"Alpha" Book 6 in the Shifters series by Rachel Vincent is a spectacular conclusion to the compelling tale of the South Central Werecat Pride. Alpha embodies all the expectations that the series has come to mean to so many readers. Ms. Vincent has successfully spun a finale worthy of the series as a whole.
I really loved the way the "Alpha" makes a point in providing a retrospective of the events in the series leading up to its high powered, emotional roller coaster conclusion.
The novel really is a culmination of the coming of age for Faythe Sanders. Her character has endured horrible atrocities against her person by numerous dishonorable individuals, bared witness to the tyrannical and brutal deceptions of Calvin Malone, experiences earth shattering sorrow and has committed her own crimes against a soul she has cherished most of her adult life; as a reader I have taken this trip along with her experiencing the laughter and sorrow leading to her ascension. "Alpha" really sets its mark as we witness Faythe's transformation into what she was meant to be for the day of her birth.
The ever present love triangle between Faythe, Marc and Jace is still a smoldering, breathing entity that threatens to ripe the fragile truce between the three during critical efforts of the South Central Pride's bid to stop Calvin Malone from taking over of the Pride council. Ms. Vincent does an excellent job of depicting the differences between liberal thinking pride Alphas and the conservative caveman mentality of the Calvin Malone and his allies. The level of detail that Ms. Vincent has put forth in depicting pride life under Calvin Malone's rule eerily resembled darker times in history regarding the right of women; so I thoroughly enjoyed Faythe continues assertion of the right of tabbies and her steadfast resolve to protect those rights.
As in the previous installment the South Central pride is at a critical point in its existence and is shoring up their defenses for an impending pride war. I was surprised that on more than one occasion the South Central pride and their allies were stymied in their attempts to avert disaster from Calvin's treachery and that the majority of the council would turn a blind eye to his activities. As the novel progressed each time the council met to discuss an issue, I found myself more and more perplexed at the narrow mindedness of so many of the members. There were times when the situation really looked bleak for Faythe's pride and the number of setbacks to many to bear, yet each time I love how Faythe stood her ground and forged ahead.
While I loved the character of Jace, as an ancillary character, I was less endeared with him as a love interest. His jovial manner was less noticeable and his more aggressive stance concerning Faythe, sometimes was a bit too pushy and too opportunistic, even if he did love her; where as I always felt that Marc would do anything for her with no strings attached, no coercion necessary. He was just Marc; I love you Faythe for all your faults, aspirations and mistakes.
While Faythe's character did grow and ultimately began to take responsibilities for her actions, her indecision regarding Marc and Jace was sometimes infuriating. The whole love triangle really kept me on edge, not knowing which she would choose. Her indecision sometimes was just too much to take. Yet, I could really understand her indecision; for all of her life Marc has always been a fixture and it was assumed that she would marry him. Then in steps Jace, no long the brother figure, but a potential "Alpha "mate that could protect her and the pride. I think her indecision was more a matter of having choices and allowing herself to explore her feeling without others telling her what she should do and whom she should pick.
"Alpha" is a brutal awakening to the realities of life and death, heartache and sorrow and love and joy with some really cool battles in between. I highly recommend this wonderful conclusion of an amazing series.
YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE FAYTHE…
The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever.