Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Release Blog Tour. This tour is being hosted by #MyPalVal at Stuck in Books. You can find the complete tour schedule here. My stop includes a review and the tour giveway.
Series: The Protector #3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: M.R. Merrick
Publication Date: 12/8/12
Source: Received from author for review.
After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.
Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.
Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.
One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.
Well, that was a pretty intense ride! I have to admit, my reading preferences have changed dramatically in the past few months, and I don't read a fraction of the fantasy books that I used to. I also tend to sometimes have problems with "middle" books in a series, because they often feel to be "filler" books while waiting for the finale. Having said this, I will say that I was a bit worried about starting Release. I really enjoyed Exiled and Shift, loved the fantastic world Merrick created. Would the magic still be there, for me?
It was. It did take me a while to get back into the groove, though. Chase, Rayna, Willy and the gang were all a bit lost, scrambling to find a way to fight back against Riley and the evil power he holds. Chase is understandably confused and angry. And while I found him to initially be abrasive, I got it. Every time the poor kid seems to gain a foothold, something happens that makes him question his ability and his judgment. But, Chase does experience a lot of character growth throughout Release, and for that I am proud. I'm curious, nervous, and anxious to learn where this self-reflection leads him going forward. His growing, frustrating relationship with Rayna is where I enjoy Chase the most. I guess that's because, though Chase is a powerful figure with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders...he's also a guy who is falling for a crazy-awesome girl. That in itself is a potential whirlwind of emotions and problems. Plus, it's fun to see "Territorial Rayna"!
What made me the happiest about Release was that several secondary characters were able to step forward, take a larger role in the story, and truly shine. Vincent, for one, plays a larger role. He's on the defense and needs help from those he's hurt in the past. I still don't fully trust him, am not sure that I ever will, but for some reason I sort of like the creep. My favorite character in the Protector series is Tiki. He's always been this fun, slightly odd guy (?) that I've giggled at, but didn't know a lot about. In Release, we get to learn about his tragic, brutal past, and more about his kind nature. I fell even more in awe of this wonderful character.
Release was crazy. I'm in awe of the world that Merrick has built. He did an excellent job of creating a vivid, descriptive visualization of the world the characters inhabit. The story was full of violence, revelations, intense emotional standoffs, and a tragically sad ending. Seriously, I did not see that coming and it makes me want to say "Merrick! What the hell, man?!" It was shocking, and most importantly, did the job of making the reading want more. I have to find out if *that* really happened.
If YA Urban Fantasy is your thing, or you just want to try it out, the Protector Series is a great place to start.
"My faith isn't blind. I saw who you were and I see who you've become, and I know in the depths of my heart that you're going to make it through all this. And I know more than anything that you'll never stop fighting." (eARC, 31%)
You can purchase Release at:
Grand Prize Pack (3 Winners)
3x Signed paperbacks (Exiled, Shift, Release)
3x Signed 8x10 posters (Exiled, Shift, Release)
1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)a Rafflecopter giveaway
Runner-up Prize Pack (5 Winners)
Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
1x Signed paperback (Winner’s choice of Exiled, Shift, or Release) with signed poster
1x bookmark (Winner’s choice)
Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
Secondary Prize B (10 Winners)
1x bookmark (winner’s choice)
1x The Protector magnet
Winners will be chosen as follows: First 3 names drawn from Rafflecopter will get the grand prize. The following 5 names get the runner-up prize. The following 10 names win ebook copies of Release, and the final 10 names win the swag pack.
There will also be multiple opportunities to win signed paperbacks, signed posters, notebooks, swag packs, and bookmarks throughout the tour on both Twitter (@MRMerrick) and Facebook Fan Page .