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Raene and the Three Bears (The Alder Tales Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I don't know who you will root for and I don't want to tell you which of the brothers Raene chooses...but I will you that I think she chose absolutely correctly and my heart was happy.
Now the wait begins for the next masterful retelling from RS McCoy!
I loved this book so much. It ripped me out of a reading slump after the move to Texas. I remember being enamored with Blossom and the Beast, so I knew it would be no surprise that I would fall in love with this story just the same.
McCoy has solid world building skills, but without overdoing all the details. I love the diversity of the element-based clans, and how each of them have a very distinct culture and values that resonate so well within the main characters.
The story continues following Blossom from the heart-wrenching cliffhanger that the first Alder Tales book left us with. Blossom faces many challenges in surviving her new placement and assignment as an Aero Vice Syndicate. She seems a bit defeated, but she surrenders to a heartfelt cause of hoping to see Kaide again. However, she does offer defiance where she think that she can, and holds on to hope that she will be reunited with Kaide.
We also get a few scenes of an up and coming villain, Syndicate Mercer! Ooh, she is a baddie for sure! I dislike her obviously, but love her as a villain. I hope that maybe we get a bit of a backstory chapter on her eventually. I love villain backstories!
The tale also follows Raene’s journey to choose one of the three bear clan brothers as her husband. No pressure. I usually find love triangles annoying, but this was a love triangle forced on Raene, who didn’t seem fond of love triangles either. Raene is a great character and I love her tiger totem. I personally couldn’t choose between the brothers. It was so hard! They all had their quirks and great personalities. In the end, I’m super glad that she chose who she did. You’re going to have to read this to find out who she chose. I won’t tell!
One of my favorite things about this author is that she is the MASTER (or mistress, whatever you please) of cliffhangers. I thought that my heart was wrenched out in suspense at the end of Blossom and the Beast, now I’m in agonizing suspense! What is going to happen!? What is going on?! My heart! The feels! Oh my gosh! I need the next book right meow!
Final verdict: 5 stars! I highly recommend this book! …unless you’re a reader that doesn’t like feeling all the feels… read it anyway!
There’s a lot to like, and some to dislike. I guess the main issues are the heartbreaking ending, and some of the character’s actions. I mean, Blossom goes missing, and despite the fact that she was about to be happily married, everyone thinks she ran away of her own free will? No one suspects foul play? Kaide said himself that they might try to change her totem, which they did, and he doesn’t even consider that that’s what actually happened? Talk about frustrating! And when he finally sees her, oh yeah definitely be angry at her because she totally betrayed you to become an Aero. Hell, she probably even told them to change her totem. That makes a whole lot of sense. No one seems to be thinking straight. And no one properly communicates about the issue. Raene gets to the clan and the first thing Tasia tells her is that if anything happened to Blossom, don’t tell anyone. Obviously Tasia does not care about Blossom. She only doesn’t want to see a few bears throw a fit. Never mind the fact that they might actually be able to help. But—oh that’s right, there would be nothing to help with because Blossom ran away of her own free will. It wouldn’t be much use to…I don’t know, actually try to figure out what happened to her, whether of her own free will or not. No one seems to want to find her and get a proper explanation, but they are all torn up about her leaving. It just seems pretty selfish on everyone’s part. And even when one of Blossom’s brothers actually finds out that she’s missing, it’s not even about Blossom at all, despite the fact that they all idolize her. Everything is always about Raene. And while I can understand that in the context of the conversation, they don’t ever revisit the Blossom issue. Oh, my sister’s missing? Cool, now that we’ve ruled out these possibilities it must be something else that I can’t help, so better just give up. Oh I can be mad about it, but won’t actually do anything. Won’t try to figure out what that something else is. And then I shall promptly forget about the issue for the entire rest of the book.
And then the ending—truly the perfect ending for a book that has a sequel. I.e. frustrating and inconclusive. One good thing happens—despite the fact that it makes absolutely no logical sense, but is clearly the best option—and then two more awful things happen. Oh, and that good thing has one benefit but many other drawbacks. Suffice it to say that I will be eager for the next book so we can finally get these issues squared away once and for all.
I spent most of the book eagerly devouring Raene’s story, but once that came to a sort of climax I realized that Blossom wasn’t getting the attention she deserved, even though her story wasn’t as fun to read about. It was mostly pretty depressing and not much big happened. But I would have liked it to move along a little faster, maybe. Maybe the problem was that she was away from Kaide for most of the book. Which was the point, I know, but in an entire book maybe it could have gone a little faster—maybe they’d see each other again by halfway, and then some time could be spent trying to communicate properly—oh, communication is clearly difficult in most books, otherwise conflict would be severely diminished—and then once they reassured each other of what was actually going on, maybe they could work to find a solution. They wouldn’t have to reach it by the end of the book, but that’s an awful lot of work that’s going to have to be done in the next one. Very little was done in this one. And oh how much fun it will be when Blossom learns that one of her brothers has married Raene and the other bachelor will probably never forgive him. Never mind what happened to her father. (Never mind what happened to Raene’s father—she still doesn’t know about that. It seems to me that these characters go through much of their lives not knowing incredibly important things, and most of the conflict stems from trying to figure these things out or coping when they finally learn them.) Life is just one nasty surprise after the next.
Wow, what a lot of negativity, all for a book that is actually quite good…I liked Blossom and Raene both, although they were a little hard to tell apart at times. They were definitely not perfect and had some frustrating moments but ultimately they were just who they were. And it was great that we got so many different perspectives. Not too many to be overwhelming, but enough to get the important people’s perspectives which really helped my understanding, even if the communication between the characters themselves was terrible. Parson and Hale (the suitors that Raene must choose between) are both fine, but again frustrate me in different ways. Hale is steady and the perfect husband in most ways but the few problems he has are about things that are central to Raene’s character and that would be a dealbreaker for me. Parson is a chaotic mess who embraces those parts of Raene but almost seems to see her only as her totem. Which gets a little weird. And he can’t communicate at all, haha. But he has passion enough for both of them. I think it’s funny that he transformed and ran off when he first saw her in a fit of emotion, and when she does that only pages later, I thought “they’re perfect for each other.” But isn’t there that saying that opposites attract? Having two such volatile people be married would probably cause a lot of chaos. But hell, if Hale won’t even feed her meat…Anyway, I guess she eventually chose right, even if it felt wrong at the time. I mean, nothing would have felt right, but she did not do a good job explaining her choice. (Big surprise; communication issue.) Anyway, of course it’s going to be messy. Life’s not supposed to be easy.
As for Blossom’s reluctant new life, it was basically as expected. Forced to do terrible things and not even allowed to enjoy her (altered) totem. At least she makes new friends. Although I’m not sure how she’ll get out of it. Eh, it’ll work out.
All in all this was quite a page-turner. Always something big going on. That’s why it was so difficult to find a stopping place. Good story. Wish I had the next one already. I don’t need sleep, I need answers!
And for those curious, I am definitely…
See the full review on my website, Awesome Book Assessment: [...]ml
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