Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany

Rivals and Retribution:
Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.

Shannon Delany began this series with a bang, but by the end I felt it just…fizzled out, leaving me feeling unsatisfied. The first three books grabbed me and pulled me immediately into the world of danger, werewolves and the Russian mafia. Unfortunately with the introduction of the new pack and the constant changing point-of-views, Shannon lost some of my affection for the series. I was kept interested enough to continue on with the next two books. But this final installment of the 13 to Life series was rather disappointing: it felt rushed and at the same time it felt like it would never end. Shannon gave her readers very little of the relationships between the Rusakova siblings like she did in the beginning of the series, and the strong feelings between Pietr and Jessie were glossed over and barely a part of this book. Many of my questions were left unanswered, and the story jumped around so much that there were times that I found myself re-reading a paragraph or two just to make sure I hadn’t missed something.

I really didn’t like the scenes of residual memories Jessie suffered due to Derek’s “parting gift” when he was killed. As Jessie becomes trapped in these memories, they show the reader past events that explain some of the present events, however, I found them to be aggravating because of their childish tones. The lack of any real rivalry between the two werewolf packs left a huge hole in this story, stripping it of some much needed tension.  But I think what bothered me the most was that Delany used a werewolf concept from another popular series. Yes, I understood why, and why it worked in this book, but it bothered me just the same. In fact, I nearly put the book down, but I pushed onto the conclusion so I could finish the series.

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