotional & physically broken lone wolf Lucas. I can't love Bryn and not love Chase, Devon and Lake who are just as fiercely protective of Bryn as she is of them. They are all well written, wonderful characters to get to know.
There is so much that goes on in this story, and I found myself a lot more emotionally invested in it than I was with Raised by Wolves. I sighed, I laughed and even cried. There are twists, there's action and some romance. Jennifer doesn't leave out some of my favorite wolves from Raised by Wolves, like Callum. There's a lot of character growth and while a lot of things were tied up perfectly, there's still a few more things that I can't wait to read about in the next installment in this must have series. Let me just say, that ending makes me wish I didn't have to wait another year to read it. I highly recommend picking up this book and the series if you haven't already read Raised by Wolves.
Trial By Fire... how many months has it been since I read the first one? I kept mixing up the story of Nightshade and Raised by Wolves, expecting Shay instead of Chase and the jock hot head instead of Devon. Then I remembered what it was about Raised by Wolves that I enjoyed more (what made it one of my favorite werewolf YA's, aside from the fact that it was one of the first YA books I read last year.) It was Bryn's resilience, and here she still does remind me of Rose, only this time she allows herself to be just a little vulnerable.
It's not bad for a second book. With a pack all her own, things just got a little more complicated. I tried to recall who everyone was but was really hoping for a little more of Callum. In the first one, he was always there, this time around he was there but he wasn't. He was my favorite character then, all wise and all knowing but still a tough, just a little hard to love given all his decisions. I remember thinking how bad he was not to have just acted. In this one he is there and not there too; this time I appreciated it. She had some learning to do... and he let her.
The best thing is it isn't as focused on romance as Raised By Wolves. That aspect had dealt with in the first installment, so now it's a little of getting to know each other more. Bryn actually raised the fact that she knew next to nothing of Chase's past and would like to know more. What held her back was Alli, another character I loved. Alli too added something different. She's an active presence in the protag's life. Yes, she's a cool mom, but she also played an important role in the story. She wasn't just the mother, but had a history of her own that contributed to Bryn's learning.
Her learning to be an alpha, to be separate from Callum, to be independent but mindful of those under her care; her learning the in's and out's of were politics just added more to Trial By Fire's non-romantic feel. Basically, there's intrigue, twist after twist, and a really big surprise in the end that shouldn't have been one, especially given Callum's little present in the beginning. (I mean it was a horse for gosh sake!)
I was literally counting down the days for Trial by Fire, and once it was, the good people at the Book Depository sent it off to me all the way here in Australia, and even though it usually takes a week, I was checking my mail box every day in anticipation.
Once it had arrived I practically devoured it.
The best thing about Trial by Fire and Raised by Wolves, is that romance wasn't the main drive of the novel, sure it was there, and like every other girl, I love a good romance, but in a lot of YA books these days, Authors tend to go a bit overboard, so it was nice and refreshing read for me, in both books, even though my heart went out to Chase in this installment.
With my fascination and obsession for wolves I'm a tough critic with books based on werewolves or wolves in general but Jennifer Lynn Barnes did an amazing job, I just simply fell in love the world that she has created and all of it's characters.
A lot of heroines bug me but I found Bryn to be an amazing character, shes strong, has brains and knows how to use them and has a genuine kindness for others, ones that aren't a threat to her pack of course.
Finding about Ali's past was a nice touch and Callum remains to be as cryptic as ever, especially with that nice little twist of info at the end.
I'll be eagerly anticipating the third installment as much as I did this one, and, well okay, I am hoping for a little more romance in the next book... but not too much! Gotta keep a girl on her toes.
I thought "Raised by Wolves" was a brilliant story, and nothing could surpass it; but, my goodness, this one comes close!
Bryn, the Alpha of her small pack (and human too!) gets entangled with a coven of psychics who are in league with Shay (Devon's brother) who wants the female weres of Bryn's pack. There are a lot of twists and turns, but nothing detracts from the edge-of-the-seat plot, and the writing is exceptional.
Devon and Lake are super side-kicks and some dialogue is definitely laugh-out-loud. Chase is quite simply adorable, determined to protect Bryn at all costs - and he does suffer. There is a hard scene towards the end which will have you yelling "OH, NO!!" so have the tissues handy.
There should be more to follow (thank goodness), and definitely on my MUST buy list!
Raised by Wolves was my favorite book of 2010, and I've plugged it perhaps a bit more than an impartial reviewer should. But there was a reason for my fanboyish behavior: Jennifer Lynn Barnes is good. Her writing is engaging, her plotting is tight, and her characters are believable. Most books take a while to get into, but Raised by Wolves grabbed me right at the start and didn't let go until the end. It sets the bar pretty high for a sequel, but I'm happy to report that Trial by Fire meets this standard, perhaps even exceeds it.
Personal response The book, Trial by Fire , was an amazing read. My favorite part of the book was when Bryn took her mother's car to go see Callum who was the alpha of one of the neighboring packs. My least favorite part was when one of the pack left.
Plot summary Bryn recently became an alpha of the new pack of werewolves, the Cedar Ridge Pack, which was located in the state of Colorado. When a werewolf from another pack, the Snakes Bend pack, arrives, he asked for help to get away from the packs abusive alpha. Bryn does not know what to do because it was against pack law to steal wolves from other packs. When Bryn found out that psychics were after the werewolf that appears as well, she went to ask about them. But he withheld information about the leader of the group of psychics, and she learned that he may not be trustworthy. She then contacted the alpha from the Stone River Pack to see if he could provide assistance. When she said that he cannot, she met with the leader of the psychics and is told to hand over the werewolf in seven days. When Bryn decided not to give them the werewolf, the psychics attack. One of Bryn’s pack was killed in the fight. When Bryn decided to let the werewolf join her pack, he challenged her for the position of alpha, but he was not able to withstand her powers and was killed. One of her pack mates was in love with this werewolf, and she decided to leave the pack for a while.
Characterization Bryn was the main protagonist for the book Trial by Fire was a human girl who was the alpha of a werewolf pack. She was a psychic who was resilient which meant she had amazing survival instincts and abilities. She became the alpha by saving humans who were made into werewolves because they were also resilient from a rabid werewolf. The main antagonist of the book was an alpha from another pack named Shay. Shay was after Bryn's pack for the amount of female werewolves that called her pack home.
Setting The setting of Trail of Fire was in the state of Colorado in modern day. It took place both in cities and forests and mountains. The importance of the forests and mountains of Colorado in the book was Bryn’s pack’s home was there. The cities were where she met the psychics at the school she attended.
Recommendation I recommend the book, Trial by Fire , to seventh graders and up because of the graphic scenes depicted in the book. I also recommend the book to those who enjoy reading books set in modern times but have fantasy worked into the world.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Still following Bryn, the only human who also became alpha of her own pack. I’m enjoying the story, the adventures of the werewolves and the politics of the pack. I’ll admit that it is very young in the young adults department. I am lacking on the romance side and sometimes the fact that the story is really about 15 years old kids, is too obvious. Still, I love werewolves and I’d like to see where this goes.
Bryn is an anomaly: the only human acting as alpha and leading a pack of werewolves. It's a tough and lonely job, with many difficult decisions to make with startling consequences. When Bryn finds another alpha's Were, named Lucas, bloody and mid-Shift on her doorstep, she doesn't know what to do. On the one hand, she wants desperately to protect him; on the other, she can't just claim one from another alpha's pack. The boy blacks out right after telling Bryn that she's his last hope for protection. But what is the boy running from? It turns out Lucas was under the lock and key of a coven of psychics. Now that he's escaped, they're hunting him, and anyone who gets in their way. As the threats begin to pile up, Bryn must decide what her priorities are. Herself? Her love? The pack? Or something else entirely...
I don't usually like werewolves. After Twilight, werewolves and vampires were written about like crazy, trying to get the Twilight junkies hooked on the same topic in a different series. It didn't work. This book however, was nothing like Twilight, which I was glad of. I hate copycat books; I crave originality! First off, the idea of Bryn being simply human threw me. Human? As in, she can't change at all, and she doesn't have the built-in Were instincts? She can't turn into anything, no; however, she does have those instincts, because she was raised by werewolves. The book stated, clearly, several times, that Bryn was just human; however, that couldn't seem to compute in my brain. How could she be alpha without being a wolf? For much of the book, I was wondering if I was mistaken about her not being Were, because she was alpha. However, by the end of the story, I truly got it: Bryn is not a Werewolf. The only thing that convinced me entirely was the fact that she asked her guardian to turn her, in time.
I enjoyed the aspect of the psychics. That is one thing that will never be overdone for me; because there are so many ways to do it. Writers who choose psychics as their topics have such an opportunity to make it new and original. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did a great job with that. I liked how they were a 'coven' of psychics; it reminded me of witchcraft, although there was technically none of that. The concept of the powers that the leader of the coven possessed made me think, which I enjoyed. How could someone have so much power that they could physically and psychically influence another person's way of thinking? Just a little bit, I could understand; but to the extent that they would kill? Very interesting to contemplate. I especially found the twist ending with the psychics and Ali, Bryn's foster mom, to be incredibly interesting.
This is the first book in the Raised by Wolves trilogy that I've read; it's the second in the series. I wish I'd gotten to read the first book prior to this one, but I didn't. There was so much back story, from what had happened in the first novel, and from even earlier, that I sometimes found it difficult to keep up. There were also a lot of names, some of them similar; Ali, Bryn's foster mother, and Alex, a werewolf, for example. Although I could call to mind each character by their names by the end of the story, when I was actually reading, it took me some time to be able to associate the name with (my version of) the face. Barnes did a good job of helping the reader (especially one new to the series, like me) to remember the characters; I just found the sheer number of people to remember could get somewhat overwhelming.
I found this book enjoyable, though perhaps not as much as I'd expected, after reading some reviews on it. I enjoyed the storyline and the ideas; werewolves overall just aren't my cup of tea. It was a well-written book with no visible writing errors. I would give it a rating of four stars. It's not quite at the level of enjoyability that some previous four-star books gave me, but I did still like it. I would recommend this story for anyone looking for some romance, tough decisions, and magic where it's least expected.
Raise By Wolves was my first werewolf-based novel I had read. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did a fantastic job at defining, capturing and explaining the essence and mannerisms of a werewolf and their pack (the social, the physical, their hierarchy system, etc.). She explored it successfully, and that, in my eyes, was compelling. However, with its sequel Trial By Fire, I didn’t enjoy it as much, until...a Glee reference came out of no-where! Actually there was quite a lot of the book I did admire: Jennifer’s writing, the characters, the way the plot had unfolded. But I just felt that Jennifer could’ve taken a different approach in this sequel.
Bryn spent fifteen years of her life being raised by a pack of werewolves. Unusual, right? Wrong! It is even more unusual and harder that Bryn at age sixteen has become the only human, female, alpha pack leader ever, and of the newly formed Cedar Ridge pack. This means she has the responsibility for keeping an entire pack of werewolves safe and well. And they could just kill her as they desire to get a new pack leader. But that is not the case. The pack are part friends and family.
Bryn struggles throughout the course of the novel with her responsibility as an alpha, which also means she has to deal with the other packs who are lead by goal-driven, ruthless male alphas who want Bryn to lose her status as an alpha because she is (1), human and (2), female even if that means killing. Shay, [the brother of Devon, Bryn’s best friend (and my favourite character)], is the alpha of that other pack -- a power hungry individual who doesn’t just want Bryn dead and her pack, but rather the female werewolves, the gems of the werewolf community.
Bryn just doesn’t have Shay to deal with, but the threat of a coven -- family/group -- of psychics with powers, that are somehow tied into the ‘Why?’ of why a battered teenage boy werewolf has appeared in Bryn’s territory asking for her protection. And for Bryn, things get more complicated when she can’t claim and save him without agreeing with Shay and possibly starting a war; with Shay and the psychics.
Being alpha is not an easy task. Even more when you do not look like an epitome of an alpha pack leader. Bryn proves that it is not what you are that makes you a leader, but rather who you are and your ability to deal with threats and ability to lead.
Introducing this new ‘species' really of psychics, a coven, to be a threat for Bryn, I believe Jennifer just wanted to throw in another paranormal element. I would’ve enjoyed it more if it was more a werewolf-only world which instead of the psychics they could just be normal human hunters who hunt and kill werewolves, because they’re rabid and “animals”. But still, I liked some of the psychic abilities the new characters had which brought a twist to the story, and now thinking about it, it did integrate well into the ability that Bryn has with connecting with the pack etc..
Where Raised By Wolves was more a book filled with information on the werewolf-creature and hierarchal in-pack, Trial By Fire dealt more with pack politics (the laws between the packs and the alpha pack leaders). This just influences the likeness for Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s werewolves.
Trial By Fire was a compelling sequel. Although Raised By Wolves is more informative as a set-up for the events of that in Trial By Fire, Trial By Fire can be read on its own or read first. All I wonder is what’s going to happen in the next book in the series now, as Trial By Fire did not end on a cliffhanger but rather ended with a subtle finish.