Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Released: October 1st, 2010
Publisher: Mira
# Pages: 473
Copy provided by: Publisher through Netgalley
Summary: Netgalley

The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and
treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for. But life never waits until you’re ready.

I was lucky enough to be one of only a few people who were given access to an ARC of Alpha. Thank you so much Ms Vincent and Netgalley. Alpha is the 6th and final book in Ms. Vincent's shapeshifter series. I have to admit to only having read the first in the series, prior to this one, but I did not find that a handicap at all. (I have read all of the YA Soulscreamers series though, which I absolutely loved. Check HERE for my review of My Soul to Keep.) Ms. Vincent mentions events from previous books with just enough detail to enable you to keep reading without being lost, and just enough to make you want to go back and read the others in depth and find out 'exactly' what happened.

The main character is Faythe - a rather spunky werecat - who has obviously proven in previous books (at least to those people that matter to her) that she is just as good as the guys, in every way. Her strength of character is severely put to the test in this final book and she has to prove to everyone this time around that she is good enough to lead the pride. I don't want to give away any of the story, but there is lots of action and some unusual shifters that I have never encountered before. The fact that the main characters are werecats, and not typical werewolves, is a nice change, and there is a strong sense of family and duty throughout the book that was very compelling. The bad guys were really nasty and the good guys were really good, and I found myself really enjoying the conflict. There is, of course, the love triangle, which seems to be almost a pre-requisite for paranormal/shapeshifting/urban fantasy these day, but Ms Vincent handled it well and I was quite happy with the way the story concluded. I wonder I would have felt differently if I'd read the middle 4 books?

At 473 pages this is not a short book, but I never once felt that the action was dragging or that the story was getting bogged down. Being the last book in the series, you are fairly certain that everthing is going to work out in the end, but the proccess of getting there was an interesting and involved one, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I will probably try and read the books in the series that I missed, but only because I'm curious about the details, not because the story didn't make sense. For those of you who are interested the six books are Stray, Rogue, Pride, Prey, Shift and Alpha.

I'll leave you with a favourite passage from the book

'"....I know you better than anyone else ever will. I know what nightmares wake you up in the middle of the night. I know where you go to be alone when you sneak off during a group run. I know that you're every bit as tough as the face you show the world, but that underneath that, you're scared. And I also know that fear has never stopped you from doing a damn thing you put your heart into. So why can't you put your heart into us?"'

Note: It has just dawned on me that this is our first non-YA review, but to be honest on the strength of this last book in the series, I can see no reason why older teens couldn't read this one - just remember I'm basing this opinion on only 2 of the six, and I'm not sure of the content of the others. I suspect that in at least one of the others there may be some sexual content, but I could be wrong.


  1. I just quickly glanced at your review because I don't want to spoil myself for the book. My copy should arrive this coming week. It will definitely be read as soon as it hits my mailbox. You are correct about some sexual content in earlier books. I don't think I would have them in my HS Media Center (but we are a rather conservative community).

  2. Hi Kathy, thanks for the heads up. So note, not for teens, this series is for the adults in the community. I tried very hard not to put any spoilers in the review since I know Ms Vincent was keeping the story fairly quiet - hope I succeeded. Hope you enjoy this one as much as the others.

  3. There is mostly violence, a rape, a few sex scenes and a whole lot of nakedness considering they can't shift with cloths on =P