I usually look forward to a new book in Jennifer Ashley’s Shifter’s Unbound series. While I liked Wild Wolf, it is probably my least favorite in the series, and to be honest, this should have been a novella, not a full length novel. If you saw my review for Feral Heat, you know I felt it should have been a novel; now I really wish Ashley would have switched word counts for Wild Wolf and Feral Heat.
In the latest Shifters Unbound novel, a man has resigned himself to a life half lived. But a beautiful, courageous woman has him longing for something more…
Graham McNeil knows that his pack is unruly, but he’s not sure he can take the next step toward pack stability. After losing his first mate long ago, Graham has worked hard to keep his heart in check. Besides, even if he was inclined to choose a new mate, his girlfriend, Misty, is human—a fact that won’t sit well with Graham’s old-fashioned pack.
But Misty is going through a crisis of her own, one that brings danger and death to the pack. With the wolves doubly convinced that there needs to be a shake-up, Graham must now defend his leadership and save the woman he has grown to love—before Shiftertown is pulled into an all-out war.
I really do not like slow books and Wild Wolf took me way too long to really get into and care about what in the world was going on. I read Wild Wolf right after finishing Feral Heat, so I was still in the groove of the Shifter’s Unbound world. Part of the reason why I got so confangled is the switch from the Austin Shiftertown to the Shiftertown close to Las Vegas. Each time this series goes to the Vegas area, it takes me several chapters to sort out the characters and who is whom, etc. Drives me crazy and is one of my biggest complaints about the whole series. I just don’t think I really like the characters in the Vegas Shiftertown as much for some reason. To me they aren’t quite as charismatic as the Austin shifters. And our protag, Graham, keeps that stereotype–for me–right on par.
I’m not a huge Graham fan. I get his background, he was Alpha of his own shiftertown until humans decided to merge some towns in order to save funds. He’s had to assimilate into a new town and make an uneasy truce with that Alpha. Graham and his shifters are way different – much more “traditional” and closer to feral than any other shifters (save for Tiger) in the entire series. Graham is gruff and really got on my last nerve; he is super close-minded and took forever to finally get things – especially when it came to Misty. I swear I wanted to just take a big, heavy pot or pan and smack him upside the head and yell at him for being so closed-off. I felt his narrow view of things and unwillingness to really change – even when the change is for the better – is because of his views of tradition and dislike of anything “new” and really prevents him/causes him to be very slow of accepting change.
One of the best things about Wild Wolf is the fact that we finally get some details on the series story-arc. There is a major, and I mean HUGE, addition to the plot and I feel that the series finally has some end goal – other than taking off the collars and being “free”. I can’t say more than it involves the Fae and once you read about it, it’s not surprising. Perhaps you’ve already figured it out, I had and wasn’t shocked by this new information. It makes a lot of sense and I’m very eager to see how the rest of the series unfolds.
Overall, I wasn’t displeased with Wild Wolf. It did take a while for me to get into the plot and feel connected, but I did get there. I do think if you’re current with the series, you’ll end up being pleased with the action – even if you don’t really connect or care too much for the protags. I think that Wild Wolf is really more about the series story arc than about the main characters and that is okay with me.