Monday, September 3, 2012

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I’ve had so much fun reading these books! I got this one the day it came out, and sadly only just got to it now! So many books to read, so little time (says the girl who tends to read a book a day…)! Also, how pretty is the purple thunderstorm cover? I think it’s my favorite cover in the series.
I think a small part of my reluctance to start this book was that I was pretty okay with the ending of book 2. I knew that with this third installment would only come more troubles for Bryn, and I really wanted to feel like she would be alright and trouble-free for a while. She deserved it. But, I had to see what happened!
It takes place not too long after book 2 finishes, which finished with Bryn killing the werewolf, Lucas. He asked to join Bryn’s pack, so he could leave his old, abusive alpha behind. There were all kinds of bad wolf politics going on and it all resulted in an epic fight to the death that unfortunately for Maddy (fellow pack member, and close friend to Bryn) meant the violent death of her boyfriend).
This book starts with a Senate meeting where all the pack alphas meet and discuss a rabid wolf who has made more than one violent kill. The reason Shay (abusive alpha from books previous) calls a meeting about the rabid wolf is because he knows the wolf to be female. Since female werewolves can only be born as part of a set of twins, they are rare.
Werewolf pups are rare period considering their tendencies to shift throughout pregnancy, which a lot of time results in death all around. Bryn’s pack has the most females and the most pups because she sort of rescued her ragtag crew from some horrible situations. Bryn, herself is the only female alpha and also the only human alpha at the Senate meeting, where close to no one takes her seriously.
The female wolf whose been doing the attacks is near Bryn’s land, and Shay clearly wants permission granted to the Senate to enter her lands to find the female wolf. But, Senate decides they’ll wait and see if the wolf makes herself any more noticed by humans first. Bryn has the bad feeling that the new rabid wolf is actually Maddy, the girl she let leave her pack after the death of her boyfriend, Lucas.
And if any of the other alphas, particularly Shay, get to Maddy before Bryn does, Maddy will be claimed to a new pack, and not necessarily a nice one. Also, if alphas along with other packs are allowed access to Bryn’s land, her pack will not be safe. She has a lot of kids and female wolves that the other packs might “want” too much.
With the help of her old clairvoyant alpha, Callum, Bryn learns the wolf involved in the vicious killings is Maddy and sets off immediately. There are camping trips and disgusting murder scenes –we’re talking season finale episodes of Dexter, disgusting. There’s a little bit of romance between Bryn and her werewolf boyfriend, Chase. There’s teaming up with psychics, meet-ups with old characters, and the introduction of ghosts! There’s a lot of stuff going on that involving werewolf twins. There are serial killers (aka: rabid werewolves). And just when things start going right and it looks like Bryn can save the day for everyone, including Maddy, in comes Shay again with his shady politics and violent need for “justice.”
Good characters die. New people and wolves join Bryn’s pack. There was a moment at the end (after I shed a tear or two), where I literally fist pumped the air in response to some kick-butt move Bryn pulls! The politics are dirty. The fighting is even dirtier. And it’s really hard to find the good wolves when everyone seems out for females…
It took me a little while to get into this book. It was first so much about finding Maddy and that wasn’t the most fascinating storyline for me –it was like when a favorite tv shows spends a few two many episodes on the same awful story arc that I wish would just end (cough, True Blood with Lilith, cough). But the arc made itself better when other things like un-killable serial killer ghosts enter the picture.
I loved how Bryn’s pack really became a pack in this one. Bryn has grown into such an empathetic, strong, leader. There’s still a lot of things I wish Bryn would have picked up on sooner. There were things that happened with Callum that I knew were happening weeks before Bryn did, and she’s the character who is supposed to really know the guy. Though, I do give the girl credit for thinking on her feet, and always protecting those who need her protection.
I’m not quite sure how I felt about the end. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I get why it was necessary. It’s definitely a bittersweet ending, and I really do hope that Barnes continues Bryn’s story so I can see more of Bryn’s growth. However, I can also see this working as the end book; it does end with a bit of a bang. I give this one a 9/10.

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