Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
My Shelf: Want to Buy
Other Books in Series: Raised by Wolves
There can only be one alpha.

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.

WOW! I thought the first book was good, but this book was infinitely better! The story is even more enthralling and politically turbulent than before, and it completely captivated me. The writing is more lush and emotional, and I ate up every word. I fell more in love with the characters, especially Bryn and Devon. I feel like whatever I say about this book, or no matter how much I gush, I will never do justice to just how amazing and original of a series this is.

I love how strong of a character Bryn is. Even though she is both human and female, she is Alpha of her pack, and she knows how to run it despite being inexperienced. She has some conflicts with some of the other Alphas due to her lack of werewolf-ness, but she never stands down.  She is smart, almost deviously so, and she knows how to strategize. I mentioned this earlier in my review for Raised by Wolves, but I will say it again: it is so nice to have a main character who knows how to use her head. More about Devon and his past is revealed in this book, and it made me adore him even more than before (which I did not think was possible). Old faces (and a few new ones) are back, and I loved seeing Ali back in all of her awesome, kick-butt glory. Something else that I love about this series: the romance between Chase and Bryn takes a backburner to everything else going on. There is so much going on in the story politically and strategically, so I think it would have lost most of its intensity had it focused more on the romance. It is really refreshing coming across paranormal YA novels that are not purely focused on some of the characters’ love lives.

This series has quickly become one of my favorites. I love the characters, I love the writing, I love the plot twists. I just love everything about it. The third book in the series, Taken by Storm, is due out May 22, 2012. I probably do not need to tell you how excited I am to read it! Is it possible that it will be even better than Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire? I am eager to find out!
The Greatest Escape!

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