Every Other Day: A (Rapid Fire) Review

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (2011)

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn BarnesAfter reading and loving Barnes’ Trial by Fire I decided to pick up Barnes’ latest (standalone) book even though the mechanics of Kali’s day-to-day change gave me pause. My expectations were probably too high and too reliant on comparisons to Barnes Raised by Wolves series.

Kali’s shift every other day between human and more than human was a great premise and made for an interesting premise. No one writes tough, action-ready heroines better than Barnes. That said, having Kali transform every other day into a super hunter made it really hard to connect with her character even as I wanted to sympathize with her feelings of being torn in two by the constant changing.

The pieces just didn’t come together as well as I wanted them to between slow pacing in the beginning and an ending that felt unsatisfying. While the alternate history Barnes created is genius, the characters and story did not stand up to the Raised by Wolves standard. This book does still have all of the pieces for a great action-filled, girl power-ed story. It will appeal strongly to fans of Buffy, adventure, and Barnes’ signature mix of sharp-tongued heroines and action.

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Trial by Fire: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

**This review (and the book itself) contains MAJOR spoilers for Raised by Wolves. You have been warned.**

Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn BarnesBrynn thought spending the first fifteen years of her life living with the werewolves of the Stone River Pack was hard. Turns out being the alpha of her own pack is even harder.

Brynn is still human, she is still a teenager. But she is also the alpha of the Cedar Ridge pack meaning she is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of an entire pack of werewolves–living day to day with Were who could just as easily kill her as choose to let her lead them.

Worse, being alpha means dealing with the other packs and their–ruthless, older, male–alphas who would mostly want nothing more than to see Brynn dealt with and her pack absorbed into their own. Callum, her former mentor, might want something else but with a Were like Callum it’s impossible to know for sure.

When a battered teenage boy appears in the center of Cedar Ridge territory asking for protection things get even more complicated. Brynn can’t claim another alpha’s wolf without starting a war. She can’t send the boy away to let him die. Strange dreams of fire and other threats start appearing everywhere.

No one said being alpha would be easy. No one said how long Brynn would last as alpha either in Trial by Fire (2011) by Jennifer Lynne Barnes.

Trial by Fire is the sequel to Barnes’ powerhouse novel Raised by Wolves.

Trial by Fire is a great sequel. Barnes capitalizes on the unique world she created in Raised by Wolves while continuing to develop the world of the North American packs and some other supernatural beings to great effect.

All of the characters readers will want to see from the first book are here with further character development and expanded histories, particularly Lake and Devon. Chase, by comparison, still has a lot of question marks about his past and his general character but that is, at least, explained more in this installment.

It hardly seems possible but this book is even more exciting than the first. Brynn is facing challenges from all sides with very few options for help. With danger looming from all sides, Trial by Fire is a definite nail-biter that will draw readers in with action, adventure and even more twists than the first novel in the series. Not to mention a dynamite ending that will leave readers clamoring for a new installment about Brynn and the Cedar Ridge pack.

Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Divergent by Veronica Roth

**This book was acquired at BEA 2011

Exclusive Bonus Content: Egmont has some really awesome cover designs. I also like the progression between the two covers here. They just really work well together on every level.

Raised by Wolves: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn BarnesWhen Brynn was four-years-old her life changed forever when a rogue werewolf killed her parents. Rescued by the Stone River Pack and Marked by the pack’s alpha, Callum, Brynn’s safety is a matter of pack law.

The only problem is Brynn is human. Even as a member of the pack, living with a bunch of werewolves is dangerous. Weres can smell fear. They are faster. They are stronger. Most of them are older and more experienced. One lapse in control could leave a human very dead.

Even if that human is a fifteen-year-old girl named Brynn who knows almost everything worth knowing about dealing with (and defending herself against) Weres. Even with the danger, Brynn feels more at home in this world dictated by dominance struggles, territorial rights, and pack justice than the human world she left behind.

When a newly-turned were appears in Callum’s territory Brynn’s insular life within the pack is thrown into chaos. Brynn is inexplicably drawn to the new Were. Even though she has never seen Chase before, she recognizes something in him, she knows him.

As Brynn and Chase are drawn to each other she realizes everything she thought she knew about the pack, and about Callum, might be wrong. Everything Brynn thought she knew about her past, and her life in the pack, might be wrong in Raised by Wolves (2010) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Raised by Wolves is a completely original take on werewolf lore. Barnes has created a well-realized back story for Brynn and the North American packs. All of the weres and their wolf behaviors are fully realized and add a clever, primal, spin to werewolves with a strong focus on life within the pack and the animal nature of the Weres.

Brynn is a heroine readers will want to root for as well as an excellent guide through the dangerous but tantalizing world of Weres. Although Chase is not as fully realized compared to Brynn he is a good addition to the story, especially combined with the other characters (minor and not) who are quirky, funny and extremely well-developed.

Barnes expertly navigates the murky waters of pack life for Brynn and the grey areas of working towards a greater good in this story. She also packs in enough action, excitement and humor to make Raised By Wolves an edge-of-your-seat adventure that will leave readers guessing until the last page.

Possible Pairings: White Cat by Holly Black, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, Clarity by Kim Harrington, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater