Release Date: May 5, 2014
Source: Author via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
For the past five years, Natalya Stravinsky has dreamed of two things: to rejoin the South Toms River werewolf pack and to be reunited with Thorn Grantham. Fate may have brought the pack back into her life, but unless she journeys to Russia to save Thorn, the love she’s found may be lost again. For a stubborn werewolf like Natalya, no distance is too far, no magic spell too complex to master, because one way or another she will find a way to have everything she has ever wanted.
How things had changed.
This is an apt description for COMPELLED by Shawntelle Madison, the last book of her Coveted series. I've been looking forward to this book because the first two, Coveted and Kept, blew me away. Sadly COMPELLED left me wanting and here's why.
I was the queen, the overlord, you name it, of planning to reduce my anxiety. But when it came to saving Thorn, I was willing to toss most of that planning aside. Damn! Love made folks do stupid stuff. - Nat
My first reaction after reading COMPELLED was what happened?! Kept was such a badass sequel and Natalya Stravinsky really did a complete 180 in that book. However I hardly recognized her in this series finale. Granted that she's now the Alpha female of her pack but gone are the little nuances that made Natalya a stand-out heroine. For one, Nat has OCD and she has a thing for hoarding and order among other things and a Nat who can easily forgo basic hygiene just doesn't add up for me. Yes this critic can be viewed as being nitpicky but if you're a follower of this series, Nat's OCD played a huge role in her life and like I said, this and her introverted personality is what made Nat quite the reluctant but endearing heroine. Though I appreciate Nat growing into a butt kicking heroine, Nat from Kept to Nat in COMPELLED are almost two different characters and that question above kept reverberating in my head throughout the novel.
Aside from an unrecognizable Natalya Stravinsky, her consort, Thorn, was pretty much absent in this final novel. Granted that Nat's his savior now, as the Alpha, I was expecting him to play a bigger role than an invalid spouse. Nick, the wizard who played a major role in both Coveted and Kept is MIA as well, the man simply vanished with a too simple explanation that he's out pursuing personal stuff. Some things are even suggested as sort of a blanket explanation for the plot holes which left me scratching my head on a few occasions.
[case in point] He said you've [Nat] had a lot of personal growth on this journey. That you've done everything in your power, and, like any heroine, should receive a reward for your sacrifice.
Now COMPELLED wasn't all bad, per usual, SMadison delivered in the action/adventure department. The war between warlocks and wizards was intense and it involved a lot of badass magic and more badass characters. Nat's time in Russia was a great change from the usual small-town setting of Coveted, lending it an exotic and more deadly feel. Ultimately Nat's mission to save Thorn from a deathly curse was a success so everything ended happily for the lovers.
Overall COMPELLED felt like a rushed ending. I feel like there should be one more book between Kept and COMPELLED to bridge the gaps I mentioned above. Maybe it's just me but I feel like there could've been more to the story but for some reason, SMadison ended the series. And she did so in haste IMO. SMadison is usually very thorough with her world-building and myth but things aren't as defined in COMPELLED as compared to the previous books. So it is with a heavy heart that I bid this series adieu, thankfully there's Repossessed, a spin-off of this series and hopefully this latest release will fill the void Coveted left.
Coveted Series Reading Order