I give this book a 3.75/5. Here is my breakdown.
Characters: 4/5. Very solid. The characters are developed through the story, and we keep getting peeks at the hidden society that drives them. I didn’t know that vampires were a thing until a bit into the book, but that’s good – if our protagonist isn’t worried about them, why should I be? Wheeler also did an amazing job with the character of Maggie – her comments about her life, her sullen acceptance of her “place,” and her disbelief of the idea that someone might just be trying to help made her very real to me.
Plot/Storyline: 3.5/5. Not bad. The story was exciting, and I found the battle scenes excellently described. The way the narration flipped between Carter and his Beast were also well done. Plot-wise, though, I’m still not sure where the story is headed. I mean, I got the reason for the battles and the conflict with the Red Court…but after that, it seemed like it was kind of on a treadmill of “Meeting. Make demands. Retaliation.” This happened at least three times without much in the way of development for the characters or story. I think that maybe it was because of the time that Maggie needed for her arc (no spoilers here!) but it was still a little off-putting. Overall, though, I enjoyed the story.
Flow: 4/5. Very good. The biggest issue with flow I had was that Wheeler has a strange tendency to make Carter think Ack when things are going wrong. And sometimes he’ll do it three or four times in a row, very quickly. The use of such a word so often drew my attention and threatened my verisimilitude – I mean, how many people really think Ack?.
Spelling/Grammar: 3/5. There were several grammatical mistakes sprinkled throughout this book – and, unlike with cakes or pies, the sprinkles don’t make it better. Wheeler shifted back and forth between past and present tense narration a few times, and there were some homonym usage (bare vs bear is one that I remember offhand). Was it horrible? No. But it wasn’t great.
Overall: 3.75/5. I very much enjoyed this read. It ended on a note that left me wanting to know where the story went. I plan to pick up the sequel as soon as my schedule permits. If you like shifter novels, you’ll do well to check out this series.