There can only be one alpha.
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack - or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you're a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he's a Were, and Bryn's protection is his only hope.
But Lucas isn't part of Bryn's pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha's Were. With threats - old and new - looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she's going to have to do it alone.
Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.
TRIAL BY FIRE is the second installment of the Raised by Wolves series. Already being a big fan of the first book, the same name of the series title, I was so eager to start reading its sequel as I expected it to be full of non-stop action - my absolute favourite element in Barnes's writing. While the book was enjoyable and flowed very easily for me to read and slowly savor, however it's a completely different book with a completely different feeling to it compared to the first book, and whether it was because the direction of the book was heading towards (which may not have been how I wanted it to all go) or it was because nothing was really connecting with me this time round, but, like I mentioned before, it was still immensely enjoyable for me to read.
TRIAL BY FIRE begins a few months after the first book, Raised by Wolves, had ended and even though I was slightly confused by a few things that were happening - mostly because I haven't read the first book in a long, long time - however readers will receive enough information of the back-story to get your bearings straight and understand what's going on. In the sequel Bryn is now an Alpha leader and like all new alphas she's trying to get that balance of adjusting to her new pack as well as trying to control and keep her pack members happy and together. But when a threat arises, putting her life and her own pack in danger, it's up to Bryn alone to put her Alpha skills to good use and determine who their new enemy is and how to stop them before it's too late.
The author, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, continues to write a very compelling voice and in saying that I was really glad to see that Bryn's character had grown far more in this second installment. Bryn, as seen in the first book, was a young girl fighting in a dog-eat-dog world, but now, after having more control over her own pack and figuring out who she is as a leader while putting her new experience to the ultimate test, she was not only able to be the Alpha leader that she was born to be but she was also able to push herself against those dangerous boundaries between her human side and that fine line of her animalistic side as well, which was really pleasant to read about and it was probably my favourite part of the book. Her growth and her strength.
While I'm impressed with Bryn's development, however I just couldn't feel that strong connection I'd gotten from the Raised by Wolves book and most of the other character interactions weren't hooking me like I wanted them to. It's a shame, really. I mean there's still originality presented in this sequel, with the characters and the gritty relationships the character's share with each other, but I got that rare feeling where there was something missing from the storyline . . . 'the edge' mostly. Sure there was some plot-twists that were pretty surprising to me in certain scenes and I was certainly entertained by them, but I wasn't necessary blown away by them in the least but that's okay, I hope the third installment brings that edge back to the series once more.
Overall, TRIAL BY FIRE is a worthy sequel for the Raised by Wolves series and if you're looking for an action-packed, fast-paced, and an original werewolf young adult series, then I would highly recommend this series to you all because it's a must read for paranormal lovers!