Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Rivals and Retributions by Shannon Delany

Title: Rivals and Retributions
Author: Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: August 7, 2012
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 306
Series: 13 to Life #5
1. 13 to Life (review)
2. Secrets and Shadows (review)
3. Bargains and Betrayals (review)
4. Destiny and Deception (review)
5. Rivals and Retributions

**WARNING: SPOILERS**
Synopsis:
In Rivals and Retribution, the fifth book in the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany, Pietr and Jessie will find themselves caught in a pack war with a new breed of werewolves.

Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.


The ending of a series is always bittersweet. I’ve loved the 13 to Life series since I read the first book. It had its ups and downs, and not every book was my favourite, but it was a journey, and a good one at that.

This last book in the series was really adrenaline-filled. It started with Jessie’s kidnapping and the suspense kept up from there. Whether it was the anxiety of the Rusakovas looking for Jessie, the fear of the other pack, or the confusion surrounding Derek’s influence on Jessie, there was always something going on to keep me turning the pages. I knew that at the end of the book, all the answers would be revealed and it would ideally end in a happily ever after. And after everything Jessie, Pietr, and the Rusakovas had gone through, they deserved that happily ever after.

The characters in this book are the same ones we’ve come to love and hate. I actually really enjoyed Gareth as a character, even though he was a member of Marlaena’s pack. He was genuine and kind-hearted, and truly just wanted the best for the people he loved. And then there was Marlaena, who was really just a bitch. There were moments, especially those from her POV, where I could almost care and see that she was just trying to do what was right by her pack. But she was such a bitch that I could never do it. And she was a consistent character through to the end.

I do think that Delany wrapped the ending up nicely. Rivals and Retributions is a fantastic final novel for this series. I’m really sad to see Jessie and Pietr and all the other characters go. There was always something special about these Russian werewolves that kept them (and will still keep them) in my heart. So, I am sad to say goodbye, but I know I’ll be back to visit them in the little town of Junction again. Thanks for a great ride, Shannon!

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