Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review - Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Taken by Storm (Raised by Wolves, #3)Taken by Storm
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by EgmontUSA


Bryn knows first-hand that being the alpha of a werewolf pack means making hard decisions, and that being human makes things a thousand times worse. She's prepared to give up her humanity, but the wolf who promised to Change her is waiting - though for what, Bryn doesn't know. Still human, she must take her place in the werewolf Senate, the precarious democracy that rules the North American packs. Standing side by side with werewolves who were ancient long before she was ever born is enough of a challenge, but Bryn soon learns that the Senate has been called to deal with a problem: the kind of problem that involves human bodies, a Rabid werewolf, and memories that Bryn, Chase, and the rest of their pack would rather forget. With bodies stacking up and political pressure closing in from all sides, Bryn and her pack are going to have to turn to old enemies and even older friends for help - especially when it starts to look like this time, the monster might be one of their own.

My Review:

*Burning tears leaving trails down my face* Are you kidding me?!

I hate this book. I love it, no…… I hate it. DANG IT!!  Why?!?!

Taken by Storm brings the entire Raised by Wolves series into focus. I thought each story in this trilogy was complete in itself. Sure there were some lingering questions, like What about that werewolf Shay? But each book has its own challenges and emotional upheavals and splatterings of blood.

There’s lots of blood through-out the series. Enough to make me queasy. It’s so well-described, too. So that I can hear the severed arteries leaving a trail of splatter on the white walls. There is a lot of animal blood and mauled humans, too.

Because, now that I’ve finished the trilogy, I see that it has always been about the Rabid werewolf and Bryn conquering the Rabid. He’s not just a freaky side-show. He’s the central theme.


But it’s Bryn that has me crying. Never mind that I finished this book at the football practice field surrounded by sports buffs… I’m crying in public. Wishing I had somewhere to go to just let it out and scream at the wide open sky.

I’m so sorry, Bryn!! I’m so sorry you had to experience all that. Sorry you had to grow up like that. You didn’t get any good choices. Each step you took thrust you into more responsibility and away from following your own heart, away from innocence and hope and trust and childhood.

I can’t say anything without spoiling this book. But I can’t pretend I’m happy with how it ended – satisfied, maybe, but so not happy. I am in awe of the web Barnes created that I found myself caught in the middle of. I did not expect so many things.

I don’t want to rate Taken by Storm very highly because… well… I hate it. I feel very differently about all three, now. I think I rated ‘em all at 4’s, but all together? Maybe a reluctant 5. ‘Cause now I want to start the series from the beginning again. Now that I know.

Just… DANG IT!  Why?!?!  Now I know that it was all on purpose – each step of that painful progression into responsibility, especially, and making hard choices. ON PURPOSE!!

What’s to review?

Bryn – I love her forever. She’s one of my favorite fictional characters E.V.E.R.

The rest of ‘em? I love Chase & Maddy & Lake & Dev & even Jed & Caroline. I hate the Rabid – HATE! And Shay. Grrrrr  And even Callum. Sorry, but… he’s a part of Bryn’s death-to-innocence.

As for the setting, the world-building? I think I believe werewolves are real. And I see my dogs a little different, now.

If I say any more, I’ll cry again. So….. *sigh* the end, I guess.

Note:  DO NOT SPOIL THIS BOOK!!  You'll spoil the whole dang series. Sheesh. Just... don't read any spoilers, ok?! I'll let myself read some, now... and I agree with *Circus Freak* Hutton:
im hoping after a few weeks ill stop hating Barnes.
Here's some more about this author... who is torturing us on purpose:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I'm a Jennifer who goes mostly by Jen, an Oklahoma girl who's also lived in Connecticut and England, and a writer who has a not-so-secret double life as a cognitive scientist. I love pop culture, mythology, science, superheroes, Joss Whedon, guacamole, television targeted at teenagers, and any song that I know the lyrics to. I have no sense of direction, but can read a book and shower at the same time. As is probably obvious, I do not particularly excel at writing my own bios.

I started writing professionally when I was a teenager and completed my first four published novels while I was in college. Since then, I've split my time between various graduate programs and writing books. In May 2012, I graduated from Yale University with a PhD in Developmental Psychology, which basically means I spent a lot of time thinking about the way the mind works and designing and running experiments that probe the way that young children and non-human primates view the world. My background in the psychological sciences has a habit of working its way into the books I write, sometimes in unexpected ways.

As a reader, I love strong female characters, books that blend emotional depth with sarcasm and humor, and supernatural stories that feel real. I'm a sucker for romance and search out authors who can write action sequences and violence without pulling their punches.

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PS - Jennifer Lynn Barnes has become a Must-Read-Author for me. So... don't let my fit throwing make you think you have to make me like her. I'm hooked. I'm just, well, still crying.