Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won't allow the transformation to occur. With a terrible temper to match her fiery red hair, Mack is extraordinarily useful in a fight, and when her pack alpha is brutally and abruptly murdered, she swears vengeance. Unfortunately, his murder also draws in the Brethren - the leaders of the shapeshifter world - who will slaughter everyone in Mack's small rural pack if they discover her true identity. Unfortunately Corrigan, the green-eyed muscle-bound Lord Alpha of the Brethren, doesn't let much slip by him.
©2013 Helen Harper (P)2014 Tantor
This was absolutely flipping amazing! I had no expectations for it and it really did surprise me. I loved every bit of the story and the narrator is great!
Mack is a very strong kick ass heroine but too hot headed and stubborn for her own good, still its a fast paced story with lots of action and a hint of romance (future) chemistry is there just that Mack is too pig headed because she is an alpha female in her own right, can't wait for the next book. It would have been nice if she has more power though. Saskia Maarleveld is awesome as the narrator, she very convincing in her narrative that invokes emotions into you. X
"Much better than I was expecting"
The book summary really didn't do this book justice. I found it an excellent read with a lot more complexity than I was expecting..
It follows the well-trodden path of a magical world separate to the "muggle" world with rules about not letting the non-magical people find out about the reality of magic. However it establishes a good universe through which the story unwinds. The characters are all rich and have a depth to them, and the author doesn't separate them into distinct good/bad groups.
After reading this book I immediately downloaded the next in the series. I rarely do that.
To top it all off, the narrator is brilliant. Her performance significantly enhances the experience and adds an additional dimension to the main character.
She is so good that I would pay to hear her read a telephone directory.
"Finally a real heroine"
It seems that half of the books I read with a female super power lead have them as either self abusive women, or caught in excessive bad boy mode. Mack is neither of these and refreshing, the other characters and story are also refreshing.
The Mercy Thompson series or Kitty Norville series are other great female lead series. While I generally loved those as well, this story had its own sense of flare and unexpected results and subtle sub stories.
The lead Mack, she was not weak, not into bad boys, she had great depth and convictions right along with her flaws. The internal struggles were great and not over powering the story and she resulted in a very believable character.
yes, and then some.
So far I like the world she created for her story.
Took a chance on this series and I don't regret a second! All the elements that I enjoy - great story, kick-a** strong female lead, alpha guy, action and great narration.
"Urban Fantasy at Its Best"
A kick-butt heroine
A smorgasbord of supernatural creatures including many I've never read about before
A slow-building and entirely believable attraction between the heroine and the Brethren's Alpha
An ending that simultaneously satisfied and left me eager for the next book.
"Lovely narrator. Downer of a story."
I liked the way the story developed. But what a downer! I kept waiting for some reprieve - and it never came. Not only that, but the lowest point is at the end. The unsatisfying ending May eventually motivate me to read the next book. But I really wish this one had a self contained arc that is satisfying on some level. The highlight of the book is the narrator. Loved her voice!
"The summary doesn't do it justice"
I loved this book! The writing is good and sleek and the heroine is one of the very, very few female heroines (in this and other genres), that isn't weak, whiny, self-harming in one way or another, needlessly snarky or bitchy or a disguised damsel in distress. No Sirrey, this "kitten" kicks some serious butt!
I loved the humour and the action and the characters. Actually, there's nothing I didn't like about this book.
The characters are really well fleshed out and believable. Even Anton, the kind-of-antagonist. I not only know plenty of people who would act in the same shitty way, but I kind of understand his reasons. I don't like him, obviously, and I'd love to smack some sense into him, but I see where he's coming from.
Corrigan I also liked a lot. He's mysterious because no one really knows a lot about him and his ways (well, no one Mack knows and trusts, anyway), and even though Mack is convinced he's the enemy, his actions make you wonder pretty early on if that is really the case. And yet again, Macks thoughts were very understandable to me (even if she did take a long time to notice his flirting with her. A long, long time. But I think we've all been there).
I also loved the side characters, especially Alex.
The plot was good too. There was suspense, action (very well described fight scenes) and an imaginative world too boot! I love that in this world there aren't just the usual shifters, vamps and fairies around, but supernatural creatures from other cultures as well. It makes the world seem so huge and interesting, even if everything (well, almost everything) is set in rural Cornwall. I also liked the notion of a pack of shifters rather than werewolves, with people shifting into an animal they have most in common with.
About the narration:
Saskia Maarleveld is freaking fantastic! So many non-British narrators, when trying to use a British accent, overdo it and sound anything but natural, but Saskia's main accent is soft and, well, just very pretty. I actually liked all her accents, which almost never happens to me. And oh, Corrigans voice! I never thought I'd say this, but yes: this woman knows how to portray a deep, sexy male voice! Whenever Corrigan spoke, I completely forgot that the narrator was female. I just swooned. Really, now. With a single book, she has turned into my favourite female narrator. I've already been actively looking for other books she's narrated, she's that good.
"Greeat new Mix of Otherworld Beings"
I haven't read the printed versions but I can see the movie playing in my head.
Mac, and the gargoyle.
She has the ability to change her voice to bring out the other Characters.
I like the book Titles as is, but maybe something simple like (Human-Dragons the other paranormal
The stories are coming to few and far between. I need More PLease.
"Awesome British series!"
This was really good!
I hadn't realised it was set in the UK!
It was lol at times!
Mac is awesome as snarky and kickass as they come!
"Celtic is not pronounced with an 'S'!"
Great starting story - though a bit heavy-handed with the love interest. The narrator has a nice english accent - either by inheritance or talent but the pronuncication of far too many of the words is inauthentic enough to be thoroughly distracting. Timbre great, but it seems that no effort was put into researching place names, slang, intonation of insults of many infractions. That said, the story and otherwise pleasant voices and characterizations worked fine.
"A series I can be excited about."
When I first started to listen to this book, I thought it was likable but nothing special. But about at the second half, the book hits it's grove and I really liked it. I will be getting the next one in the series, especially since it is a Whispersync selection. That doesn't mean it isn't without its problems. Mac takes way too long to figure things out and she is a bit immature but I still like her a lot. The author does repeat over and over that Mac is human and I feel that it was a bit redundant. There is no sex in this book, but I can't guarantee there won't be some later because I suspect the romance that was hinted at in this book will heat up in future books, hopefully. Narrator does a good job, it's nice not to have a really hard accent but a nice lilt.
"Light sort of romanticy chiclit with fighting?"
The narration was really good. The characters were fun, the action scenes were thought out.
Good all round.
The Cornwall you never knew existed.
The heroine got a little bit whiny from time to time but it was nice to see her try her best and not need rescuing all the time like so many other heroines in this genre.
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