Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: Time Mends by Tammy Blackwell

Time Mends takes up where Destiny Binds left off, both chronologically and emotionally, so read that first, then come back for this riveting and rewarding read.  

Time Mends, by Tammy Blackwell, is the second book in the The Timber Wolves series, it reminds me a little bit of the Empire Strikes Back in that it's an emotionally darker story that is clearly serving a different purpose than the first one.  This is Act II, not more of the same as we saw in the first book.

At first blush, the Timer Wolves series looks like it would be just another Twilight-wannabe, with its beautiful-yet-unpopular girl, slow introduction into a paranormal world, and a love triangle between the the girl, a longtime friend, and a mysterious new comer. It gets beyond that quickly though, by having a strong heroine with both agency and integrity and a plot that gets away from the manipulative "team this" vs "team that" and into a riveting star-crossed lovers story.

Time Mends starts with Scout slowly healing physically, and still depressed and grief-stricken from Alex's death. She keeps dreaming of him and doesn't really believe he's dead, and I was right there with her. I also had hoped that somehow it was all a big mistake or plot twist and that he'd be alive. How the author handles that - the anguish and healing and love and transformation - was emotionally layered but (surprisingly) not depressing.

In the meantime, Scout is also dealing with all sorts of other developments. Warning - spoiler! She somehow turns into a shifter. Since in this world, that shouldn't be possible, her mysterious transformation draws problems from the other shifters with serious consequences. The core group of Scout, Tammy, Jase, and Charlie stick together to protect each other, and the author takes the time heal and evolve Scout's relationships with all the secondary characters.

The end of the book is a major cliffhanger. We have more mysteries than we started with and now she's in danger, on the run, and separated from her pack. I have only vague guesses about how the author plans on resolving it all. This is not turning out to be the pat YA paranormal romance I thought I was reading when I started. BUT, the journey so far has been so involving and rewarding that I'm willing to put myself in her hands for the next book and see how it all shakes out.


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