REVIEW: “Taken By Storm,” Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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Title: Taken By Storm (Raised By Wolves #3)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: May, 2012 by EgmontUSA
Pages: 320
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

In the eye of a storm stands Bryn, the alpha of the Cedar Ridge werewolf pack. She is young. Female. Human. Physically weaker than any werewolf, she could never survive a battle with another alpha, the strongest, fiercest, and canniest of his pack.

Yet she cannot refuse a summons from the werewolf Senate. A rogue werewolf is attacking humans. The risk of exposure threatens to destroy pack life, and the center of the crisis is Cedar Ridge territory—her own lands.

Bryn has no choice but to attend the meeting, a gathering of the most powerful werewolves on the continent. The subject is the rogue wolf, but Bryn knows the other packs want what she has. Her territory. Her females. Her pack.

They want her death.

Werewolf law prevents the other alphas from making a direct attack. It also prevents her former alpha, the mysterious and powerful Callum, from coming to her aid. But it doesn’t prevent Bryn from knowing what she wants. To keep her lands. To protect her pack.

To survive.

Final Thoughts:
Not as good as it could have been. The majority of this one felt more like filler than the final book of a trilogy. With a new set of paranormals added into the mix, a new villain, and a trek or two across the countryside, I felt like much of the book was wasted. And with what did happen, it didn’t come across as gripping—not even the characters had much of an effect on me. Admittedly, it had been a while since I’d read the second book, but it was as if all of the character development had been done prior to this book and they were just there, going through the motions. I felt no connection to any of these people, and honestly, the “shock twists” had little impact because of this.

The romance was non-existent, I mean, it was there, it got mentioned, but there was no emotion in it. The strongest emotional tie that main character, Bryn, had was to her pack. This book was basically about her being alpha, and protecting her pack. I could have gotten interested in that kind of plot if kept up the political side of things, adding in more run-ins with other packs and the struggles that came about from being the only female, non-wolf, alpha. Instead, we only got a brief look into that, with a rushed ending tacked on in the final twenty or so pages to resolve things.

The wasted potential annoyed me so much. Shay, alpha of one of the other packs, was such a villain, developed throughout the course of the series into someone quite conniving and formidable, yet he was hardly used until the end. Why? I didn’t care about the other big bad. It could have been anyone for all that we saw of them. Yes, it did allow for some tension and mistrust, but there was no connection to them. And if I don’t care about the characters—good or bad—it just doesn’t make for an enjoyable read.

I’m sure this one has its fans—I even gave the first book five stars—but when the final book in a series isn’t focussed on the overarching plot, uses the bulk of its characters like placeholders, and then hands you an ending—even a smart one—out of nowhere, it doesn’t leave you with a good impression. I wish I could have rated it higher, but this book just didn’t do it for me.

Recommended to:
Those who’ve just read the first two books. If you’ve left it a while like me, you may need a refresher to get yourself back into it again.