Author: Rachel Vincent
Year of Publication: 2010
Goodreads Rating (Avg.): 4.33
Goodreads Rating (Mine): 3
Plot Description: After the death of a couple of family members and the loss of their father’s position as Chair of the Werecat Council (or whatever it is they’re calling themselves these days), Faythe Sanders’ Pride finds themselves about to be turned out of their own home – all because the current Werecat Council refuses to recognize the new Alpha.
SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE SHIFTERS SERIES: BEWARE
Faythe is Alpha now. At least, her father named her Alpha before he passed away in Shift. The new Council mandates, however, that every new Alpha is to be recognized by them, and they’re not about to recognize the first female Alpha in North America.
This means war. Right?
Nope. This actually means Faythe once again forgets to learn that leadership is not defined by your literal physical strength as she accepts a challenge by a contender for her Alpha-dom. As Alpha, it’s her right to have a minion fight on her behalf. She does not choose this option either. And she has her a** handed to her on a golden platter as a result, the idiot.
Once we’re past that really embarrassing bit, the book really picks up. Say what you will about her pseudo-macho delusions about having to prove herself, but the woman sure knows how to plan for a battle. And her adventures over the past five books has assured her an assorted band of allies, from Bruins and Thunderbirds to the much neglected Stray cats in territories outside the Prides. And towards the end, the book also illustrates what we already knew all along – that while any tomcat can defeat Faythe while in fully human or cat form, she’s the undisputed master of the Partial Shift. In fact, that’s also where her true strength lies.
Alpha is without a doubt the best of this series. It’s an enjoyable read, and combines the empowering elements found here and there in the previous books with the non-stop action found in most of the previous books. It has vengeance and satisfaction of a job well done.
My biggest disappointment was one that ought to come as no surprise to anyone who’s read my reviews of the previous books. The love triangle came to its inevitable end, and Faythe picked the underdog. That is to say, she had no real choice but to pick Marc (from a plot perspective) because picking the healthy option would have meant that Marc would lose all werecat credibility and would end up an outcast. In true Adrian Ivashkov form, Jace gets his own novel (and his own romance) in Rachel Vincent’s Wildcats series.
I don’t regret reading Shifters despite my frustration with the series because it achieved at least some portion of its potential. It has the makings of a really good story, and I can always just let my imagination do the rest of the work.