As I knew would happen, re-reading this led me to liking it a lot more than the first time.
Review upgraded to solid 4 stars.
Original March ARC review:
4 Low-ish Stars
I was originally going to rate this 3/3.5 stars…
But after a second re-read…and some reflection…
…I decided to upgrade it to a low 4…
Now, being that my rating for this book (or any book, really) doesn’t even fucking matter – like, at ALL – I have no idea why I put so much thought into the rating of this one when I usually just go with my initial reaction, drunkenly scribe a review filled with nonsensical gifs and jokes that sometimes make sense only to me, and call it a fucking day.
Or maybe I do have an idea, now that I think about it…
This is Suzanne fucking Wright, people.
One of my favorite authors of all time.
I read Feral Sins back when it came out in 2012 and I loved it.
Like LOVED it.
Even more than Miley apparently loves this sledgehammer.
It is the most perfect PNR shifter book that I have ever read. It just ticks all my boxes.
I even own BOTH versions of it.
The one that contains THAT scene…
…and the one with THAT scene edited out.
And I have read and re-read both so many times it’s a wonder my kindle doesn’t short circuit and permanently freeze on them.
After Sins, I (like many of you) have devoured every single Wright book that has come out since. And I have loved pretty much every single one of them and re-read them all ad nauseam too.
The ONLY book of Wright’s that I didn’t love immediately was Carnal Secrets…and yet, even THAT book I have still re-read multiple times and learned to love too, eventually upgrading my rating from 3-something to 4 solid stars.
Anyramble, my point being, there is a reason I am being more
anal fucking retentive particular about my thoughts on this one.
So bear with with me.
Per usual, Wright’s writing is clear, concise, and filled with witticisms and Alpha greatness.
However, there were some differences in this story that set it apart from previous books IMO.
Ryan, the H in this book, is an Enforcer for the Phoenix Pack; but not only is he an Enforcer for the pack…
…he is like a super ninja Enforcer.
We met Ryan back in book one and he has cameo’d in every Pack book since then.
Now, I use the term “met” loosely.
Because unlike some of the other Enforcers – like Tao & his more main role in book one, and Dominic & and his gregariousness and penchent for skeezy one-liners – we never really got to know Ryan in previous books…because he never actually TALKS.
Now here is what they refer to as a total “Catch 22.”
Or as I like to call it…
In order for Wright to stay true to Ryan’s character, he had to be pretty stoic and not all that talkative.
Meaning, I felt like I didn’t really get to know Ryan until almost 50% into the book, if at all.
Which irritated me.
Knowing moi, if Wright had tried to make Ryan more sociable and easier to know, I would have been annoyed that Wright didn’t keep with the characterization she created for him in books 1-4.
So, like I said:
Also, the h in this book – Makenna – is a “loner” wolf, meaning she doesn’t belong to a pack.
In other words, she’s not a new member of the Phoenix Pack who came from a different pack (like Taryn in Feral Sins and Shaya in Carnal Secrets), she’s not a current member of the Phoenix Pack (like Jamie in Wicked Cravings), and she’s not a member of the Mercury Pack – or just staying with the Mercury Pack for protection – like, respectively, Roni (Dark Instincts) or Ally (Spiral of Need).
And this made me feel like something was missing from this book.
A great deal of my enjoyment of this series – and with PNR in general – comes from the fact that the characters live in a pack. There is a sense of brotherhood, family and togetherness – and each book’s couple comes together within the framework of that environment; however, in this book, because Makenna didn’t come from a pack (even a hated one) and didn’t really reside with the Phoenix Pack all that much (even temporarily) I felt like something was missing.
And it left me a bit cold, quite honestly.
Now, something that I really did appreciate about this book….
…was the fact that Ryan realizes Makenna is his true mate pretty early on.
So often (in all of the previous Pack books – with the exception of Carnal Secrets – anyway) it seems to take them forever to realize something that I feel should be some what more…instantaneous IMO, “jammed frequency” or not.
But here, like I said, Ryan realized Makenna is true mate fairly quickly, which was refreshing…
…however, it sure seemed to take them a long fucking time to act on it.
Annoyed by this?
Anway, I did inherently enjoy this book.
I just think that the above…issues – in conjunction with a possible case of the “too high expectations” phenomenon – kept me from enjoying this book as much as I expected to – FOR NOW.
But, as I said above, I think I will only grow to love this book more after future re-reads.
And I would encourage fans of the series to give it a fair shake too.
I’ve been looking forward to Ryan’s story for a long time now…I’m so excited, my tail might wag off my butt.
***ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***