This time, the Psy have to find a real answer to their problems–if one exists. Or their race will soon go extinct in a cascade of violence. The answer begins with an empath who is attuned to monsters–and who is going to charm a wolf into loving her despite his own demons.
Comment: This is the most recent installment in the beloved series PSy/changeling (or "psy-changeling trinity" as the new arc is labeled) and although I'd have jumped into it as soon as it was released, some issues with the recent publishing of the books in this series in Europe have led me to wait almost an year until the paperback is out and, perhaps, that might partially explain why I failed to connect with this book in the way I envisioned.
Alexei is a wolf in the SnowDancer pack who is known or his good looks and the fact he has many challenges because some might think he isn't as able or strong. He has proven everyone wrong but he has not been himself lately, since the death of his brother Brody who has become rogue and murdered his own mate.
Alexei believes the gene for turning rogue is hereditary and he vows to not be a danger to a mate by not mating at all but everything changes when he rescues psy Memory from a bunker deep in SnowDancer territory.
Memory is a special kind of E, she has been taken as prisoner for most of her life but now she is finally free although her captor has run away and she fears what might happen if he finds her again. The wolves and the other Es will help her but she can't help but feel close to Alexei, someone who keeps looking out for her. Will there be a future for them?
In general, this was as a good book as any other in the series. I've aid many times before, the best feature of these books is the world imagined by the author, the family/friendships dynamics and how well connected all the characters end up being, and how much fun is to see them happy and part of the story, even as the focus keeps moving from couple to couple.
In this regard then, Wolf Rain was/is still a winner.
However, after finishing the book I couldn't help but feeling a little disappointed but, of course, everyone has their own perspective on things. I wanted to be wowed, I wanted to feel thrilled by returning to the SnowDancer pack, from which some of the best stories in the series for me have had its setting on. I was really eager to see the pack dynamics, the mentioning of several beloved characters and, obviously, how they would see Alexei interact with his future mate and find happiness at last.
I feel this didn't happen, I feel the scenes we had between wolves or SnowDancer characters were cute, were there but were not the focus, not even regarding the relationship between Alexei and Memory except for some basic, barely seen scenes closer to the end of the book.
Most of the story was about setting Memory free of her previous captor's influence, to allow her to savor freedom, the connection to others like her and that's fine, she is a worthy heroine but she was found in SnowDancer territory, I really thought more of them would be on the page.
Alexei is a wolf with issues. I felt sorry he was so affected by what happened to his family and how guilty he must feel thinking he might turn out to be the same. He seemed to be quite weighted down by his problems and I thought a steadier heroine, someone who could be more laid back, more settled in her life (no matter if she were psy anyway, used to the end of Silence) could be a good counterbalance for him.
Memory is a great heroine but she has a lot of her own issues and I just didn't get to be fully convinced they were such a good match. I liked her but at the same time I feel bad because part of me thinks too much focus was on her and there was a point or two where I thought she was a little annoying.
I feel this bad because Memory went through a lot, nothing her fault, and she had to find her wings, she had to feel she could make her own choices but... I don't know, I struggled to like to see her with Alexei. I think she could have been a better mate to someone else, maybe a more bubbly wolf if she had to be paired with a wolf or a changeling.
The intimacy scenes between them didn't feel special, I could easily go past them. I'm glad they are happy but their connection surely felt more superficial than other pairs in the series. Part of their connection was only more developed from the second half the book onward and it just felt "convenient", not really as if they couldn't help mating one another.
All in all, this was a good book advancing the psy issues regarding Silence, I liked seeing two characters here gaining a slight importance... I'm curious to see where the author will take them, I of course loved all the references to characters I like in the series but as a whole, this was not one of my favorite books and I'll probably won't feel like re-reading favorite scenes as I do with some of the other installments.