Sunday, January 6, 2013


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.

Release (The Protector, #3)Series: The Protector #3
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: M.R. Merrick
Publication Date: 12/8/12
Format: eARC
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.

Favorite Quote:

  "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)

5x Bookmarks

1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)
1x Magnet
Runner-up Prize Pack (5 Winners)
1x Signed paperback (Winner’s choice of Exiled, Shift, or Release) with signed poster
1x bookmark (Winner’s choice)
1x Magnet

Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
Release eBooks
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 .

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I know! I am still in shock from that ending. I think I stared at the page for a good five minutes before I came out of my stupor. Glad to see you enjoyed Release despite your worries. Great review.

  2. I didn't speak to Matt when I was finished reading this! WTH Matt??? But I'm not hounding him to write the next one so I can find out what happens.

    Great review, girl. Thanks for being part of the tour.


  3. Ugh! People love these books so much and I keep putting off finally starting them. I really have to start them soon. I'm glad that magic was there for you. I love when secondary characters can step up and play a more important role in a series.

  4. I am loving this series!! And that ending!! OMG! I told Matt that I was mad at him for it and he better get us the last book ASAP.

  5. OMG I've been hearing THE BEST things about this series!! I feel like I'm totally missing out. I really need to read these soon!! Beautiful covers too. Great review, and thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

  6. I like Tiki and Rayna the best. Reading Release right now. Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. A tragically sad ending?! Nooooo...why Matt, why?!
    Great review Andrea. I still need to get this one (shame on me!), but I got a little book buying crazy recently and had to stop for a little bit. This is on my next "to buy" list though for sure!

  8. Ahhh, I hate 'em sad endings. BUT I've been keeping my eye on this series for quite some time and Matt is so awesome to talk to on twitter, that I seriously must check this out. Thanks for the review, Andrea:)

  9. Ya know, i think I have book one Exiled..somewhere *eyes tbr pile and nook* A little scared about the ending of this book..since you yelled at the author..LOL awesome review Andrea:)

  10. Yep, I'm often nervous when starting that middle book. Glad you loved this!

  11. werewolves because they are usually hot


  12. My favorite mythological creature is probably... hmmm... I'm not sure! Of all things paranormal I tend to say witches, but that's not really a mythological creature.

    I'm a little afraid to read this one, but at least there's one more after it, so I shouldn't be too scared yet. I'm sure I'll love it anyway. And I'm glad that we learn more about Tiki cause that was what I was thinking in Shift, that I wanted to know more about him. So glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait until I can read it!

  13. My favourite mythological creature would probably have to be angels. Like the fallen and guardian angels from Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush saga <3 (:

  14. Happy New Year, Andrea! What a killer cover! I've seen these books around and have heard nothing but good things. I definitely need to check them out.

  15. Great review. I enjoyed Release to, though the ending was sad. I'm looking forward to the next one and hope to see more romance with Chase and Rayna.

  16. Awesome review, Andrea! I have been hearing so much about this series lately so I am definitely intrigued by it all. It sounds fabulous and I just can't wait to fall in love with the world and the characters! Hopefully I can get to it soon. :D

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

  17. I don't have a favorite... I love them all, but what first popped into my mind was angels. (:

  18. favorite myth creatures are the ones rooted in reltious mythologies of whatever area. the deities that are also monsters or the ones rooted with actual historical figures we build myths upon


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