Fate Fixed by Bonnie Erina Wheeler
An Erris Coven Novel: Book 1
YA paranormal*Paperback & e-book, 288 pages
Published July 21st 2011 by CreateSpace
When Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in “The Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home. Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them. Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed by a formidable evil.
Fate Fixed, the first book in the Erris Coven series, is an entertaining read. Incorporating traditional vampire and werewolf lore author Bonnie Erina Wheeler also places her own unique stamp on these supernatural creatures so they stand-out in an overly saturated market.What I liked:
Heroine Lexie may first come across as a typical female in YA paranormal--pretty but doesn't know it, kinda weak, needs a guy to save her--but she quickly breaks out of the mold with her intelligence, wit and quick thinking. Life in Maine makes her change and with her cute sense of humor, Lexie takes being displaced and separated from best friend, Liz, in stride, while stepping into the role of mom for younger sister Ella when their mother becomes mysteriously ill. With a domineering older stepbrother, Maxim, Lexie may desire to be rebellious but her actions keep her firmly rooted as the good, obedient older sister. She has baggage concerning her father's death a year ago but deals with it and she's considerate to not want to stress out her mom (with the new marriage, three stepsons and being sick). The "gorgeous guy in dreams" may be overdone in general but I found the use of it here quite effective. When Lexie makes a few new friends and actually comes face-to-face with dream guy, she does the unexpected and leaves.
Torin is genuinely likable and the reader is firmly aware of his life and responsibilities as a damphyr handling his 'change'. His family life and relatives living within the Erris Coven is drawn out and created in a realistic manner. He is respectable of his elders and I like the family dynamics, especially the relationship he has with his mother and cousins. As for the werewolves, the author did not hold back with the 'darkness' or gore associated with these nocturnal creatures. In this story, the wolves are hideous creatures and kudos to Ms. Wheeler for giving middle brother Alik and Nicolai, the youngest, a certain amount of appeal while making Maxim, the oldest, extremely creepy.
What I wasn't crazy about:
The story is narrated by both Lexie and Torin in third person with a third 'mysterious' narrator simply called Wolf. Though Lexie and Torin are likable--I didn't really connect with them. The first chapter was heavy on backstory and introduced too much at one time. There were quite a few instances where the narrators shared their emotions and thoughts I felt came across as "telling" and I would have preferred seeing this as exposition or revealed in dialogue. For a fast paced novel, these moments also slowed down the pace. Even though the author convincingly explained Torin's intense damphyr bonds with his mate, I still found their relationship to be more insta-love. Occasionally the transitions between scenes was bumpy and misspellings of words did become noticeable in my purchased copy.
Fans of the YA paranormal genre may want to read this series for a new twist on tired supernatural creatures. By adding a touching romance, the timeless appeal of 'fated' bonds, and some bloody action, Fate Fixed is a welcome addition to the paranormal genre.
Cover comment: Dark and lovely. I like it.
Book source: I did receive a promotional e-book from the author but the copy I reviewed was the version I purchased.