Silver – Rhiannon Held

About the book

Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.

The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent.

Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.

320 pages (paperback)
Published on: June 5, 2012
Published by: Tor
Author’s webpage

This book was given to me to review by the publisher.

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I’m not incredibly fond of werewolves. I’m not sure why, but if I ranked werewolves on a scale of things I care about, they would be somewhere around zombies, and both of those things would fall pages and pages behind man-eating cockroaches. I just don’t care about them. Not sure why, but that’s the way it is. That being said, when I got Silver in the mail I was skeptical, but eager to see if this would be the book that could make me care about these creatures that populate urban fantasy with increasing popularity.

It didn’t take me long to realize that Held does some things different with her werewolves that make them a bit more palatable for me. One of my big pet peeves with werewolves is how romanticized they tend to be, and I just can’t buy it. Most authors depict them as these gorgeous creatures who have some fantastic European-esque governing system ruled by the hottest guy on the face of the planet (or something like that). Held doesn’t really worry about all that stuff. She depicts werewolves as a group of people who are ruled by a rigid, almost suffocating system of governance and she realistically shows how people ruled by this system would almost painfully have to navigate it to get almost anything done. Life isn’t easy for Held’s werewolves, and her depictions of that are marvelous and incredibly realistic.

The female protagonist, Silver, has a difficult past full of torture and abuse. That’s nothing incredibly new for urban fantasy. The male protagonist, Dare, is far more interesting. He’s the pack enforcer and spends most of his time as a lone wolf, taking care of problems. He runs across Silver, and that’s really where the book begins. While you’d expect a hot and heavy romance to grow between those two characters, what really grows is a lush friendship with room for something more. The lack of steamy looks and veiled references to some romantic obsession was incredibly refreshing, as romance tends to be why urban fantasy usually doesn’t work for me.

Silver is an odd book in some respects. It is rather short, clocking in and slightly over 300 pages, but the pace is painfully slow at times. There was some clunky dialogue which made it very hard for me to get into at points, specifically regarding some of Silver’s passages. This is probably due to the fact that the reader is introduced to Silver after she’s been tortured. Her mind is effected so she sees things that aren’t there, and talks to people who don’t exist, like Death. It’s confusing to follow, and her passages, especially at the beginning are awkward, probably to reflect her shattered mental state. In all seriousness, the author should get some sort of mad props for having a mentally effected person as a protagonist in her debut work. That’s ambitious, and she portrayed Silver well.

Despite these issues, Silver managed to do what no other werewolf urban fiction has managed to do yet – it kept me interested. Held’s world is believable and realistic. Her werewolves are gritty and wild with a human edge to them that is absolutely captivating. Her plot, while slow, manages to stay interesting and though some of the dialogue was offputting, it wasn’t awkward enough to make me put the book down. In the end, Silver has more depth, edge and realism than about 98% of the other urban fantasy books I’ve been unlucky enough to run across. Held is onto something. Silver is a stunning debut.

3.5/5 stars

One Responses

  • Thanks, Sarah.

    I don’t read a ton of urban fantasy but Held’s archaeology/anthropology background does allow her to bring new things to the table.

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