Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1) by Amanda Carlson

Release Date: September 11, 2012
Published by: Orbit
Source:  Gift from Montana @ The Book Belles

Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

A fun, entertaining urban fantasy debut packed with a wide variety of supernatural creatures and an ending that leaves you eager for more.

Full Blooded was on my radar for many months before the actual release date. A lot of my blogger friends, whose opinions I greatly value, read advanced copies and their 5 star reviews left me with no choice but to read this story. It also helped that the summary read like something that a fan of Rachel Vincent's Shifters series or Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld would enjoy.

The lengthy synopsis above does a great job of outlining the entire story, so I won't dive in to those details since they are all laid out for you. I'll just tell you what I enjoyed and what I didn't.

Jessica was a likable protagonist with a unique set of talents. She was loyal, independent, and not one to go in to hysterics when a situation got out of hand. She was also surrounded by a fiercely protective group of family and friends that she appreciated and cared deeply about, which made her all the more likable.

Jessica's unusual gifts are the cause for a large amount of controversy and upheaval in the supernatural world, especially among the werewolves. There are still many questions remaining about the extent of her abilities and the reasons why she is so different from the other wolves. There is a lot of speculation and one character in particular seems to know the answers. 

Aside from Jessica's character and the mysteries surrounding her, I really enjoyed Rourke's character for the brief time that he appears. He was my favorite kind of love interest. The big, aggressive alpha male. And his lines in the story were some of the best. 

Overall, I enjoyed this debut but I couldn't justify giving it a full 5 stars. I wasn't able to fully get into this story until close to the halfway point and there were a few times that I caught myself skimming just to move things along. There was a lot of talk about the wolves possibly rebelling when learning about Jessica's new werewolf status and eventually these repetitive conversations began to slow any further progress within the story. 

Also, in the beginning, a lot of the dialogue felt too stilted when Jessica would speak mind-to-mind with her brother, Tyler, or her father. It would pull me out of the story because it sounded more like a tool to feed the reader information and less like a conversation between two family members. 

My last complaint is about the banter between Jessica and the bad guys toward the ending. It came across as being silly and immature and I was laughing and rolling my eyes instead of being able to immerse myself into what was supposed to be an intense life-or-death showdown. 

But despite my complaints, I would suggest this debut to any fans of urban fantasy and especially those who enjoy stories about shifters. And after reading the conclusion, I have to know what comes next, so Hot Blooded will definitely be at the top of my pre-order list. 


Alexa said...

Oh no I remember everyone in the Terrible Group loving this one! It is too bad you had some problems with it. I just got a copy since I know the girls liked it so much, now I'm nervous to read it since it does seem to have some flaws.

Thanks for the great review, sorry this didn't end up being 5 stars for you.

Braine TS said...

Great you love Rourke... I still have Tyler all to myself! Mwahahahaha!

What I loved about this was she didn't drag the love story part between Jessica & you know who (don't want to give out spoilers to those who haven't read it yet). I like that the pace is fast which opens up to something new in the book. I don't like arcs that takes 3 books to conclude you know what I mean.

Despite your mild disappointments, I"m still happy to see you're on board for book 2. Hopefully you won't roll your eyes as much LOL

Braine TS said...

I just remembered... that ending with the vampires outlining their task felt a little Twilight-y to me. Those twin or sinking vamps reminded me of Dakota Canning's character and her twin brother.

Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

Glad to hear that you enjoyed it even though it didn't live up to its 5 star hype. I personally loved it but then again, there's werewolves in it so I'm easy. ;)

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