In-depth review of Silver by Rhiannon Held

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.

(GoodReads)

This is the second book this year that I have felt very strongly about. I flew through it really quickly because I couldn’t put it down. The pacing was just right, character traits I was worried about at first were quickly addressed, and the story was genuinely interesting to me.

“You don’t need this warrior. If you come with me, the monster won’t be able to find you,” Death said in the voice of her brother’s mate. Always sensible. Sensible advice.

The first thing I worried about was Silver – the female lead – is “crazy.” A word thrown around fairly often when describing her. Often mental illness in books isn’t portrayed well and while this isn’t necessarily an illness we will encounter as humans good portrayal of mental health is still important. Though what Silver is experiencing parallels what some people with PTSD go through, perhaps part of it is PTSD considering the triggering incident and her symptoms, but I’m sure other illnesses parallel her experiences as well. And she is still strong. Not despite it, but by taking hold of it and not giving up. Not because she gets better or has some special ability to do so (beyond being a were). She overcomes characters opposing her that are on her side, but react to her in the same way many people try to “help” people with mental illness every day. It was very realistic and relatable.

Something I’m still a bit on the fence about is Andrew – the male lead. He’s a strong character with an interesting history but it’s his white-knight-to-the-rescue behavior that I’m teetering on. On one hand it’s cliche for a one man army to go after the bad guy chasing the girl and giving up stuff along the way. Cue romance montage. On the other hand his background makes his decisions plausible, and even though he acknowledges an attraction to Silver near the beginning it doesn’t factor into his motivation to hunt the person chasing her. The enemy is a very real threat to the werewolves, not just Silver, not just Andrew. I’m leaning on the positive side for Andrew, partially because I can’t take any other fault with his character. He’s very sensible and even narrow minded. But he grows, he’s not static. And there are only so many ways one can do the save-the-girl romance scenario. I think my teetering comes from the fact it’s a common romance plot element and that makes me question if I just like it because it didn’t crash and burn in my mind, as I find many do. I’m second guessing myself. There are only so many plot devices, and this one is easy to mess up. But it was done well, as was the rest of Andrew’s character.

“Spare me your preaching. You’re not real.”

But my favorite character has to be Death. I love reading different takes on death personified and this one was spectacular. He was tied into were lore well without making him out to be the enemy, something I really appreciate. At the end I felt his interactions with Andrew really made the romance between Silver and Andrew more plausible too. They now have shared experiences beyond lets-save-the-day. And Death is just so matter-of-fact and patient. I’m really hoping he’s in the next book and that the were lore is expanded upon.

I did enjoy the political elements of the book as well. It really spoke to world issues on a smaller scale. How we combat universal threats and the importance of communication between political powers, how that’s difficult when there are power games involved. The politic made this world all the more interesting and I hope the next novels explore the politics and power dynamics between packs the world over. I want to know how lore and politics differ around this world, not just between the Americas and Europe. What’s happening in China? South Africa? Do the were packs around the world ever even interact or do they struggle to maintain segregation? I’m already hooked, now I want more world building.

But Death just ran with them, tongue lolling. He must think Silver was blaming herself quite well without him.

Overall I’m giving Silver four stars out of five. I sometimes find books on their own don’t get five stars for me, but in a series they will. So I may do a series review as well. Whether I would re-read Silver really depends on the rest of the series.

Find this book on Amazon.

 

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