I have meant to write this review for ages, and it is only when I came to write my review for the final book in this trilogy I realised I really should have done this sooner. Apologies to the lovely people at Quercus for the delay here.
It’s strange- I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this series, in fact I was sure I wouldn’t like it as much as Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ standalone Every Other Day I had been sent to review, but then I read it and I actually liked it a lot more. This is one of my favourite werewolf series and Bryn has grown on me a lot as a character since book one.
Following on from the first book, Raised By Wolves, Byrn is now a human pack-leader and embracing the pros and cons of her situation. Her pack has a lot of women; a minority in traditional werewolf packs and highly desirable. Then Lucas turns up, near death and desperate for her protection. The problem is he is part of another pack and she has no right to a were belonging to another Alpha leader.
A lot of different dynamics were integrated into this book and there was a psychic presence as well which I wasn’t initially sure would gel well, but provided a suitably formidable for Bryn’s pack. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have minded if that plot had been forgone for the ending twists, however they were required in order to set the scene appropriately. The psychic family also enabled Bryn to learn more about her Resilience and how to control it as a human and use it against enemies as her strength. I did like this development and the backstory of Ali, who really starts to become more than just a cameo character.
Ultimately while I really liked this book, it didn’t quite match up to Raised by Wolves for me, and I really missed Callum as a character. He was present occasionally, but I really wanted him to more of a mentor to Bryn. I understand that due to pack politics he couldn’t be seen to, but this the man who saved her and trained her all her life. She deserved more of a heads up about his premonitions/her future than she got from him.
My favourite part of this book was the twist near the end, one I wondered if it was coming and loved the delivery of. The final twist just proves the impossible place of being a human in a paranormal world, let alone a human in a position of power. How can Bryn fight equally against werewolves as a teenage human girl? The fact that Barnes plays with her physical vulnerability in this sense is one of the reasons I adored these books. Bryn can’t fix it all, she is just one person and a human, with extra powers, but against a werewolf that pales considerably. Considering this book is aimed at teenagers, I think it embodies being a teen very well and that desire to be able to do so many great things but either age, or something else, holding you back.
Trial By Fire is the second in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ werewolf trilogy and all three books are now available to buy and are published by Quercus in the UK. I received my copy for free from the publishers, which did not affect my review in any way, shape or form. My review of the final book Taken By Storm (which is truly brilliant and the best end to the series there could have been for me) will be coming shortly.