reviewed by Pam Guynn
True Wolf by Paige Tyler is riveting, suspenseful, and heart-pounding. It combines supernatural suspense, paranormal romance, and action-adventure in a thrilling novel that is the third book in the STAT: Special Threat Assessment Team series.
It takes the reader on an international journey from Turkey to Croatia to Russia to Ukraine and then for a showdown in New York City. The reader is immediately plunged into the action and drawn into the story.
In this series, supernatural beings are known to a few, but not all humans. As with humans, some supernatural beings are criminals and the United States has put together a team of supernatural beings and humans to deal with these criminals domestically as well as internationally. Caleb Lynch is a werewolf and a member of STAT. His team is sent to Turkey where they’re led to vaults that have been broken into and terrorists have stolen dangerous weapons. Brielle Fontaine has a possible lead on the weapons and her missing brother and joins the STAT team as they travel the globe in search of both.
Both main characters have their flaws that made them seem more real. As an omega werewolf, Caleb can lose control and has to be slapped back to reality, but he can certainly fight. (Omegas are the result of going into a traumatic event with bad intentions and the werewolf gene gets tripped.) Brielle has always taken care of her younger brother and sacrificed other relationships for getting him out of continuous trouble. Add to that both are afraid of not being accepted by others as well as not accepting themselves for what they are. I felt like the characters were emotionally rich with an undercurrent of self-growth amidst the action, suspense, and developing romance.
Tyler does a great job of world-building. I was able to easily visualize the settings, especially the tunnels. There are several twists to the story as it deals with important themes of terrorism, trust, wanting a better world and what you’re willing to do to make it so. Family, concern for others, social awkwardness, friends, and romance also play into the tale. The opening is strong and intriguing and the connection between Caleb and Brielle is deftly handled. There are a couple of steamy scenes later in the book
This story was a mix of investigation, planning, romance, and action that kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I was kept fully invested in the mission becoming a success. My one quibble is that I did not believe the head criminal would do what he did in the final showdown.
Overall, this book was fast-paced, action-oriented, and entertaining. If you enjoy action thrillers with some romance that have both strong male and female characters set in a world where supernatural beings exist, then this may be the series for you. Since there are several recurring characters in the book, it helps to read the series in order. That way, a reader is not learning all of the secondary characters at once, but gradually over time. I can’t wait to find out what is next for the STAT team.
SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and Paige Tyler provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for February 22, 2022.