Nature's Destiny by Justine Winter
Series: Nature's Destiny #1
Published on: March 14, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
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My life was changing, morphing into something greater than I could have anticipated. I was becoming something I didn’t recognise as myself anymore. A Werewolf.
I was different.
‘Hybrid’ was what they called me, and the weight that rested against that one word was crippling. They depended on me to bring them safety. What made me so special?
Oh, that’s right. My destiny.
I was sucked into a world I’d had no idea existed. Twenty-one years as a human, and this was what I found out.
My travelling plans, my writing degree, all of it was gone within one night. One evil night that robbed my humanity.
I wasn’t completely sour. Life had been unfair a while ago, only now I’d had something worth fighting for besides myself. Something to live for.
I was afraid for the others. I couldn’t let them down. I wouldn’t let them down.
I’d gone to bed a human and woken up a Werewolf.
A special Werewolf.
I couldn’t help but get excited when I first discovered this title because not only is it about werewolves (my favourite), but it’s by a debut author and is considered New Adult which are two things that I don’t read enough of. So, I was psyched to be able to kill two birds with one stone so to speak. The book started out strong with the heroine getting bitten in the prologue, and then experiencing her first change in chapter one. Unfortunately, the story grew stagnant after that and was rather uneventful until the 3/4 mark. The heroine wasn’t believable, the insta-love rubbed me the wrong way, and the secondary characters weren’t well developed. The last fifty odd pages or so were a completely different ball game, and I found myself wishing that the entire novel had been like the closing chapters.
The foundation of Winter’s werewolf mythology is solid; I enjoyed learning about the intricacies of her shifters, and thought that she introduced some interesting new elements to the genre. One being that the various fur colours actually have meaning beyond the obvious link to their hair in human form. Another aspect that I found intriguing was the pack home; I’ve previously read books that have featured a kind of wolf mini-village, but the author takes things a step further in NATURE’S DESTINY by giving them their own infrastructure as well, like a school and hospital. On the other hand, there was a bit of a comical side to the lore as well. For one, these werewolves can avoid the call of the moon by simply closing the curtains, and their clothes magically stay on their bodies when they shift back to human. The latter isn’t that unusual, but the former just seemed a little silly in my opinion.
I think the main reason why I didn’t love this novel is because I had a hard time connecting with Luna; she was just so… simple-minded. She gets turned into a werewolf in the opening chapters, is told by the alpha that she has to give-up her life, and move in with a bunch of strangers. Now, any sane person would resist or at the very least question these imposed changes every step of the way, but not Luna. She just says “ok” like a well-trained dog. The protagonist goes from being a recent university graduate with her whole future ahead of her to a freaking werewolf forced to obey Pack law overnight and doesn’t even bat an eye! Then she falls in love with Riley in one day, and is calling him “the man of her life” before the week is out. The whole thing was just… implausible.
There’s not much of a plot to this book; in fact, I didn’t really figure out the point of the story until the 3/4 mark. I understand that this is the first installment in a new series, so heavy world-building and character development is expected, but there should still be a few plot threads scattered throughout the entire novel, not just at the end. At times, it felt like the author was checking elements off of a list rather than marrying them together in a symbiotic way. Winter would focus completely on one specific aspect then move on to the next one and so on instead of blending the whole together to create a well-balanced read. And, on top of the heroine being not very credible, there were also a couple of other unlikely occurrences, like when one pack wars with another, but only one side experiences casualties. Again, highly improbable.
I rarely adore book 1 in any series because there are always a few growing pains, so I’m not overly surprised that this turned out to be a 3 star read for me. However, the final chapters left me hopeful for the future of NATURE’S DESTINY which means that despite my misgivings, I fully intend on adding the next installment to my wish list.
Nice review Carmel, and I agree that the cover is pretty. But for now, not adding this to my wishlist. I don’t like an obedient heroine at all.
I don’t blame you for waiting to see what kind of reviews book 2 gets.
First thought based on the cover: is this a Snow White wolfish retelling? LOL. Oh, it’s NA? I must recommend this to Nereyda then (if she’s not already reading your reviews). Well, I’m glad that it finally picked up. Since it’s the first in a series, perhaps the following books will be more eventful? I totally understand your frustration on wanting more action though since that’s how I felt about The Bone Season. First book, yes, but not everything about this world is supposed to be told in the first 400 pages of a series. I’m glad you enjoyed this as a whole, Carmel!
First installments are rarely as action-y as the rest of a series, so I’m definitely going to give the next one a try.
The cover is really unique and a little gothic in nature–I LIKE it! I have read a few series where book 2 was just not as good as book 1 but then book 3 rocked. I am guessing this will happen here!
It might very well be the case. Only one way to find out!
Hmmm… the book sounds interesting but I don’t know if I would enjoy it. I’m torn about insta-love. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. I guess it depends on the author. Great review, Carmel.
I have a love/hate relationship with insta-love too; there’s no “gray” zone.
First books are always so hard but even harder when the middle lacks so very much and then the ending is fabulous. I really hope book two will be even better and fix the issues of book one.
Doubly so for a debut author!
Total acceptance on new circumstances and life by a character would probably drive me batty. Or, at the very least, make me roll my eyes. Glad to hear that the series has promise, though!
Nothing like a good ending to make you want to read the next one. LOL
The premise sounds wonderful and yeah I would have been excited about the NA aspects..but sadly your review has too many elements that grate me..so sorry this one wasn’t more.
Oh well, you win some and you lose some, right?
Avoid the moon call by closing the curtains? mmm no I just can’t accept that!
Yeah… that was kinda ridiculous, nothing in life is that easy.
Insta-love usually irritates me and if I can’t connect with the heroine, I have an overall difficult time with the story. I will wait for you to rate the next book to see if I give it a whirl. 😉
Thanks for waiting for me to do the dirty work Christina. 😉
LOL!!! I’m here for emotional support!!
Yeah it is nice to see the NA genre branching out into the paranormal. I like the sound of this but I agree a main character that just goes with it, what is the fun in that?
I like my heroines to have a bit of backbone too.
Yup. What are ya gonna do? It’s everywhere.
Interesting premise, though a bit too much worldbuilding and not enough plot can take away from even the most awesome of premises. It sounds like it’ll come together in the next one, though!
I can see how the cover and NA/paranormal premise drew you, I would be eager to check this one out too. Too bad you didn’t connect as much with Luna though. Hopefully, book two will be even better 🙂
I don’t take many risks in my reading, and unfortunately this one didn’t totally pay off, but it’s fun to just take the plunge sometimes!
well many points to note, if at first the story doesn’t progress a lot and it’s difficult with the main character, it’s already 2 big points for me… But you’re right it’s intriguing to have a mix up with shapeshifters and NA. I don’t think I came across a book like that.
Now you understand why I just couldn’t resist.
I think this book is not for me. Thank you for the honest review.
They can’t all be 5-star reads unfortunately. 🙁
I hope book 2 continues what the ending chapters brought to the table. It would be such a disappointment if it falls back into the lackluster category. I do think I’ll be waiting until I hear how book 2 comes out before tackling book 1.
Yet another blogging waiting for me to do the dirty work. *sigh* Fine… 😉
Well, we gonna have to see what happens with book 2, That’s a pretty cover, maybe it gets a lot better 🙂
I kinda winced when I saw your insta-love button, I have low tolerance for it. Its weird, I’m okay with insta-lust, especially with paranormal and because of the whole Mate thing, if done well, insta-love can make sense. But from your review I really don’t think I will like Luna and the Warewolf lore feels too much of a fairytale. I’m going to skip on this one but as this is the first of the series maybe it will get better. It is an author’s debut after all 🙂
That’s a shame it didn’t really live up to expectations….seems a little dry there, in the middle. But you ARE so right! Whey do 1st books in a series so often have growing pains??! I’ve noticed that in a bunch of series that I’ve devoured too. *le sigh* I hope book #2 is better!
This one is new to me but yeah insta-love and not believable main characters never win. Great review, Carmel 🙂
Ah, sorry to hear about the main character and the non-actiony until 3/4 through.
Eh I think I’ll skip this one. I’m all for world building but I still like my books to be character driven… and a not so credible heroine, eh!
oh no… insta-love.. simple minded character… unfortunate 🙁