Saturday, 6 April 2013

Book Review: Rebellion by Eleri Stone

Title: Rebellion
Author: Eleri Stone
Series: Book #3 in the Lost City Shifters series
Release Date: 1 April 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Number of pages: 148 pages
Source: ebook copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Barnes and Noble, Read an excerpt

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Cole Brandt is a wolf shifter, sent by his pack to the Amazon jungle to negotiate a treaty. He’s unaware that the kingdom of jaguar shifters he’s meant to meet with has split—and Cole’s suspicion that jaguars are selfish and deceitful is confirmed when he’s seized by the rebel faction.

Taya Silveira, a jaguar shifter and fierce warrior loyal to the king, resents being assigned Cole’s rescue. She doesn’t approve of his pack’s involvement in her jungle—to her, wolves are greedy, weak creatures who will exploit the resources the Yaguara protect.

Struggling against centuries of ill will and prejudice, Cole and Taya must work together to prevent a devastating civil war. They can’t deny their physical attraction—with the heightened senses of shifters, their desires are plain. But if they give in to passion, they may be forced to choose between staying with their tribes, or staying together.

My Thoughts: I love shifters and wolves and lions are my favourite kind (well actually only one lion - Curran), but a few years ago when I read Mercy by Eleri Stone, which featured jaguar shifters living in the wild Amazonian rain forest I was hooked. The jaguars in Eleri Stone's series are quite different from the usual characteristics of wolf shifters we might come across, and in Rebellion, the 3rd book in the series Eleri Stone mixes up things by bringing in a wolf hero into the midst of the jaguar pack. We soon learn that both parties regard the other with wariness, distrust and even disdain and contempt. Through a hero and heroine who couldn't be any more different we get to see in what these two shifter species differ and understand their motivations.

Taya is an amazingly independent, strong and fearless warrior, bodyguard to the jaguar king. Her fierceness, bravery were remarkable. Cole is a warm-hearted, kind and protective wolf. At first glance Taya sees Cole as weak, clumsy and dependent, but slowly she learns that the fact he doesn't wrestle her to the ground and exert his dominance is not a sign of his weakness but his acceptance of her strength, valour and self. He doesn't need to force her submission to feel strong and superior. He coaxes her, he is patient, gentle and it takes some time for Taya to understand that since it is quite a foreign approach and notion for her.

Even when reading Mercy I saw the captivating storytelling Eleri Stone was capable of and her writing got even more evocative. She painted the Amazonian setting vividly, with the lush vegetation, the burst of colours, the cracking twigs, the whisper of the leaves, the humid air, everything came to life in my mind thanks to her way with words:
He scented the water before he heard it. Not the cold, clear water that rushed down from the mountains where the pack liked to hunt, but a richer scent full of growing and living things.

But Eleri Stone's storytelling talent is not limited to setting the scene and giving a vivid description, she conveys emotions just as powerfully:
She thought of the look in Cole’s eyes when she’d claimed him—heat and desire, wariness and possessiveness all twined together. Nothing that had a place in her life. Nothing she could accept from a wolf.
Gradually, he lost the tension in his shoulders and the tangle in his head. After a while, he simply was the wolf. Running through a glorious untamed wilderness, he was at peace with himself and this place, strange though it was. His paws hit the ground in time with his heartbeat. His muscles warmed and loosened. His breath blew hard, steady, and the tightness in his chest evaporated like the steam rising from his fur.

The chemistry, attraction and affection that developed between Cole and Taya was done beautifully. It felt authentic, credible and natural. It was both heart-warming seeing how Cole slowly thawed Taya's icy stone façade, and steamy when they gave free reign to their physical attraction.
She pulled him down, stretching her back so she could kiss the line creasing his forehead. She grazed her lips over the crest of his cheekbone and down until she found his lips. The textures of his face amazed her—the fragile skin around his eyes, the rough sandpaper scratch of his jaw as it slid against her cheek.

Verdict: Although Rebellion is the 3rd book in the Lost Shifters series it can be read as a standalone without a problem (I haven't read book #2 either...yet!), you won't feel lost without prior knowledge of the clan and past events, you'll learn everything you'll need to know. Eleri Stone gives us a wonderfully lush setting with an exciting and unique shifter clan and a hero and heroine in whose story the reader will feel invested right from the start. Both Cole and Taya are well developed, interesting and strong characters who leap off the pages, and I guarantee you'll devour their story in one sitting. With evocative lush writing that flows smoothly and captivates the reader right from the start, Eleri Stone is an author to watch... and definitely one you have to read!

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 7/10 - I would have loved to see a bit about the jungle, the other covers in the series are much more memorable.

Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

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