Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal
Available Formats: Hardcover and eBook
My Shelf:
Want to Buy
Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

First and foremost, a very important issue needs to be addressed. For those of you, like me, who are wondering if there is going to be a fourth book in the Raised by Wolves series, here is what Barnes has to say: “I knew that this book would, in many ways, be a conclusion to the plot lines, questions, and character arcs that started in the first two. I can’t say for sure that this is the last book I’ll ever write about Bryn, but I can say that I would be happy with it as a finale if it were.” *pauses and broods over statement* *broods some more* Nope, I’m sorry. Try as I might, I am not content with this ending. I want more! I want to know what happens next (MAJOR spoilers- only highlight to view if  you have read the book): How does Bryn feel after she has changed? Is her relationship with Devon still light and carefree even though they are now both Alphas? Will her relationship with Callum be repaired and can Bryn forgive him? And is there any way, any way at all, that Chase can be brought back, maybe even as a Shadow?? While the plot lines may have been tied up nicely, I am still not wholly satisfied with this ending (a series should not end on a cliffhanger, in my opinion), so I will praying, down on my hands and feet pleading, for there to be a fourth book. Please? Please, please, pretty please?? I am not above begging.

You cannot resist this face!

[Tries to gather what little of my dignity remains] Ahem. Okay, I am cool and composed. So how was the book, you ask? Absolutely, mind-blowingly amazing!! Just when I thought this series could not impress me more, Barnes dishes out Taken by Storm. This is definitely one of the few series available that actually gets better and better with every addition, and Taken by Storm is the best book in the series, no contest. It defied all my expectations, which were already pretty high. The story starts a little while after Bryn met with Callum (end of book two), and things immediately get intense when a Rabid shows up and Bryn is confronted with memories she would rather not remember. However, this Rabid is believed to be female, and all the big boys (aka the Alphas) come out to play in hopes of adding her to their ranks. When Bryn learns that Maddy might somehow be involved in the Rabid’s killings, it becomes a race against time and the other Alphas to figure out who the Rabid is and save Maddy. If things are not bad enough, Shay starts pulling out some of the tricks he has up his sleeve for some time, and he is anticipating the day when he takes over Bryn’s pack. But Bryn happens to have a few tricks up her sleeve as well….

I know I already mentioned that I loved this book, but it will not hurt to say it one more time. Taken by Storm was beyond brilliant. Barnes seamlessly creates a story with a gripping, ever-changing plot filled with intense action, charming characters, and heightened emotions/feelings, a prefect trifecta. This book made me feel so much; I laughed and I cried and some emotionally trying moments tugged at my heart. I love how Barnes captures the mentality of a pack being family, and I respected the strength of their emotional bonds to one another. Bryn is human, but she is their Alpha, and they will follow her through thick and thin. I cannot even begin to try and explain the appreciation I have for Bryn. Being human, she is physically weaker than other packs’ Omegas, but that never stops her from doing what she thinks is best and fighting for her pack. Shay throws her down rather heavily in this book, but she stands up and pushes right back, and I cannot help but have the utmost respect for her. Her iron will and keen mind are all the arsenal she needs to make the other Alphas regret challenging her or thinking of her as weak. You have got to love a girl who can own Alpha males. All the old favorites are also back, and even good ole Archer makes an appearance (I lovveee his name!).

I really cannot do this book justice. If you have not read it (or this series), then you need to remedy that quickly. Raised by Wolves is one of the greatest werewolf books I have ever come across (if not the very best), and you should not miss out on it. Treat yourself! I just hope Taken by Storm is not the last time we read about Bryn.

To conclude my fangirling review, I have a letter for Ms. Barnes.

Dear Ms. Barnes,
I [politely] demand a fourth book. You do not want to see me go all Rabid (it's not pretty). I will eagerly be awaiting the next book within a year! :)
Thank you,
A BIG fan
The Greatest Escape!!

Read my review for Raised by Wolves here.
Read my review for Trail by Fire here

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