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Review – Something to Howl About (Alphaville #0.5) by Christine Warren

Reviewed by: E

Dr. Annie Cryer has been called many things: Genius. Child prodigy. Scientific wonder.

Wolf Shifter.

Banished from her pack years ago, Annie’s lone wolf wandering has brought her to Alpha, Washington, home to all shifters who don’t quite fit in in the “normal” shifter word. Now Annie has the chance to go back home…if only she can make good on a favor her alpha owes the mayor of “Alphaville.” But it’s not much of a favor when you’re helping the hottest shifter in town…

Grizzly shifter Jonas Browning has a clan in trouble. They haven’t had a child born in over a hundred years…and their clan faces going completely extinct. Genetic scientist Anne Cryer has been sent to help save them. But what Jonas doesn’t count on is being irresistibly drawn to the small wolf shifter, and his bear isn’t about to let her go…
This blurb came from goodreads.

I have fond memories of reading Warren’s The Others series years ago so when I found out she was starting a new series involving shifters in a place of last resort I was interested. I thought I was going to have to wait until the end of the month but then I discovered Warren was releasing a prequel novella so I made it a point to get a copy. While I mostly enjoyed reading this novella, and did like the glimpse of Alpha, Washington I think it suffered from the restricted word count.

Dr. Annie Cryer, the heroine was set up to be a very complex character but much of her back story was just hinted at so I didn’t have a foundation for her complexities. I found this irritating because I really wanted to get to know her. I enjoyed who Annie was she lost her temper and forgot how the previous years had seemingly beaten her down. But the change seemed contradictory because I didn’t know if this was her baseline personality before her banishment or something triggered by Jonas’ rejection. As a result I was left unsure about who she really was. The science nerd in me also wanted more details involving her scientific specialty since her probable solution made sense but I had to accept it on faith. I liked that she was strong enough to hold out for what she was worth, while able to accept the hero’s realization that he had made some missteps.

I also wanted to learn more about Jonas. His friendship with the town mayor looked like it was rooted in mischievous activity especially between two different shifter animals species but after the introductory scenes they never interacted again. Some incidents occurred at Jonas’ mill but again these were told not shown. One of my favorite scenes did occur on page and it was when his mother cornered him and she realized her darling son had some serious misperceptions. It was entertaining watching his world turn upside down, but he accepted his new reality rather quickly resulting in my questioning the permanence of his acceptance.

Warren provided lots of quick glimpses of Alpha, Washington, which did peak my curiosity about the setting and possibilities, but I wanted to see more versus being told. The conversations Annie and Jonas had with others left me wanting more development of those supporting relationships to deepen the characterization. I was sadly left with too many questions about Annie and Jonas to feel satisfied I had read a complete story. I am going to give Book 1 a try but the characters and their relationships need more showing for me to continue this series. Really hope Warren delivers as she has in the past because I need a new PNR series to read.

I give Something to Howl About a B-/C+

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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