Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy Publication.Date November 21st 2012 Pages: 372 Published By: Self published Website M.R. Merrick Release My review copy: Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems. Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates. Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna. One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.
"So what's your plan, Marcus?" Brendan asked, his voice unsure.
"To get the pieces first, stupid." Cory cut in.
"Don't call me stupid."
"Don't ask stupid questions then."
We're going off the world of other demons - the very creatures we were born to kill. Now before you all get your panties in a bunch, hear me out. I know they're not all evil, but that doesn't mean they're to be trusted. Hell, I don't trust a hunter just because he's one of us. Trust is earned, and we can't be taking leaps of faith based on the words of the very people we're trying to kill."
"Now, are you ready for the really bad news?"
The sparkle in Rayna's eyes faded a little and she looked worried. "What?"
"You, Tiki, and I are on the research detail."
Rayna punched me in the arm. "Don't scare me like that! I thought there was actual bad news."
"We have to do research. It doesn't get much worse than that."
As this is the third instalment in a planned four book series, I won't be discussing the plot in detail. I don't want to spoil this awesome story for anyone, it's something you need to experience for yourself. I will, however, tell you just how extremely entertaining, action-packed and thoroughly jaw-dropping it was! You couldn't pry this book from my hands, it was THAT good. Merrick expanded the already rich and complex world even more, exploring different dimensions, adding new interesting characters and introducing us to new legends, stories from the past and information crucial to understanding and fully appreciating the story. However, while abundant in otherworldly creatures, magic, eye-popping fight scenes and vividly described settings, Release is still comprehensive and easy to follow.
Release blends non-stop action and a journey to discovering yourself into one fascinating story, that is just as entertaining and breathtaking as it is moving and inspiring. If I was to describe this book using just one world, I'd pick EPIC. The writing is compelling and addictive, the characters are three-dimensional and truly unique, the plot twists are many and they are often shocking. And the humor! I just love the humor in these books! The dialogues are super fun to read, full of witty observations and biting remarks. And the relationship dynamics between all the characters are intensely enjoyable.
Like I said before, both the plot line and the settings are top notch, ultimately though, it's the awesome characters that make the story for me. They are all realistically drawn and depicted in a way that makes you connect with them instantly. Each character has a distinct personality and possesses some sort of unique ability (supernatural or not). They're vivid, colorful, energetic, often snarky and badass, but they're also very human. Both Chase and Rayna are tough and fierce, but they're also emotional, vulnerable and soft on the inside. They try their best to do the right thing, but they don't always know what "the right thing" is, they make mistakes, they doubt themselves. They fall and then they get back up, dust themselves off and try even harder. That's what makes them so awesome. That's what makes me love them so much. They're not perfect. No one is perfect. But they fight for what they believe in, even if it's hard. Even when it hurts. Even if you don't know who you can trust and who your real enemy is.
I thought that Chase grew a lot as a character in Release. He had to learn to control his abilities, which basically meant working on his temper and controlling his emotions. He had to search for the soul pieces, but he also had to do a lot of soul-searching within himself. He was an awesome character to follow in Exiled and Shift, but he was still very immature then. In Release he changes a lot, smartens up and learns a lot about himself. I loved that!
As much as I loved Chase, Rayna, Willy and Tiki, I must admit I absolutely adored Willy's grandmother! What a fantastic, sharp-tongued, kick-ass character she is!
All in all, if you're not familiar with The Protector series yet, you have some serious catching up to do. It's such a great series, filled with creative ideas, breathtaking action sequences and characters you'll quickly grow attached to. If you adore fantasy genre and enjoy stories that are complex, awesomely imagined and thoroughly entertaining - this is the series for you!