Grade: 4.8 stars out of 5
Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Raised by Wolves series is fast becoming my favorite teen paranormal series because of the fact that she keeps the plot going and focused. Whereas many paranormal fictions would drift off into the realm of romance and lust and excessive flowery descriptions about eye color, Raised by Wolves and its sequel, Trial by Fire, sticks to the action.
Byrn is the alpha of the underdog (or should I say underwolf) pack. Consisting of a handful of teenagers, several children, one full grown male werewolf, and more female werewolves than any other packs, the Cedar Ridge Pack is always on the defense. And with Byrn being the alpha and a human alpha at that, she is constantly pressured. Second-in-command Devon’s brother, alpha to the Snake Bend Pack, is only making things worst. When a renegade wolf leaves the Snake Bend Pack asking for help from Byrn, life becomes a ticking time-bomb as Bryn struggles to figure just what to do.Trial by Fire is an intricate mind game that tries to shake its readers from its tail. Just when readers think that they might have figured out what is happening and what would happen next, Barnes would spin readers around. Trial by Fire keeps its readers on their toes and fidgeting to find out what’s coming up. The novel is unafraid to take risks and twists and it pays off; Trial by Fire is nothing like I’ve read before and is becoming one of my favorite Were novels.
Forget everything about girls being the damsel in distress because Byrn can kick ass. Despite not being able to shift into a wolf, Byrn manages to hold her own and can prove it as readers would soon find out. What struck me as Bryn being a great protagonist was her connection to her emotions and the rest of the pack. She’s very in tune or at least tries very hard with the people around her. Trial by Fire demonstrates the little touches with a light shimmer of the hand or just a quick glimpse in the eye can speak volumes. Byrn can be the hard female, but also the insecure and naïve young teenager. Trial by Fire is just another growing process for her.
What I love about the relationship between Bryn and Chase is the toned down attitude. The little scenes with just Chase and Bryn are far and little making me relish each one so much more. There’s nothing sexually explicit about their relationship but the light brush of their lips, cuddling together, and being in each other’s presence gives me plenty enough to be satisfy. Chase is very much the protective male, but still understanding Byrn’s responsible as alpha. He just is there whenever Bryn needs him.
Readers should expect to come out of Trial by Fire with more knowledge than ever about some characters (coughAlicough). There were some wonderful character developments and enriching details about Weres and Packs. Hierarchy and strategies are important; there are many factors each action every character makes, which readers may not know until the end. Things fall perfectly together in the end with an ah-ha! moment.
Would recommend this series to paranormal fans. I really do.
Published: 2011 June 14; hardcover
Source: review copy from publicity firm