The cover totally drew me in with this one. I kept seeing it on bookshelves and would think, "Hmmm... bloody flowers, interesting. I wonder if it's any good." So when I finally got it, I had to read it right away. After completing the book, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I think it was written well enough, but I'm not sure the story is thought out enough to warrant a series. I think I will have to read the sequel to get enough understanding to judge it.
This was definitely a typical teenage paranormal romance. You have the girl. You have the two boys. They all have some sort of supernatural powers. And they all love each other (except the boys, who want to rip each other's throats out). Seriously people? Sing me a new song, this bits gone stale.
Most of the time, I hate it when the mythology of the story is revealed in slow steps. Mostly, I want the author to tell me what the world is like so that I have an idea of what's going on. I don't like spending half of the book confused about names, powers, wars, etc. In this case, I can forgive the excruciating confusion because the characters only knew so much about themselves. Granted, some of it could have been explained at the beginning, but I thought the way it was done was alright (even though some of the explanations were a little sloppy).
The last thing that really bothered me about this book was character development. All of the focus was on Calla, which I understand was the main character. And I think that she was developed nicely. However, I didn't feel like there was much difference between Shay and Ren (sadly I wasn't rooting for either because it didn't seem to matter). The others in the packs were bland and I kept forgetting who was who
SUMMARY: CONTAINS SPOILERS!
In Aspen, there are two packs of wolf shape-shifters called Guardians that protect their masters. The Guardians answer to the Keepers, who seem to be like witches/warlocks. The two groups have a strange dynamic where the Keepers control everything in their lives (including mates) while providing the Guardians with whatever they need (clothes, food, shelter, etc.) . What would witches need to be protected from? Other witches of course. The other group of witches are called Seekers and not much is really known about them throughout the first book, except that the Guardians were told by the Keepers that the Seekers are trying to take out all humans.
Calla is a teenager in the middle of all this. She is the alpha of her small teenage pack and is about to be mated to the teenage alpha male, Ren, from the other side of the mountain. Together, they will form their own new pack away from their parents and families under a Keeper that is about to come of age. However, before any of this has a chance to happen, Calla saves a human boy from a bear (which is forbidden). The boy, Shay, ends up being the new kid in school and he won't let it go. He convinces her to hang out with him and do things that she shouldn't be doing, like reading a forbidden book that holds the secrets of what the Keepers are really up to). They find out that Shay is the scion and has more to do with Calla's world then they first believed. They end up checking out a cave that is off limits and get attacked by a giant spider that almost kills Calla. She ends up having to turn Shay into a Guardian to save her life.
When it's finally time for Calla to "marry" Ren, she is ready to give up her freedom for the good of the pack. However, before she can make her decent down the aisle, she finds that Shay is what her and Ren have to hunt and kill to prove they are a good match. She decides to save Shay and runs off with him. Ren catches up and after explanations, he is ready to help them escape. However, after going back to Shay's uncle's house to collect some things for their trip, they are attacked by the statues and paintings in the house that are brought to life by Shay’s uncle. The only thing that saves them is the Seekers that have come to claim Shay. They end up taking him and Calla.