Monday, September 20, 2010

(Spoiler-free) Review: Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Book blurb from the author's website:
The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.

It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever.


I don't think it's any secret that I have much, much love for this series. Faythe is one kick-ass chick. Is her personal life a mess? Yeah, you could say that. Does it bleed into her professional life? Yeah, it kinda does. Is that fair? No, but Faythe is honorable enough to own it and accept the consequences. If you thought Faythe did some growing up in the previous books, it's nothing compared to the growing she does in Alpha:

When my dad finally stopped and faced me, I made myself meet his gaze. Long gone were the days when I would stare at the ground and whisper confessions like a naughty little girl, even if that's exactly what I felt like. I'd made a very adult mistake - which necessitated a very adult decision I had to make.

Alpha picks up shortly after the events in Shift. There's going to be a vote for a new US leader. Faythe, Marc, and Jace are going as part of her father's entourage. Calvin Malone is determined to come out victorious and Faythe's proof that he's been more involved in previous issues than he'll admit to is iffy at best. Things don't go as well as they'd planned, and Faythe suffers loss in this book like never before, in more ways than one. Once again, Ms. Vincent doesn't pull any punches; I cried more than once - both times I read it.

Faythe, Marc, and Jace are dealing with revelations from Book 5, Shift. Mark is angry and hurt and lashes out at Faythe. Jace and Marc are constantly on edge around each other and Faythe is frustrated with her own inability to choose between them:

The tears fell faster, and a truly pathetic sob followed. "I love them both, and they both love me, but neither of them will even hold my hand, and I'm more alone now than I've ever been in my life and it's all my own fault." I sniffled, my nose running from the cold and from the tears. "It's not supposed to be like this. Love isn't supposed to break your heart. Or anyone else's."

Finishing this book is like walking from an air-conditioned house into the hot sweltering August heat - you want to turn right around and go back inside, quickly. I know authors can't make all readers happy all the time, but I think Ms. Vincent really nailed the ending - it was perfect! (I wouldn't mind a short story in the future, a sort of epilogue, if you will, just to let us know how things are going.) This is my favorite book in the series.

If you're one of those people who likes to wait until a series is finished before you start reading it - get thee to a bookstore and buy the whole series at once - you won't be sorry!!!

Other books in this series:

Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Mira; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 077832818X
ISBN-13: 978-0778328186

My rating:

I first read this book back in August. Since that time, one song has been in constant rotation on the radio: Impossible by Shauntelle. Every time I've heard this song in the last two months, it's made me think of Alpha. When you finish reading the book - listen to this song... if you listen to it as not only Faythe's thoughts about her feelings but also her actions towards others, it's so perfect for this book!

This e-book was received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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