Book Review:  Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Trial by Fire
Author:  Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date:  June 14, 2011
Publisher:  Egmont USA
Source:  Review copy received at BEA 2011
Synopsis:
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack – or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats – old and new – looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Trial by Fire is the sequel to Raised by Wolves. In hindsight, I wish I’d read Raised by Wolves first because it might have explained how a 16 year old human girl became alpha to a pack of werewolves. 

While I’m no expert, my understanding is that a female alpha is a rarity so a human female alpha would be unheard of! And that her pack is almost all teenagers and children? Have to admit that I had a hard time getting past that.
Bryn herself is an interesting character. In many ways, she’s a typical teenager with a short temper who makes rash decisions. Then she reminds herself that she’s alpha, but not your typical alpha. Yeah Bryn, we got that the first 100 times you mentioned it….

When Lucas shows up on her porch half dead and asking for her help, Bryn doesn’t return him to his pack immediately and puts her own pack in danger. While I understand her wanting to help the boy, it goes against everything I know about packs and alphas to be so cavalier about their safety.

There’s the threat from another pack whose alpha hates Bryn and wants her females, plus the threat from a new, unknown enemy that added an interesting twist to the mix. I found myself more interested in the new enemy than the other pack and think that could have been a storyline all its own!

This was an interesting story with well-paced action, good characters, and a decent plot. Aside from a few quibbles on my part (alpha of a werewolf pack who still has to attend high school?), I really enjoyed this story. I would recommend reading the series in order though, as I felt I was missing something more than once.

Have you read this series? Should I go back and read Raised by Wolves to fill in the blanks or just go to book 3, Taken by Storm? Is book 3 even worth reading? Inquiring minds want to know!

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