Thursday, October 10, 2013

Amarok by Angela J. Townsend (Review)

Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal
Publication.Date  November 20, 2012
Published By:  Spencer Hill Press
WebsiteAngela J. Townsend

Amarok on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where to get:

Emma's life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining.
Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she's nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma's gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by the same Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

"He'd made someone happy, someone who had helped him out of kindness. Maybe he hadn't lost that small part of himself that still belonged to mankind. And by making this girl smile, he had in some small way solved a part of his own unquenchable thirst for happiness."
"The few bites of food the girl had given him warmed his belly and his heart.”
"Tok was a prisoner in a wolf's body--Amarok was the brave warrior inside the wolf. From now on he would be Amarok--just for her.”
"The girl began to cry, and her whimpering hurt his heart as much as the wounds searing across his flesh hurt his body."

I was looking forward to this book so much. Back when ARCs first went out, I had wanted one soooo baaaaadly. I honestly and truly thought I'd love this story. Why wouldn't I? It does have all those elements that make me love books. Romance, paranormal elements, shifters--a werewolf, nonetheless! Well, he's not exactly a werewolf, but still. He was a wolf who was actually a human and I tend to like that. But sadly, this story seriously disappointed me.

First of all, it was way too short. and I don't mean that in a way like "I never wanted this story to end!" I mean that this story was not built up enough. There could have been so much more to this to make it more interesting, and to hold my attention better. Instead, I got a bunch of short chapters telling me the bare minimum. TELLING. Not showing, telling. I don't know about you, but when I have to sit through a whole book being told this and being told that, I get kind of bored.

Then there were the characters. Yeah, I wasn't too fond of them. Emma in particular. There was so much to her--I know lots about her, but I didn't CARE about her at all. I didn't really have a reason to. She was nice to that one person that one time as far as I know. I don't take ONE instance and assume that is how the character is all the time. Especially with all the other things I was told about her. And she was boring. And then there was Amarok, who I wanted to love. I think I kind of like him. I enjoyed learning about him, the little glimpses we were allowed into his past.

OHMYGOD WHY INSTALOVE WHY?!?! I am not one of those people who instantly hates on instalove for existing. I'm okay with it if there is a REASON for it, or if it is even a tiny bit believable, I'll usually just let it go. I mean, come on. The Significance series by Shelly Crane is one of my favs. But this did not work for me at all. They met (kind of...Emma was kidnapped, and Amarok was there with all his wolfy self) and, like, a day later we have Amarok talking about how his heart has been restored and blah blah blah. By the end of this story, I'm pretty sure Emma and Amarok have only known each other for a week, give or take a day or two, and they are thinking of how much they love each other and miss each other and life will never ever be the same without the other OHMYGOD BABY COME BACK. Some people might be okay with this. But, as I said, I just wasn't feeling it.

There actually were some things I liked about this book, though, don't get me wrong. Even though the instalove was not good (soooooo not good), some of the romance was sweet. I love sweetness. And, like I said, I enjoyed reading about Amarok's past. That was it for what I really liked.

This book had so much potential. It could have been so great and interesting. I could have loved the crap out of it and could have been fangirling my face off right now! But that is not happening. And that makes me sad. I'm not going to tell you not to give this one a try, because you might end up loving Emma and the writing and ALL OF THE THINGS that reeeeeally didn't work for me. But I don't really recommend it. 

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