Wilder (Birds of a Feather #1) by Lena North (2016)
-eARC Review-


NA Fiction | Contemporary | Fantasy | Romance | (TV-14)
4 Stars

“Wilder’s wonderful grandfather is dead, and so is her mother, but Grandpa Willy gives her one final gift in his will – the knowledge that her father is only her step-father.

Once she meets Hawker, the scary man who turns out to be her real dad, her life takes an unexpected turn. She finds out about a heritage she never knew she had, and secrets from the past are uncovered as she fights to save her part of the world from destruction. 

And then there’s Mac, with his green eyes and a soft voice that flows through her like sweet honey. He’s there to help Wilder as she struggles with how to fit into the group of people around her dad, and with every bad thing that happens it becomes more important to have Mac in her life .

“Wilder” is the first in the Birds of a Feather series and a spin-off from the Dreughan trilogy. It’s set in modern time and can be read stand-alone.”

Expected Publication Date: December 14, 2016 

pooled ink Review:

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

I’m going to start this off by saying that this book surprised me.

It’s part of a spin-off series from North’s Dreughan Trilogy and while I haven’t read that I still really enjoyed reading about Wilder. Also, while this is the start to a spin-off series it can actually be read just fine as a stand-alone.

I’m not entirely sure how to categorize this book…it’s sort of contemporary yet fantasy/paranormal and with a touch of CIA. There are rich people and dragons and motorcycles and a ranch and skiing and dead people and romances and ancient prophecies… Yeah. Complicated. Honestly it doesn’t sound like it’d work and I decided to read this book on a whim, but I’m glad I did because I really liked it. I’m not sure yet if I’ll continue this series or if I’ll read the Dreughan Trilogy but I will definitely look into it and I’m happy with having read this one.

This book just had…something. Not sure what exactly. Was it the writing? The characters? The plot? The world building? Or maybe it was all of it together… Or maybe I just happened to read it at the right time in the right place. Whatever the reason, I was pulled right in and sat there reading for hours until I finally took a break because I was hungry. I have a terrible cold right now and usually that means I want to operate on minimal brainpower a.k.a. Netflix. And I’m not saying that this book was fluff or basic, because it was complicated and amazing, but I’m just trying to say that yeah, it had that something that kept me reading it even though my head was beyond congested and I felt like a zombie.

Everything just worked for me. The characters were excellent and I loved all of them, I loved how they connected and communicated and behaved in the story (I loved the stare-downs between Wilder and Hawker as well as the smiles between Wilder and Mac). I will say they all seem to have some of the best communication between characters than in most TV shows I’ve seen because even when there was an argument due to miscommunication they were quick to fix it. I appreciate that because drama due to easily avoided miscommunication is one of the cheapest forms of drama used in all forms of media and I find it 1200% annoying. If you start slinging that page-filler in there I’ll drop it. You’d have to have a pretty dang awesome storyline to keep me watching/reading if you’re going to be using those cheap tricks.

So yeah, there was definitely drama in this book because drama keeps things interesting but almost all of it made sense so it didn’t totally drive me crazy. And when drama exploded for something stupid there was usually someone who called them out on it.

Anyway, moving on…

Wilder was a pretty cool protagonist overall. She wasn’t closed off like so many protagonists seem to be. She had family, she had plenty of friends, she had a life, and all of that didn’t suddenly disappear as she discovered this whole new side to her life and heritage. That’s another thing I really appreciated about this story. A lot of stuff hit her but while she kept looking forwards she didn’t drop everything she was to start a blank new slate. Instead she kept what made her happy and strong and brought those people and memories with her into this new crazy life she’s found herself a part of.

I loved everything and the whole time I’m picking up hints that something is odd about the people of Norton but I don’t know what. I played around a bit with theories such as they had powers or were shape-shifters or something (I kept getting a wolf pack vibe from them but then there was this whole bird theme woven throughout so…) but then the word “dragons” popped up and I was like wait what?? Honestly when the possibility of these people being humans able to shift into dragons or something came up I was ready to throw my hands up like well that was fun while it lasted but then the real story came out and I was like a) that’s pretty cool b) I can’t believe I actually guessed right and c) I’m down with that. (Oh, just so you’re aware, I love dragons it’s just that I really didn’t see them having a place in the current story).

A lot happens in this book and it’s not even that long. North really finds a way of taking her characters through some very real emotional arcs as the plot charges forwards keeping everything moving and interesting. It wasn’t all go go go though which I really appreciated. Sure there was some crazy stuff they had to deal with but it seemed to happen at a more natural believable pace. There was action aplenty but this wasn’t an action movie. The story gave itself time to breathe, time to explore, time to bond. It worked well for me, basically.

This story really dives into the relationships of family, what that means and the importance it has on our lives. Family can come from all sorts of places and we really get to see that throughout this book. It had all the emotional grit of a good contemporary novel, the adrenaline of an action series, the love of a true romance, and the magic of a fantasy tale.

There is so much I want to say but while I’d love to discuss the characters and possibilities and scenes with you I also really don’t want to spoil anything for you if you haven’t read it yet (which I’m assuming is almost all of you seeing as it hasn’t been published yet). Suffice it to say that yes there was romance, yes there was grit, yes there was fantasy, yes there were motorcycles, and yes I really enjoyed it much more than I expected. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t have fun with a motorcycle gang meets vigilantes meets dragons type of story??

Wilder is a story full of spunk, tough love, and self-discovery that goes on a mystic flight through ancient history.


amazon icon_tiny Purchase here: Wilder

Check out The Dreughan Trilogy: Courage (Book One)

Meet Lena North!

lena north

The proper way to put it here would probably be to describe how I love to play with our two big dogs, how much I adore my fantastic daughters and how much I love to read.

Another way would be to use my imagination and then I would be a super powerful warrior woman, think Xena the warrior princess (though with less tacky clothes). Or when I think of it, maybe I’m actually more of a Hercule Poirot (sans the suit and moustache). Or maybe I’m like Aragorn, strong and cool and then I might get to meet Gandalf! Or I could be Bella’s pretty cousin and snap Jacob up in a second (yeah, I’m so not team Edward), or wait, maybe I could be like one of them heroines in historical novels who swoon all the time. I’ve always wanted to swoon…

Well, I guess you get how my mind is working (or not working, some say).

Anyways, I like to write. Stories, adventures, romantic and happy stuff mixed up with sorrow and hardship, and bit of laughter here and there because the way I see it – life is way too short to go around feeling grumpy.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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