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Scions: Revelation, by Patrice Michelle

Third and last title in Ms Michelle’s Scions trilogy published by Silhouette Nocturne, Scions: Revelation comes out in December 1st. The first book, Scions: Resurrection, introduced the reader to a world where man-made vampires called Sanguinas exist. Scions: Insurrection, the second novel, revealed the existence of lab-made werewolves, self-identified as Lupreda. In this one yet another kind of paranormal being vies with the two other groups for supremacy… or at least, to carve out a niche for survival.

The three stories are connected by a prophecy which promises a way to a more peaceful future for all these paranormal beings.

Here is the back cover blurb:

They thought they understood the prophecy. They were wrong.

Caine Grennard was a werewolf, living among humans and lacking purpose–until the night he met a woman with an exotic, irresistible scent. A woman who might be his deadliest enemy.

When her aunt is kidnapped, Emma Gray swears to do anything to get the older woman back. Even if it means trusting the mysterious—and sexy—stranger named Caine.

But more is at stake than one woman’s life: Emma’s past holds the last key to unlocking a prophecy Caine’s clan is depending on. The fate of both their clans rests on them trusting the impossible, electric connection between them, even in the heart of betrayal…

Scions: A prophecy reveals hidden secrets and holds the key to fulfilling their ultimate desires.

In Scions: Insurrection there are some hints as to the existence of the Velius, or panther shifters, but at the end of the novel we are left with more questions than answers regarding these beings (much as with the Garrotteers mentioned in Scions: Resurrection). The only two things we know for sure are that they were created by the Lupreda in the same manner as the latter were created by the Sanguina, and with the same purpose: to be hunted.

Therefore, the Velius were engineered with intrinsic weaknesses that would in turn provide advantages to the wolves, in the same manner as the wolves are weaker than the vampires, and the vampires are vulnerable to sunlight and human blood. And, as with the previous groups, things go awry and the Velius are thought to have been killed off for… well, I’m not sure for how long, because the timeline of events is still fuzzy, but at least a couple of weeks.

The novel starts with Caine leaving the pack, afraid that he’s becoming a zerker (a werewolf trapped in his musk form, unable to shift back) but unwilling to wear the silver collar/chain that would prevent him from shifting at all. Shortly after his move to the city, he and Emma connect.

Emma is a socially awkward young woman whose only family is an elderly aunt with a heart condition. Taking care of her aunt Mary has kept Emma away from the city and from people in general, which makes her both innocent and a bit too trusting. She feels different to others, and blames her upbringing, but it’s her strangely acute sense of smell that leads her to Caine.

I like both main characters for the most part. I liked Caine in the previous novel, but I like him much better in this one. He has matured personality-wise, having chosen to leave the pack—his only family, as he was made, not born, a Lupreda—rather than be useless to defend his pack and properly serve his leader. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to continue growing, because he definitely does.

I also like Emma, particularly during the first few chapters. Her discomfort at being in a social situation that is so totally alien to her; her reaction to Caine and to his attraction to her; her obliviousness to her boss/friend Jared’s feelings for her; her concerns about her aunt’s fate… it all rings true. More so because she doesn’t know about the shifters or the vampires. As far as she’s concerned, they all are mythical creatures, so of course she’s human.

Here is where things start getting a little weird for me. For example, at one point Emma has been kidnapped and Caine rescues her and takes her to a safe house (a place near the edge of the Lupreda territory in the mountains where zerkers can hide from humans, keeping the pack secret and therefore safe). Less than a day later, a group of Velius find them, nearly kill Caine and kidnap Emma again.

Only we learn there are two groups of Velius, not one; there are the ones who want to coexist peacefully (and secretly) with humans, vampires and werewolves, and the ones who want to obliterate the other two groups. Around this time (almost half way through the book), another main character makes an unexpected, and rather sudden, appearance. From there on it feels like an avalanche, with new things being revealed and events unfolding at a breakneck pace.

I have all sorts of conflicting reactions to the novel because, as I said, I started out liking the main characters, but I felt the plot fell apart early on and never truly came together.

Then there are the truly petty complaints, for example: while I love cat shifters, I felt the need to point out (often) that panthera is a genus, encompassing most large cats (lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards); in America, cougars are sometimes referred to as panthers (like the almost extinct Florida panther). So… which kind of cat are we talking about here, exactly?

But my most serious issue, other than the holes in the world building, lies on Emma’s characterization from the half way point on. I mean, she thinks of herself as a quiet sort, awkward and relatively shy. Yet all of a sudden, right after seeing a man half shift to wolf, she herself shifts to a panther involuntarily yet, instead of freaking out, she is able to reason her way through a bargaining session, and from then on accepts everything that happens as if it were the most natural thing in the world to have your life turned upside down. No crisis, no anguish, nothing.

In the end, there were several questions left open (what happens now with Mira? where has Hawkeye been for the past twenty plus years?) and I’m wondering if there will be another book down the road where we’ll find out.

Scions: Revelation gets a 6.5 out of 10

You can find this novel through amazon.com here and amazon uk here.

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