My Rating: 3.5 stars: Liked it a lot - recommend (B+)
The story opens with Rifter, leader of the Dire Wolf Pack (a type of wolf shifter), commenting on his urge for a woman and to run wild. He cruises in on his Harley, wearing his leather, and heading to a bar. Can you say BAD BOY?! Yes, he is over six-feet of pure smexy man! The first chapter of Dire Needs was one of the best I’ve read in a while. I love a book that opens with the needs of running and f*cking! When Rifter spots our heroine, Gwen, the scene is electric. The instant steam generated between Gwen and Rifter is tangible. The story gets right to the point. Our hero is all alpha male and mmm... so swoon-worthy. The instant the book begins, you know you are in for a great ride (on his bike, come on, what did you think I meant?)
The story itself revolves around a group of six Dire Wolves (the last of their kind), a pack of “regular” werewolves, some outlaw weres, humans that hunt the weres and Dires (known as weretrappers), some evil witches, and a group of god-like “elder” Dires. Basically, there is a power struggling going on between the Dires, outlaw weres and witches. Some weres want to come out to the world (and rule the humans). They have aligned themselves with their enemies (weretrappers and witches) to take down the Dires, who are the natural leaders, peacekeepers and protectors of humans. Sound like a lot to deal with? At times it can be...
I really enjoyed the overall story and the new mythology created by Ms. Tyler. However, I felt the story got bogged down by too much world-building and repetition of the “historical facts.” I understand the need to layout the new world in a first book; however, I wish that this story had narrowed the focus on only a couple of the pieces... Gwen and Rifter and her origins, with a little less of the overall history and the entire bad guy population. A little less about each individual Dire. It would have made for a smoother read. I was also confused on the Dire’s historical timeline. Some sort of chart that includes the major events that have occurred would be useful.
Even with my frustration with the volume of information presented, the book had many great aspects. In this new world, the Dires’ wolf halves are individual entities within the human body. The “Brother” and “Sister” wolves have a separate presence within each Dire and can communicate wants/feelings/instincts to the human part.
Another wonderful part is the character, Seb. He was once Rifter’s best friend, but now is the leader of the witches. His betrayal has had a profound effect on the leader of the Dires and adds superb conflict to the storyline. Since we are privy to Seb’s POV, the reader understands that things are not so black and white for Seb, and I imagine Seb is going to be my favorite tortured soul in this series.
I also want to mention that I LOVED the nod to Larissa Ione’s Demonica Series (mention of UGH and Eidolon!)
This book was reminiscent of another favorite of mine, Dark Lover by JR Ward. A reluctant leader falling for an apparent human (who turns out to be more), the “brothers” living together in a massive compound and driving fancy vehicles, and the list goes on... Although there are a handful of similarities, Dire Needs is its own unique story. Dark Lover kicked off a great series... I think Dire Needs will do the same for the Eternal Wolf Clan.