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Guest Post: Four Stars Fate Succumbs by Tammy Blackwell

A review of Fate Succumbs by Tammy Blackwell by Stochastic:

Adapted from Goodreads summary of Fate Succumbs:

In Tammy Blackwell’s Destiny Binds, the first novel of the Timber Wolves trilogy, Scout Donovan learned that her universe contained werewolves. In Time Mends, Scout narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Alpha Pack. In Fate Succumbs, the final installment of the trilogy, Scout is on the run. But the more she discovers about the Alpha Pack and herself, the more she realizes she can’t run forever. Destiny is propelling her towards an unavoidable battle. Can Scout survive, or will she succumb to fate?

Scout Donovan is full of snark. Snarkful. Snarkous, even. This is most apparent and most amusing when she’s most frustrated, she’s had it up to here, she’s about to explode and drench everybody with gobs of dripping hot frustration-shrapnel, but she never quite reaches that point (well, almost never). Blackwell uses this snark-regulated pressure-cooked frustration with great effect in Fate Succumbs to keep the reader simmering in sympathy with Scout, but she does so with some subtlety. Read on for an explanation.

Fate Succumbs by Tammy Blackwell
Goodreads | Amazon
Title: 
Fate Succumbs (Timber Wolves #3)
Author: Tammy Blackwell
Pages: 269 pages, paperback
Genre-ish: YA urban-ish fantasy
Rating: ★★– solid story, needs lots of polish
Setting:  A cross-country fugitive road-trip with a long sojourn in winter wilderness.
Premise:  After a violent escape from a violent death, Scout Donovan is on the run with no resources but the unexpected friendship, company, and assistance of Liam Cole. Together they flee cross-country. Scout knows and fears she must prepare herself for an inevitable reckoning with the Alpha Pack, a reckoning she is certain will end with her death. Nevertheless she readies herself to fight.

Strengths:

  • Scout appears to have no goal: things just happen. So why is she so frustrated? Because she’s prevented from forming any goals. This drives her bonkers.
  • Scout’s chief antagonist is mostly absent. So who is making Scout so frustrated? The situation is so dire and impossible that her friends and allies are too frightened to share their plans. In other words, circumstance, fear, secrecy, and her friends and allies are driving Scout bonkers.
  • Why are these strengths? Because frustration with antagonists and at thwarted goals are great ways to draw readers into the story. Blackwell makes great use of these tools: there are invisible goals and invisible antagonists, and they drive the reader bonkers.
  • When Scout is frustrated, her internal monologues are hilarious. All of the dialog, for that matter, is natural and compelling, and often hilarious.

Weaknesses:

  • Sometimes the pop-culture references in Fate Succumbs distract from the story. I say this because I didn’t get most of the references, which says more about me than the story. So the targeted young-adult audience won’t see this as a weakness. But it will be a problem for the culturally-impaired.
  • The witty banter is fun, but is sometimes so tangential as to be distracting.

Summary:
With Fate Succumbs, Scout’s adventure ends, but I’m very pleased to see that Tammy Blackwell is continuing to write stories in the universe of Shifters and Seers. With Timber Wolves, Blackwell has made a wonderful and stunning entrance into the writing scene. Congratulations, Miss Tammy. I look forward to your next book.

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-Stochastic

Fate Succumbs by Tammy Blackwell

© 2012, Anya. All rights reserved.

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