Monday, August 22, 2011

Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

So, it only took me about a few minutes after finishing book 1 to decide to buy book 2 immediately for my Kindle. And then it only took me about a day to finish book 2, and think, “I could really use a book 3.” Too bad there is no word that I know of yet about there being a book 3.
If you haven’t read book 1 yet, and don’t want any spoilers, just stop reading now. But also know that I was more impressed with book 2 than I was with the first in the series.
This book begins a little after where the first book left off. And if you would like a review of book 1, just keep scrolling down to my post from yesterday and you will find it. Bryn has learned to be a very unique alpha. She is a very relaxed, non-controlling leader of her group of children/teen/peripherary wolves.  Being a female alpha is unheard of. Being a female human alpha to a group of juvenile werewolves is just impossible. And lead it to Bryn, a ridiculously brave and rule breaking heroine to be the first to attempt such an impossible feat.
Bryn and her friends are actually liked at their new school. There are plenty of Bryn/Chase moments for readers to fall even harder for Mr. Perfect Teen Werewolf Boy Friend. And then everything gets turned even further for a loop when a wolf from another pack turns up on Bryn’s doorstep, beaten to shreds. Soon, Bryn learns that the wolf wants to join Bryn’s pack and that he refuses to go back to the pack that allowed him to be the way he was. Unfortunately, the wolf, Lucas, is from Shay’s pack. Shay was the wolf most adamant in Book 1 for killing Bryn and taking all the female werewolves she rescued (including the children) to help secure a larger pack of his own.
Bryn has to decide between saving Lucas from sure death and not putting her pack in any extra danger from Shay. She also comes to learn that human psychics also want a piece of Lucas (actually more like pieces…they want to torture him) because they were promised a werewolf to torture from Shay who made a deal with them. A werewolf had killed someone in their family, and they hated all werewolves for this. Shay apparently has been planning a lot of things when it comes to Lucas and Bryn’s pack. And at every moment, when Bryn beats Shay, Shay comes fighting forward again with another trick up his sleeve. Between betting for wolves in games of pool, wars between werewolves and covens of humans with supernatural powers, wolf/alpha protocol, clairvoyant “warnings” form Bryn’s former alpha who can’t really help her without causing a werewolf civil war, learning about her powers, fighting for the right to be in charge, and also dealing with all her new pack/family/boyfriend relationships, Bryn has a lot cut out for her in book 2.
I loved how it ended. Bryn has come to a decision about what’s best for her pack, and I love how she goes about asking for help to make sure her decision can really be made. I loved learning about Bryn’s mother figure Ali. I loved her relationship with her past alpha. And I definitely loved all the magical additions made to the story. The politics, the action, the characters, the super powers, and the plot were all so much stronger than they were in book 1, and I am so glad I went and got this one as quickly as I did.
I still wasn’t 100% buying the relationship between Bryn and Chase. Chase just seemed too perfect, too willing to accept all that Bryn was and not ask for the same in return. But again, like I said in my last post, this becomes more realistic in all of Bryn’s doubts. Though, she never truly doubts Chase, just like she never truly doubts any of her pack, something that is both good and bad. There was also less repetition in this book than there was before. There was some; but some is a lot better than a lot.  Or maybe I’ve just become more adjusted to the writing style –I don’t know.
I was actually surprised by a couple of things at the end. I predicted the major points, but it was so refreshing to have a couple of surprises thrown in as well! I loved getting to know Bryn better and watch her grown into a powerful leader. I give this one a 10/10. And I really do hope a book 3 is in the works!

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