I’m a nut for Suzanne Wright. I love her stuff, and by stuff I mean sarcastic heroines and dirty talking heroes.
Still, the last few Phoenix Pack and Mercury Pack books have frustrated and disappointed me. As much as I adore her stories, the repetitious characters and plot devices is becoming cereal-box-stale. I love characters like Jesse and Harley from Force of Temptation. However Trick and Frankie were a yawn fest. To be honest I can’t differentiate Trick from the guy with the bad pick up lines despite having read all the books. They aren’t close to being the same character but Trick wouldn’t be missed by me if he were to disappear. Lure of Oblivion wasn’t a shiner for me either. I waited excitedly for Xander’s book like a kid promised ice cream; the reality is that these later books are becoming hit and miss.
Just in time to mend my breaking heart come Bracken and Madisyn. Echoes of Fire has put me back on the happy side of life. No stale cereal in this box.
The ongoing unrest swells within the shifter community as egotistical alphas vie for territory and power. This agitation within the shifter world is running parallel with the terroristic attacks of the anti-shifter radicals. The terrorists are prepared to sacrifice lives on both sides to prove shifters are monsters. Although Nick and Shana have no desire to expand or control more territory many shifters want to be at the top of the food chain. Territory is power. Power is influence. Allies fighting for your territory means you and your allies get to devour challengers. Sometimes greedy shifters collaborate with their enemies to destroy common threats. Sometimes your enemy of your enemy is just pretending your they’re ally–dumb people do dumb things.
So don’t trust bears.
The local shifter shelter where Madisyn works is the ideal soft target. Hungry Alphas are dying to put their thumbs on the pulse of Dawn’s Sanctuary. There is no better pickings for slaves and sacrifices than those who are weak, homeless, loners, and/or rogues. When hungry bears come looking for revenge they know where to strike first and strike hard. Without a place to hide those seeking help can’t disappear.
So don’t trust bears.
It’s not just volatile shifters on her tail that is Madisyn’s problem; it’s the cantankerous wolf who steps up to service her front that is the obstacle. Madisyn’s contentious frenemy relationship with Bracken is more of a headache than it is a comfort. Admitting she needs help of any kind is irksome to the independent cat shifter.
Pallas, Wolves, and Bears, oh my.
Don’t trust the bears.
Sigh. Dearest Bracken, I want you to be my date on a date I’ve also made with Jesse; I suck at maths but you + Jesse + Ali = naughty daydreams. We can roleplay: You and Jesse could pretend you are the wolves I meet on the path to grandmother’s house. I’ll be holding a coffee cup, dressed in a sassy red hood and little else. I can ‘Oh what large teeth you have’. …And if you should eat me all the better.
I loved this book. The character development was far more solid than that of both Lure of Oblivion and Wild Hunger. While Madisyn’s characterization is somewhat similar to Harley, or even Harper in the Darkness in You, she’s much more endearing than the overused character profile of Taryn. (I love Taryn. I just didn’t like all the Taryn’s that came after Taryn.)
The one thing I would desperately like to see in the future is another peek into a fresh shifter pack or pride. It would be great to move us into the world of the Pallas. Bring us the Devereaux’s.
Please Suzanne, could we please have Tate and Luke?
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