Author: Rhiannon Held
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Summary: Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.
The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent.
Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.
☆: 3/5 stars – a lush, gorgeous, solid story that unfortunately didn’t quite live up to its potential.
Review: While “Silver” was a fun jaunt into a world where Weres wander around with humans, I was kind of disappointed to find that it didn’t quite measure up to the absolutely wonderful potential it showed within the first few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, though – this one is ABSOLUTELY worth the read if just for Held’s way with words alone.
I thought it fascinating that Weres (as they’re called) aren’t unusual in Held’s world at all – they tend to hide themselves, though, because of past persecutions, and their packs tend to be sorted according to their geographical area. I loved Held’s worldbuilding as it was refreshingly sparse, but just enough for us to understand where Andrew and Silver (and the packs) stand within the human world, and how the human world (specifically, the Catholic Church) has dealt with them VERY cruelly in the past. Held hints that the Weres have severe PTSD when it comes to dealing with humans, and I thought it was interesting that she also very subtly hinted at racial/genetic memory when it came to this part of her world, which hasn’t (at least, from what I’ve read of the genre) really been used before.
Silver, as we first meet her, is delirious with silver poisoning in her blood, who sees and talks to Death (painted as a black wolf) and the story takes off from there. Held’s language is absolutely magical and flows so beautifully that you kind of get caught up in a spell throughout the book – until it all kind of falls flat that last (very important) fourth of the story. She definitely has some great skills with sensory language and imagery, especially when it came to Silver’s bits of narration, and it was generally a smooth, delicious pleasure to read. However, it kind of slows to a halt about 3/4ths through the book and meanders from there – which was my biggest complaint about the book. I just wish it had picked up a bit more momentum throughout the story, and that part was really a shame. But for me, the lyrical language and Held’s style of writing kind of makes up for this a bit (kind of), so instead of three stars, three and a half stars for this book.
As for the characters, I thought that more features of the packs themselves (Seattle as opposed to Roanoke, and so forth) could have used some more individualizing features – how are these packs different, and what might provoke them to turf wars, and so forth? Silver and Andrew are the most “real”/3D characters of the book as they’re the most filled and rounded out characters of the bunch. Silver kind of reminded me a bit of River from “Firefly/Serenity” in her delirium, and I really liked that. I liked her talking to Death, and I liked how Death was actually made into his own character. I also liked the idea that the Weres are I guess what we’d consider as neo-pagans – they worship the Lady (the Goddess)/the Moon, and I thought that was really nice touch. The Lady herself is also made into a character, though she’s not as quite fleshed out when you compare her to Death, who’s literally on Silver’s tail the entire book.
Final verdict? If you’re looking for a delicious, lush world to sink into this summer, choose “Silver”. It’s a wonderful debut, but I just wish it’d ended a bit better than it did. It’s absolutely worth the read for the magical realism alone. “Silver” is out now from Tor/Forge in North America, so be sure to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself!