Tag Archives: shifters

Review of Survivor, by Mazzy J. March

I purchased a copy of Mazzy March‘s Survivor.

Description from Amazon:

They say there’s nothing wrong with me, but I can’t walk.

At least not more than a couple of feet at a time. Like from bed to my wheelchair.
I crawled out of the wreckage of our family car seconds before it burst into flame at the base of the cliff, killing my parents. I screamed my lungs raw for help, even though I knew they couldn’t be saved, but nobody came for nearly twenty-four hours. It rained, and I shivered in the chill, the scent of burned upholstery and other things filling my nose.

My aunt cared for me for a short while, but when she also died in an accident—a house fire that nearly took me out as well—I was placed in the care of a hired nurse who made sure I took my meds and waited on me hand and foot. Over time I lost what little strength I had, until I never left my room, almost bedridden, my only contact with the outside world online classes.

But when I turned eighteen, I had to make a change or I’d end up dying here, old and alone and without any hope. So now I have my small apartment in a new town, living on my own for the first time and attending classes at the local community college. My parents’ insurance is running out, but I have a job in the school library, and as long as I take my pills every day, I seem to do all right.

It’s not much of a life, but so much more than I ever had.

When Brandon Graves knocked on my door, the look of shock on his face was priceless. Apparently, he’d never seen a shifter in a wheelchair before.

He said I was on pack lands and therefore had to meet with the Alpha, his brother.

So much for staying under the radar.

Review:

I’m angry, so so angry. Ok, maybe angry isn’t the right word. Disappointed is better. But it makes me feel better to rant and say I’m angry. While I have other things to add, let me get the big one out of the way and it’s a spoiler, be warned.

I bought this book because it has a heroine on the cover who uses a wheelchair. The blurb says that she was injured in an accident as a child and now can’t walk unassisted. I thought, ‘Wow, a person with a mobility disability getting some rep. I am all in!’ Imagine my immense disappointment to discover that the plot moves along with her regaining her ability to walk and no longer needing her wheelchair. (If you care to glance at the covers of books 2,3, and 4 you’ll see she’s up, on her feet and walking. Presumably even well enough to fight, if you judge by the sword.)

That’s no longer representation. That’s…that’s…well, that’s something else. And I was super annoyed every time one of the heroes asked her to leave the chair behind, or walk a little farther, etc. I realize the author meant this to be them encouraging her, but I felt like they were trying to separate her from her disability, rather than accept her as she is. The miracle cure trope needs to die. It’s like a bait and switch—you thought you were getting some real disability representation, but nope, we were just using the disability of a prop or disposable plot device.

Outside of this big disappointment, that I won’t be continuing the series because of (even though this book ended on a giant and abrupt cliffhanger), I liked the four heroes and the heroine. Though the four guys didn’t seem to be getting the same amount of page time and none of them had any depth as characters. I thought the inclusion of a single other female, as a BFF, was tokenish. Why are books so often entirely populated by men? The writing is simplistic (with a tendency to tell) but perfectly readable, though the editing could use another pass. All in all, it’s fine, but the author burned a bridge with me. So, I’m done.

Reviews of The Legend of All Wolves #1-4, by Maria Vale

I picked up a copy of Maria Vale‘s The Last Wolf when it was a freebie last year. When I finished it I bought a copy of A Wolf Apart and requested paperback copies of Forever Wolf and Season of the Wolf from the library. Then, I got impatient. So, I canceled that request and borrowed the e-copy of Forever Wolf through Hoopla (which I had to read on my phone) and Season of the Wolf from Netgalley.

Description: The last Wolf

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.

If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.
But if she stays…


Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack’s social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn’t all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves…

Review:

I absolutely loved this. I’ve now bought the next one and requested the rest from the library so that I can finish the series. I did think a few important moments (like a pretty major betrayal) were glossed over, but I also understand that that wasn’t really what the book was about. It also ended a bit abruptly. But on the whole, I loved both Ti and Silver. I loved Vale’s take on werewolves in general and I simply laughed and went “awwww” too many times to count. All without ever becoming overly sappy. I can’t wait for more.


Description: A Wolf Apart

When the Great North Pack is on the verge of falling apart, Pack wolf Elijah Sorensson wants to give up on his successful life in the human world to return home. But the Alpha says no—Elijah must continue to play his role to protect the Pack from those who want to destroy it.

Knowing he needs strength by his side, he seeks out human Thea Villalobos, a woman he’s admired from the moment he met her. He hopes she can help him break through his human shell before the ailing wolf inside him dies, and before the Pack is betrayed again. But can Thea accept who and what Elijah really is?

Review:

By the end, I liked this book. But I despaired in the beginning. I can honestly say I flat out disliked the first third. In the beginning, before Elijah found Thea, the book is just so god awful full of derision of women I didn’t even want to continue. I understood that the author wanted to show Elijah’s contempt for humans and that since he tried to fill the emptiness in his soul with sex it was women he mostly engaged with. So, it’s not really misogyny on his part. But I wouldn’t swear it isn’t on the author’s part. Why do authors keep writing women like this? The unrelentingness of it grates. There is no variety or humanity in any of the women Elijah encounters. They’re all silicone-filled, money-hungry, informal prostitutes. Maybe not getting paid but still having sex in exchange for gifts or power. Every damn one.

Eventually, that petered out (thank god) and I liked Elijah and Thea. I even liked them together. However, I couldn’t tell you what their relationship was built on. Elijah just kind of decides she’s the one, out of nowhere, and they run with it. I liked it, but I can’t think too deeply about it or it crumbles. I still want to continue with the series and can’t wait to get my hands on books 3 and 4.


Description: Forever Wolf

Born with one blue eye and one green, Eyulf was abandoned as an infant and has never understood why, or what he is…Varya is fiercely loyal to the Great North Pack, which took her in when she was a teenager. While out on patrol, Varya finds Eyulf wounded and starving and saves his life, at great risk to her own.

Legend says his eyes portend the end of the world…or perhaps, the beginning…

With old and new enemies threatening the Great North, Varya knows as soon as she sees his eyes that she must keep Eyulf hidden away from the superstitious wolves who would doom them both. Until the day they must fight to the death for the Pack’s survival, side by side and heart to heart…

Review:

We were back in the Homelands for this one and I think that’s just how I like this series. I like all the wolfy behaviors and customs. My reaction to the couple is mixed though. I didn’t feel I got to know him anywhere near enough and, while I liked her, I don’t understand why she fell so hard for him so quickly, other than being another arctic wolf (and ‘I like you just because you’re the same race as me’ seems a squinky basis for a relationship). Having said that, I liked the book but was disappointed in the ending. It makes sense and wasn’t hard to see coming, but it’s a happy ending with a heavy dose of sad.


Description: Season of the Wolf

In a world of danger and uncertainty, the Alpha has enough to worry about without him…

For Alpha Evie Kitwanasdottir, things are never easy. The Great North Pack has just survived a deadly attack. Evie is determined to do whatever is necessary to keep her Pack safe, especially from the four Shifters who are their prisoners.

Constantine lost his parents and his humanity on the same devastating day. He has been a thoughtless killer ever since. When Constantine is moved to live under Evie’s watchful eye, he discovers that taking directions and having a purpose are not the same thing.

Each moment spent together brings new revelations to Constantine, who begins to understand the loneliness of being Alpha. He finds strength and direction in helping Evie, but there is no room for a small love in the Pack, so Constantine must work harder than ever to prove to Evie he is capable of a love big enough for the Great North Pack itself.

Review:

I’m conflicted about how I feel about this latest volume in The Legend of All Wolves series. I liked it, don’t get me wrong. I really liked Evie and Constantine themselves and Constantine’s pining was very sweet. I liked seeing a lot of the wolves being more open and seeing some of the pack’s personalities. But the book COMPLETELY bypasses the fact that the shifters are the mortal enemies of the wolves. It was wholly unbelievable to me that they would have been so easily accepted into the pack and I had a hard time overlooking this rather large plothole. I also found Evie’s knowledge to be inconsistent. One moment she doesn’t know what a compass is, the next she’s referencing alternative dispute resolutions in a legal context.

Having said all that, I enjoy this series because of the feels. Both the ones the romance evoke and the ones the descriptions of wildlands make me experience. So, I can’t wait for there to be more. Yes, I could quibble with the fact that you’d never see the (female) mate of a male alpha trying so desperately to support them in a manner that suggested he secretly needed it, thereby undermining all the strength he’s supposed to have. I could, I certainly thought it. But I won’t.

Review of Binding Shadows (Tooth & Spell #1), by Jasmine Silvera

I purchased a copy of Jasmine Silvera‘s Binding Shadows through Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:

There are two rules: find a way to use your magic and never reveal it to anyone.

Hunting down lost books is more than a job, it’s a way for Barbara to conceal her powers in the mundane world of the university library. One misstep and she risks exposure to ruthless necromancers willing to destroy anything supernatural they cannot control. But when the prickly new professor in charge of her latest assignment proves more than he seems, rules and reason are no match for her growing fascination.

After years of battling to cage the beast within him, Tobias returns to Prague and the safety of his pack of brothers. Unfortunately, his new job handling a collection of rare editions comes with a research assistant irresistible to both beast and man. Revealing his secret could endanger his entire family and he refuses to risk passing on the curse in his blood.

When the discovery of an enchanted book of spells triggers unpredictable surges in Barbara’s magic, unleashing the beast within himself may be the only way to free her. Trapped between a witch and a necromancer, they must survive a perilous reckoning with the past, or neither will have a future.

Review:

I absolutely loved this—grumpy, cinnamon bun hero, and a smart librarian heroine. Their romance was adorable. The mystery kept me engaged. The world was interesting (if a little vague). And the side characters made me laugh. On finishing, I immediately went to try and buy the sequel, which isn’t out yet. Why does the universe punish me like this? WHY?

My only criticism is that the book could have done with another pass from a copy editor. There are the occasional double words and thought/though kind of mishaps. But it was not enough to make me not love this. Since I couldn’t get Gruff Older Brother’s book (because that’s who it better be about) I went ahead and bought the first in the Grace Bloods series instead.