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Stolen and Forgiven (Branded Packs Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Author
- ASIN : B00W5YPUZ4
- Publisher : Carrie Ann Ryan (July 14, 2015)
- Publication date : July 14, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2259 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 356 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,924 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This was a very enjoyable set of stories. But, the world this takes place in is disturbing so the story can't be enjoyed completely. Basically, imagine our world in the future...the Gov decides to try to weaponize a virus and it gets loose and caused an epidemic that seems sure to kill every human being in on the planet. Shifters were a secret but in an attempt to save humanity, they came out of hiding to give the human a possible cure (from their blood because shifters can't get diseases). It stopped the virus but then the Gov decide the shifters are a danger to all humans so the shifters are all captured, branded, collared and put in "encampments", surrounded by walls and armed humans that are part of a Gov branch called the SAU that is responsible for controlling the shifters (harshly). There are 3 different encampments, one each for canine, feline and bear :(
In Stolen, Holden is the alpha of the wolves and does what he can to protect them from their human captors/tormentors. Ariel is a human that the SAU experimented on and then disposed of by throwing her half-dead body into the wolf encampment. Holden finds her and realizes she's his mate and he can't lose her. It's dangerous but he changes Ariel into a shifter to save her life. Ariel grew up with the lies about the shifters being dangerous so she's freaked when she finds herself alive but mated to a shifter. It isn't an easy situation but she handles it very well and I liked her and Holden as a couple. Dealing with the consequences when the SAU finds out what happened is rough but the story does end with them together and as happy as possible considering their captivity.
Time: 3:55- 7:48
After the issues with Holden and Ariel, the SAU decides to make things rougher on the canines by forcing them to cohabitate with the felines. Since canines and felines don't mingle well, it's obvious that the SAU is forcing them together to attempt to start a fight between the 2 shifter types to kill off more of them easily. Soren is the beta of the wolves and Cora is the daughter of the Alpha of the felines. They've met previously and a heartbreak lies between them so when the wolves and cats are forced into cohabitation, they have to deal with each other. Their reunion isn't easy but Soren is determined to make things right between them. Just as things are looking good, the SAU decides to cause more trouble. It's dealt with as well but at the end, the shifters are still captives and things are getting worse. But as far as Soren and Cora, they end the story together and as happy as possible considering.
Overall, this was a very interesting story, even if it's a bit dark. I hate seeing what happens to the shifters...it just makes me want to shoot all the jerks responsible. The story is very good (if a bit disturbing) and I really like the characters and want to see them freed so I will be continuing this series and would recommend it. :)
* note - I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator did a very good job.
Book 1 was about the Alpha of the wolf pack finding a dying human on his doorstep. He goes against shifter laws and turns her when he realizes that she's his mate.
Ariel has been a test subject for the SAU organization since she was a baby. Her parents were killed by a lethal virus that nearly wiped out the human population. When the shifters came forward to offer their potent blood to save the humans, they were then locked up surrounded by wire fences and the SAU took the credit for finding the cure. They also made the public fear the very shifters that saved them.
Book 2 is about the Beta of the wolf pack and his mate who's a tiger and the Alpha's daughter. Soren led Cora on 7 years ago by having a relationship with her knowing that he would never mate with her. It devastated her when he walked away, she felt used and heartbroken.
Soren mated with a wolf who wasn't his mate to try to strengthen the Pack. But his heart never belonged to her, it belonged to the tiger he abandoned. Since his mate died, he's carried a lot of guilt. For hurting Cora and not being able to live his mate. She was trying to get pregnant, hoping to bring them closer. She couldn't get pregnant and kept sneaking out of the compound traveling to specialists to help her. She died in a plane crash.
Now that the tigers and wolves are forced to live together, due to a betrayal from a female wolf, he wants Cora back. But she wants nothing to do with him. When Cora is kidnapped by the SAU, Soren goes to rescue his mate. I'm the process they both learn how the organization works and what they want from all the shifters.
Can he rescue her on time, or will her father the Tiger Alpha give in to the SAU 's demands?
The first book is better than the second, where the characters and their history together are combined with much more of a standard issue shifter plot. They were together, he chose to leave for a valid reason, she got upset, now they're meeting again many years later... It's a common setup for conflict leading to resolution and couplehood, and the writer does a decent job with it, but I didn't care much about the characters in the first place, so wasn't very invested in their inevitable reconciliation either.
Where both books really fail for me is when the Shifters and the SAU authorities start interacting.
Given that the shifters start out the first story deciding to wait until they're better prepared before rebelling against the human authorities who've imprisoned and tormented them, why on earth are the shifter leaders constantly warning the SAU that some day the shifters are going to fight back? Doesn't it work better if the shifters surprise the SAU completely, without gifting them with any opportunity to make plans for defeating a shifter rebellion? Maybe it's psychologically crucial that the shifters feel empowered, and that's why the shifter leadership keeps deliberately getting in the SAU's face, even though the shifters can't actually back up the threats they're making, but it's still a stupid move on their parts. All it does is make it harder for the real rebellion to succeed by giving the SAU time to prepare. That choice just made no sense to me and so I found it hard to suspend disbelief during the chapters that were mainly about the Shifters reacting to the SAU's latest nastiness.
in sum, whioe the books are decently written, there just isn't much here that's new or very interesting to me, so I won't continue with the series.
Top reviews from other countries
Stolen was very boring and uninteresting, the romance was unemotional and the characters lacked depth and felt very 1 dimensional. I found it very hard to keep reading, there was a lot of unecessary world building in the majority of the story and not much detail went into the plot.
Forgiven was a better read although it wasn't really good it was readable, the characters were better and more interesting, there was a decent plot and romance. I wasn't drawn into the story but it did hold my interest throughout.
Overall I'm very disappointed with these short stories worst of all was the price I paid, I pre ordered this because I love Alexandra Ivys books and I have to say that this book certainly wasn't like her usual work especially her bayou heat stories. I can definitely say I won't be reading the next book.
I loved this book from start to finish.
I love the characters and the story.