Oct
29

Title: Taken By Storm (Raised By Wolves #3)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: May, 2012 by EgmontUSA
Pages: 320
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
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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.

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Oct
13

Title: Sinner (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July, 2014 by Scholastic
Pages: 357
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

Final Thoughts:
Given how sparsely the werewolf aspect came into play, this book was basically a contemporary. Don’t get me wrong, I love contemporaries, but stepping back into the series after the events of Forever, it took a moment to adjust to the change in pace. While I didn’t fall in love with the book, I still enjoyed it for what it gave us: Cole and Isabel as semi-adults—the in-between stage. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I agreed with them as a couple, they clearly cared about each other, but it was hard when there were just so many angsty interruptions. I wanted something I could root for, the moments that make you love what you’re reading, but Sinner just didn’t get there for me.

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Jun
02

Title: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: May, 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 725
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian, but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

Final Thoughts:
This book ate my whole weekend. It was just so long. I’ve spent the past six hours on my couch getting through the last 300 pages, feeling like I just wanted it to end. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great book, a great end to the series, but it was just so…I guess ‘tiring’ is the word. All of the characters get a look in, with most getting a fair share of the time spent exploring and wrapping up their plots, but in doing this, it really slowed down the pacing with all of the jumping back and forth to all of the different perspectives. It’s probably a good thing for people who are sick of certain characters, but I just wanted to get to the end and put the heavy (you could use it as a brick) book down.

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Aug
31

Title: Trial By Fire (Raised By Wolves #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: June, 2011 by EgmontUSA
Pages: 357
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
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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.

Final Thoughts:
Not as compelling as its predecessor, Trial By Fire felt like it was lacking something for a good chunk of the book. With Bryn now an Alpha, there is a distinct change in the dynamic, but personally, I didn’t think it was one for the better. The politics take over the story with very little actually going on until the final quarter. When it got going, it became great, so I’m left wondering if the pacing had been tweaked if I would have enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I actually did.

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Jul
15

Title: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)
Author: Gail Carriger
Published: October, 2009 by Orbit
Pages: 357
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
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Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Final Thoughts:
The writing takes a little to get used to, but definitely stick with it. This one is full of humour, Victorian etiquette and a very tough, parasol wielding spinster. I got a lot of fun out of this one, including a hot werewolf romance.

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Jul
07

Title: Raised By Wolves (Raised By Wolves #1)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: June, 2010 by Quercus
Pages: 418
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?

Final Thoughts:
From a werewolf sceptic, I really loved this book. The characters were well developed, the relationships felt real, and the plot had enough meat to it to keep me on the edge of my… well, bed. This is a book I’d be glad to have in my collection.

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