Review: Compelled by Shawntelle Madison

Posted June 23, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves / 50 Comments

Review: Compelled by Shawntelle Madison
Compelled by Shawntelle Madison
Series: Coveted #3
Published by Indie
Published on: May 5, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Pages: 278
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Natalya Stravinsky is about to face her greatest challenge yet…

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.

ARCReview Fantasy Coverlicious

I came into this novel anticipating that it would be a 5-star read; after a rocky start in book 1, this series really hit its stride with KEPT, and I expected more of the same from COMPELLED with the addition of a satisfying conclusion to Natalya Stravinsky’s journey. This finale definitely delivered on the action front with an all-out wizard vs. warlock war, and a race against time to save Thorn’s life. However, as far as trilogy endings go, it fell short of its mark. The secondary characters that I have grown to know and love were all but absent, the romance was minimal, and “alpha” Natalya just wasn’t very believable.

The opening chapters of this book were the most enjoyable in my opinion, because they were on trend with what I’ve come to expect from this series. Aggie and Nat are no longer sharing a house, and yet the heroine’s BFF continues to uphold her ex-roommate’s OCD tendencies by ensuring that the place is spotless. Tyler’s dwarf dinner date was hilarious; I loved how foreign their mate requirements were. “You must have a house underground, you are too tall, etc.” However, I wish there’d been a bit more recap on account of the last installment having been released eighteen months ago. I found myself having to re-read my review of KEPT to help fill-in the blanks.

For some unknown reason, the author decided to cast all of her beloved secondary characters aside in COMPELLED. Thorn, Aggie, and Nick have all played pivotal roles throughout this trilogy only to get the boot at the final hour. Stravinsky’s family and the South Toms River werewolf pack were also barely a blip on the radar, and although I liked the new personalities that Madison introduced in this installment, I wasn’t able to learn enough about them to really care about their fate. The explanation for Nick’s absence was tenuous at best, and Aggie’s disappearing act at the end of the story was obviously a set-up for her upcoming novella, but it kind of felt like the author was putting the cart before the horse in that she’s already planning her next book instead of finishing off this one properly.

The plot itself was a little too epic for my tastes, or maybe it was just the rushed way in which it was delivered. The focus shifts entirely away from the werewolves, and instead we see an influx of other supes like cyclops’, water demons, darklings, warlocks, etc. I found it all rather overwhelming to be honest, and the pathway to the ending was also entirely too convenient. Nat’s first attempt at travelling magically lands her on an island where four werewolf acolytes have been trapped for 400 hundred years, but they just so happen to be the key to winning the war. Then, they help her free some wizards that have been trapped for seven centuries, who in turn… well, you get the idea. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Natalya’s come a long way since COVETED, but the leap her character takes from KEPT to this latest installment was a bit of a stretch. I wish the author had further explored her struggles with her new alpha status and her OCD because it felt like she conquered both practically overnight. All this to say that aside from the bucket load of action, COMPELLED was a disappointing conclusion to Shawntelle Madison’s werewolf series.

The Coveted Series

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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50 responses to “Review: Compelled by Shawntelle Madison

  1. Yikes, Carmel. This doesn’t sound satisfying AT ALL. I’m glad the first few chapters were good. It does seem as if Ms. Madison rushed the story all around and was too concerned with setting up her next novel. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. πŸ™‚

    • I didn’t like book 1 either, but 2 was much better, and now a disappointing final installment. I’m starting to think that this author’s writing style might just not be for me.

  2. Ohhh! This is a gorgeous cover! HA. And we agree πŸ˜‰ I hate excessive recaping when binge reading and that’s why I hate reading multiple Jennifer Estep’s or Richelle Mead’s books in a row, but when there’s that much time bewteen books and fans’ reading time, it’s weird that the author doesn’t recap that much O.o Sorry the plot was a tad too rushed for your taste, Carmel. And well, it suchs that the secondaries don’t get much attention. In a final book, while still hoping for a good story for the MCs, most of us expect some final development and attention on the secondaries too. Eh, sorry this wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, Carmel. Great review!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

    • Thanks! Unfortunately, they can’t ALL be 5 star reads. Luckily, I find negative reviews easier to write, so at least I save myself some time. πŸ™‚

    • The OCD thing got to me in book 1 too. I read her other werewolf novella series, but I’m not sold on it either, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. LOL

  3. Aww that’s too bad and I’m really sorry to see that the secondary characters didn’t get much of a part to play. The last installment is when you get to say goodbye to everyone you’ve grown to love not just the main characters πŸ™
    Traci recently posted…Coffee Shop Talks, #59

  4. the dreaded comment fields aren’t saving my data anymore. CURSE YOU VOID OF NETSPACE making things take me seconds more of time!! I will conquer you yet!!

    Ok onto my comments…
    So yes – why the heck would you toss your main characters and give them the boot this far in. Od od choice.

    I have to give it to the cover though – it doesn’t scream indie to me. Usually I can spy those indie covers a mile away.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien De Castell

  5. After all the blah reviews over Coveted, I steered clear of this series. Then I was seeing Kept around everywhere and wondered what the deal was. NOW I know! Total aha moment! Damn, you never see a second book being good. But the 1st and 3rd being disappointing… what the heck???

    Of course Christy nailed it in her own stylish way πŸ™‚ I’m going to protest more subtly and just avoid it all… I’ve got too much to read anyways. I’m still stuck in romance la-la land and can’t seem to dig my way out to read any UF anymore. I should shame myself and take a pick of UF shelf…

    But that’s for another day and someone else’s blog. I’m babbling now!!!
    Kristin recently posted…Review: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

  6. I agree with the others, that cover is quite well-done. I usually don’t like covers where we have a body shot of someone, but the editing’s quite nice, and I like the blue scheme. It certainly gives off a Paranormal aura.

    In any case, I’m sorry this was a disappointment overall. I know how it feels when it comes to mediocre reads… sometimes I feel like they’re worse than 1 stars, because you feel like it could’ve been good, but it just didn’t, and you can’t help but lament how much was lost.

    If that makes sense. HAHA.
    Faye D’Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: In The End by Demitria Lunetta – RANT ALERT!

  7. I’ve read opinions about the rushed delivery, so it’s clearly a turn in the story-telling style of the series. Though I am SO with you, total covergasm. This is one of those series I like the sound of by large, but still feel iffy about trying it out myself.
    Livia recently posted…Night Owl by M. Pierce