Author: Rebecca James
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Unknown
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/24/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Michael has wrestled with anxiety his entire life, and finding out he’s half-werewolf doesn’t help matters. When bond-mate, Quinn, takes Michael to the werewolf colony, Michael finds more surprises in store for him, and some may be more than he can handle.
I enjoyed the first two novellas I read from James. However, I have not found the same success since then.
Wolves of Daos 5 is the first book in a new series from Rebecca James. It is a fairly typical shifter story, but with a twist. I liked Michael as a character. He was vulnerable and meek and just looking for his place in the world. However, with all his anxiety, I thought he fell into the shifter world way too easily. Quinn, I liked in the beginning. In the end, however, my opinion of him had changed. Mostly because of how he treated Michael once they returned to Daos 5.
If you have read James’ Wolf Pack series, then you are already familiar with her take on the shifter society. There are three types of wolves Alphas, Betas, and Omegas. Omegas are basically the women of the society – self lubricating and only there for their alpha’s pleasure.
In Daos 5, she added actual female wolves to the mix – but they are even more subservient than the men. However, while that became an important plot point it was never fully explored. We were just told repeatedly that they were sterile and weren’t thought of well. We had to take that on faith.
The wolves’ society is patriarchal to say the least. It is also abusive. Those in higher stations can use and abuse those below them with no repercussions – only acceptance and encouragement. There is no buy in from those being abused only acceptance that it is their lot in life because of how they were born.
I was wavering on my rating for this story for many reasons however, after all was said and done, one line in the story sealed it for me.
“Sounds like something you will just have to get over.”
That line was uttered by Michael’s father in reference to his severe anxiety over seeing a certain individual. It was the culmination of every single character systematically dismissing Michael’s anxiety as a non-issue. It was the culmination of the author dismissing this key component of Michael’s character as trivial. It was offensive to every sufferer of anxiety out there, myself included.
Another off-putting moment in the story was the inclusion of long detailed descriptions of all the aliens present in Daos 5. I am a science fiction fan, and I can appreciate the creativity of those authors. However, in the case of Daos 5 the inclusion of all these characters felt very forced. It was like walking into the Cantina scene in Star Wars but without Hans Solo as eye candy to mitigate the alien overload. We get it, this is an alien colony and no one is as good as the wolves.
The final reason for my low rating on this story was the structure of the story itself. It was written in alternating third person views, but includes views from characters that had no business in the story, much less having scenes or chapters devoted to them. Many of these scenes would have been better left for a potential sequel.
Overall, the story could have benefited from a content editor to cut out the unnecessary scenes and characters and tighten up the story.
I am not exactly sure where James is planning to take this series, but I can’t say that I will be returning to find out.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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