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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battle Cry (Loki's Wolves (book 2)) by Melissa Snark

Title: Battle Cry
Author: Melissa Snark
Series: Loki's Wolves (book 2)
Read Type: eARC
Publisher: Nordic Lights Press
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You can purchase a copy of this book from: Amazon (International), B&N, ARe, Kobo, iTunes and Google Play

Book Blurb
Survival demands sacrifice. Healing requires forgiveness.

After losing her lover and then her mate, Victoria Storm builds a new life in Sierra Pines, California. When the Norse Fates predict the she-wolf will destroy the world to save her unborn child, her duties as Freya’s priestess conflict with her responsibilities as Odin’s Valkyrie.

Sawyer Barrett has hunted Victoria so passionately, he doesn't know whether he loves or hates her. Desperate to end the fighting, he will take chances with everything—except his heart. This hunter harbors a deadly secret he can't reveal without risking the tentative ceasefire and his father’s continued disapproval.

Men revere him; monsters fear him. Jake Barrett—the notorious Hunter King—values loyalty to family above all else. When he believes his eldest son was murdered by a wolf ally, he releases a chain reaction of violent destruction that claims the lives of both wolves and hunters.

An ancient vampire plots the destruction of wolves and hunters alike. If the embittered rivalry doesn't end quickly, there is no hope for the Hunters, Victoria's pack, or the mortal world.

Author Bio

Author Melissa Snark lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children, and a glaring of litigious felines. She reads and writes fantasy and romance, and is published with The Wild Rose Press & Nordic Lights Press. She is a coffeeoholic, chocoholic, and a serious geek girl. Her Loki’s Wolves series stems from her fascination with wolves and mythology.

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Strong language: Yes
Drugs:  No
Violence: Graphic
Sexual content: Mild

I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an unbiased review.

Battle Cry is the third book in the Loki’s Wolves series, following directly on from the previous book Hunger Moon. This book starts out as almost 3 separate books in one, with the threads slowly being wound closer and closer together until, by the end, you have a cohesive whole.

You have the story of the Hunters, Jake and Sawyer Barrett, leading a platoon of men in the fight against the endless hordes of vampires. Grieving a son and brother, the men struggle on, with Sawyer out of control and bent on revenge.

Then there is the Storm wolf pack: decimated by war with the Hunters over a chronic misunderstanding, the pack is led by Victoria, a young werewolf grieving her lover, the lead Hunter’s son.

Finally, at the start of every chapter there is a small look into Freya’s halls where the goddess of war, Freya, and the trickster, Loki, are having an unexpected confrontation. This last story can be read as a short story all of its own by flicking to the first couple of pages of each chapter.

The novel opens to show the Hunters in an intense battle against vampires. A large pack of werewolves come to the aid of the Hunters. This is a fantastic show of battle, varied, intense and emotional, and exciting display of the author’s control over extended battles. It also shows the tension between all wolf packs and the Hunters. Soon, we switch to Sawyer Barrett waiting for Victoria with the supposed intention of calling a truce. The tension soon ramps up here, the plot thickens, and the adventure begins.

The plot was dense and intriguing. Battle lines were constantly being redrawn, and characters having to rethink their loyalties. As this book carries on where the previous one left off, the plot leans heavily upon hunger moon and the events that happened there. Primary to this is the death of Daniel Barrett, the eldest son of the Hunter Jake and secret lover of the werewolf Victoria, causing confusion and the rift between the two sides that formerly worked together.

While this is stated that it can be read as a stand-alone, and the events that are referenced from previous books have some details brought back up in this, I would recommend that the reader reads the previous instalments for the best effect. This book heavily relies on the emotional connotations of these events and of knowing the characters as well as the plot points themselves. This gives the reader a fantastic chance to give a deep read, but would restrict a reader who hasn’t read what came before.

The various points of view used in this book, often switching every chapter, were a great way to see the pain and confusion on all sides of the story. It gave a great sense of completeness that couldn’t have been given from one perspective alone. With a mixture of werewolves, Hunters, gods and those in between, I was able to see the world within the book in more depth, and it kept me from feeling “side X are the side I am seeing through, so they must be in the right.”

The characterisation was thorough and never missed a beat despite regularly changing. The changes felt natural, almost like reading a balanced argument. The point of view was wherever the action was, feeding the reader information so it didn’t have to be given in lengthy exposition. I particularly felt the emotions of the male characters in a depth that is rare in such a book. It had me hooked from the very beginning.

The story is set across many different levels. You have the human stories of love, loss, and war, the supernatural creatures of varying intellect fighting for what they believe is right, or have been hypnotised to do, and the stories taking place right up to the level of the Norse gods. This book covers a couple of the major Norse myths, updated to fit the modern times and including the big players of their lore. I’m not completely up on this particular mythology and had to Google it a couple of times, but I felt it was fresh, while holding a regal yet bloodthirsty essence just a breath away. The god Loki had to be my favourite. He was crazy, funny, and got many of the best lines.

While all the different types of scenes in this book were well written, at the end of the day it was the emotional ones that I felt the deepest. The way the hidden wells of pain were cracked open inside characters leading them into fits of depression or anger depending upon their personalities felt very real and natural. It had me going from laughing, or being on the edge of my seat during a battle, to welling up within the space of a few lines.

This is a very character and emotionally driven novel, I suggest you read it with some energy food because you won’t want to put it down…and maybe a box of tissues.

The 411
I found this to be an exciting novel that didn’t stop. It jumped from fights, to adventures, to deep emotional scenes, and back. The plot was fitted together tightly, and the characters well written. I enjoyed the constant switching of themes without losing the plot or the reader.

I think the fight scenes were handled especially well. In one case there is a three-chapter long fight scene, yet it is constantly switching tactics, points of view, and new events are always happening so it never feels old. Fight scenes are an especially hard thing to keep me interested in, so this was a real achievement.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes.
I give this a 4.5 adjusted to a four for reviewing sites.


  1. Now that sounds like one I should read!

    1. A good choice, but if you haven't already read the previous books I'd suggest you start there to get the most from it