Monday 2 December 2013

Review: Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin

Published by: Ink Monster, LLC
Release date: 17th December 2013
Series: Alpha Girl #1
I got it from: NetGalley
Goodreads summary:

Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind.

But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves.

Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems.

My review:
It's been a while since I've read a werewolf book. I kind of got saturated with them at one time, so I've given the sub-genre a rest but now I'm happy to have it back - especially in the form of this series introduction! 

Becoming Alpha is a great addition to the werewolf ranks - Erin's world-building is excellent and her characters are big and bold, making for a wonderful read. The mythology behind these werewolves is only touched on lightly in this first book, but what there is, is intriguing and I get the feeling we're going to learn a lot more in subsequent books. 

Tessa is a very interesting character, with her visions marking her as something special to begin with. As a person I loved her - she's such a typical teenage girl - at least she wants to be, but her heritage and visions make her life a nightmare, and I really felt for her. When she gets turned into a werewolf, the way she reacted and dealt with everything seemed very true to life - if life really did involve a secret werewolf school! I guess what I mean is, Tessa is so well-written that she comes across as very real, very genuine. 

The other characters around Tessa don't suffer either - I particularly loved her brother, and as for Dastien - who wouldn't fall for a hot, French werewolf?! Although strangely, I think Dastien was probably one of the weaker characters in the book. I hope we'll get to know him more in the next book, as I think he has a lot to offer. There's a large cast involved by the end of the book, and Erin does well to keep them all individual and interesting.

Becoming Alpha was an easy read - a YA supernatural romance that completely fits the genre. There's no startling originality, it's not going to change your life, but it's a really enjoyable read and I can't wait to read the next in the series.

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