Review by Shellie for Silver by Rhiannon Held.
Shellie’s quick take: A nicely paced urban fantasy about werewolves. It includes a strong romantic element, a religion particular to werewolves and insanity.
Shellie’s description: Andrew Dare is a werewolf with a horrific past. His life is spent finding and punishing other werewolves that break the social laws of the werewolves in Northern America. Essentially the second in command for a wolf-pack that resides on the Eastern side of the United States, it’s when he finds a lone female wandering in his pack’s territory that the story begins. She calls herself Silver since she has been injected with silver yet has miraculously survived – and from Andrew’s encounter with her it’s apparent she has gone mad. She rambles mindlessly to a phantom and has not eaten or bathed in some time. She refuses to let him help her. Eager to put this drama to rest, Andrew does his best to do the right thing and attempts to find out Silver’s story. It appears that the monster that’s injected her may also be tracking others. So the entire werewolf community may be at risk for an identical fate and Andrew decides he must find the killer before another werewolf is victimized.
In alternating story lines from both Silver and Andrew, the reader finds out the mystery of Silver’s torture and the identity of the monster that is stalking her. This is all told with an increasing emotional involvement between the two main characters.
Shellie’s thoughts: Silver is a dark, emotional and thoughtful story. What I particularly liked is that there is no other magical system or paranormal creatures complicating things (in this first of three books anyway). And the werewolf mythology is based upon what most readers already believe about werewolves, making it so the reader can immediately jump into the action of the story.
Although at first the plot description may sound rather simple and perhaps familiar, Silver has great pacing, emotional and social depth, and compelling complications, so it pulls the reader along quickly. As the plot becomes increasingly involved and the relationship between the two main characters develops, the reader gets deeper insight into the characters’ inner workings. Also included are some added twists; the main character Silver is emotionally and physically damaged (essentially handicapped) and yet conversely is still a strong lead; she is experiencing hallucinations which have a life of their own and actually become a character; and the author brings in a spiritual/religious element (a religion that is specific to the werewolves) giving the story another dimension and adding to the complexity of the emotions.
On the negative side Silver does have an ending that is predictable and I did have slight trouble getting into the writing. It took me several chapters before becoming comfortable with Held’s style, which I would consider sparse and engaging.
Definitely for those who enjoy romance, books that include werewolves, fans of Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, and anyone who enjoys a good story. Silver is for readers who are looking for drama and emotions around the main characters rather than just an action-oriented story (although there is quite a lot of that). I give this debut novel 3.5 stars. It would have been 4 stars if not for my few quibbles. A promising debut, I will definitely be looking at the books the author writes in the future since I believe that she will only get better at her craft.
Tor Books | June 2012 | Trade Paperback | 320 pages
This is the first book in a three book series with the latest book to be released tomorrow. Silver is the first, Tarnished the second, and Reflected is the third. To read the publisher’s description for Silver please see our incoming books for June 2012. For more information about Tarnished and Reflected see our incoming books feature for February 13, 2014.
We have an interview with Rhiannon Held in honor of the release day of the third book in the series - Reflected. The interview has some interesting insight into the author’s process and more.