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Rilù
Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

Basically, your bookish best bud.

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The Challenge - River Pack Saga by Mary Morten - Book Review

 

First, they had to find one another. Now she must prove herself worthy.
Omega, Delta, Socialite?

If there’s one thing you need to know about me is that I hate waiting for book sequels. Even more, I hate waiting for sequels of books I really enjoyed.

When I finished reading The Pull I instantly knew I needed to know what happened next, I loved it so much and grew so fond of the characters that waiting for the next instalment felt like torture. Luckily, the world is filled with good people who, unlike me, take writing very seriously and are so devoted to their craft and their characters that the second book, The Challenge, fell on my lap quite instantly, not even giving me the time to even wonder what would happen next.

In this next book we find Soley and Kanoa as we left them in the previous book, excited and scared to get Soley tested to become a Socialite so that they could - finally - be together. If only it was that simple.

As the son of the Alpha and future Beta, Kanoa’s mating has to require a certain level of agreement that comes from the Pack and since their rules are set in stone, it’s hard to have the approval of every single wolf, especially the ones belonging to higher classes that see Soley as a threat not only to their pack but also to their way of living. The fear of novelty, the mistrust, and the rules that are constantly broken lead to small fires that become bigger the more Soley is willing to pursue the Moon Goddess's will and her heart.

I loved how much of Soley’s personality and strength and heart we see in this book: we are used to think of her as this badass woman who is constantly trying to help those in need, no matter the length she has to go through, but in this book, we also see her doubts, her fears, the guilt she feels towards her family once she’s promoted to a higher rank and the feeling that she doesn’t belong anywhere anymore, not to her family because she’s scared they don’t see her the same way they did and not to Kanoa because she’s not quite there yet. We see her jumping ahead moved by her love for Kanoa but we also see her falling a few steps behind whenever she doubts her strength. Soley was a good portrait of humanity with everything that comes with being human and powered by feelings for others.

We also see a different Kanoa in this book, a more grown-up version of him, almost a Beta ready to rule and give orders, almost like he’s taking his true form which goes beyond the shape-shifting and has to do more with understanding where he thinks his father did wrong and doing everything to be a better human, a better wolf, a better leader.

It’s when the attacks towards Soley start that we see Kanoa in full Alpha mode: the way he manages and gives orders to the Warriors, the way he is willing to protect Soley not only show how much of a better Alpha he one day will be but also how caring and loyal he is, not only towards Soley but also his pack.

This second instalment was even better than the first, it saw me holding my breath countless times but also laughing out loud at the little moments between Kanoa and Soley which are vital as we see lots of fighting, lots of shocking truth being revealed and lots of hurting. The story, as its characters, takes so many forms, it shifts from being a cute, witty romance to basically the Hunger Games where Soley has to stay focused and show her strength to survive but that also shows a lot of heart to constantly help others even though that often goes against her.

As for the previous book, The Challenge also deals with very important and different themes, this time even more serious and very relatable. We still have a very strong and clear division between classes but we also have the pressure, the need to let people judge us for who we are and not for where we come from. As the story progresses, we unveil a lot of history behind Soley’s family and the pack, and that history marks her as well even though she has nothing to do with it, even though she’s a new generation, blood is still blood and people usually don’t see past grudge and past your family name, what those before you did, they keep seeing you as the evil seed that comes from spilt blood and that’s something that is hard to shake away.

“Many, like myself, weren’t even alive during the rebellion, but we carry the punishment with us. Of course, we would like to be judged for who we are and not who we come from.”

Soley goes beyond her strength, beyond her physical pain to show those people that she’s not her grandfather and that she’s willing to carry the weight of what we did and turn that into compassion and respect for those that suffered because of what happened before she was even born.

I loved this concept, I love it when books go beyond the story and teach us some valuable lessons that could potentially be useful in our life, because then it feels more personal, not something you’re just reading but something that you could make yours entirely and personally, this book did so much more for me: it made me believe in myself through Soley, it made me see how much better I can be if only I stop waiting for people to judge me and most importantly, it gave me the courage to not give up.

“Whatever life throws at you, don’t quit”




 

The Challenge by Mary Morten

In the wake of the River Pack's annual Matilng Pull, twenty-year.old wolf, Soley, may have found her one true mate in the Alpha's son, Kanoa, but the fight for their future has only just begun. With pack law stating Kanoa must mark a wolf of the Socialite rank, Soley now has one chance to prove to the Alpha Council and the entire River Pack that she's worthy of the Beta-to-be. The Socialite test won't be easy, but being in Kanoa's arms feels like home, and she'll do anything to stay there.

With the pack heatedly divided over Soley's rank promotion, Kanoa wishes he could do more to secure her place by his side. But with rogue wolves stalking dangerously close to the border, and warnings of an imminent attack, it's all he can do to keep her safe. It's unclear if Soley is the target or if she's merely a convenient scapegoat for a far more sinister plot, but Kanoa soon discovers his father has been keeping secrets, leaving him to question his own ability to lead. When the escalating pack unrest places Soley's life in danger, Kanoa is no longer sure whom he can trust. His happily ever after with Soley finally feels within reach, but what if it comes at a price they're not willing to pay?







*This is a sponsored review, meaning the author partnered up with me to bring you a genuine, honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.




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