Series: Rebellion: Book One
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 264 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
At a Glance: While there is no little conflict in Escape, there is also an undeniable sweetness to Cole and Logan’s growing bond, and I loved the way Jacobs balances everything to create a taut Urban Fantasy that complements their budding romance, neither one overshadowing the other but relying on both to tell the story.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: This isn’t the life Cole dreamt of, but what choice does he have?
With his twenty-third birthday behind him, Cole Moreton now faces the shifter compatibility test which will decide his future. Testing positive means joining a pack and eventually taking the bite. Unfortunately, with enviable skills in self-defence and hand-to-hand combat, the kind of packs interested in him aren’t any he’d want to join.
Logan has been a member of the McKillan pack for most of his life. Pack is family and loyalty is everything, but when the shifter government turns out to be no better than the oppressive humans before them, he questions everything.
Right from their first meeting, Logan knows that a life with the McKillan pack isn’t right for Cole, but with his alpha taking a keen interest in Cole’s skills, Logan’s hands are tied. Mutual attraction builds between them, but acting on it is futile—helping Cole will put their lives at risk and an end to any future they could’ve had.
Review: Annabelle Jacobs imagines a rather dystopian London in Escape, an alternate version of the city in which the balance of power has shifted. Where humans had once subjugated the werewolf population, now the wolves have gained totalitarian authority in the country’s government, dictating, among other things, which humans must join a pack and ultimately submit to “the bite”. In short, it’s a case of the oppressed now being the oppressors, and whether it’s a case of turnabout being fair play or absolute power corrupting absolutely—or both—one thing is certain: where there is opportunity, there will always be someone who maneuvers for unmitigated control. That wolf happens to be the alpha of Logan’s pack, Michael McKillan, and he covets Cole Moreton enough to warn off other pack alphas from pursuing the human with a talent for combat.
The question of Michael being the villain of the story is clear and is answered by his actions and those of his pack enforcers, who implicitly do his bidding, but the question of whether Michael was pushed into that villainous role is another matter altogether, and the Prologue gives some insight into that without giving a definitive answer. Every villain has an origin story, after all, something impactful that flipped their moral switch, and while I didn’t empathize with him, or even grow to like him, I could see how he got where he was. Retribution can be a mighty powerful drug.
Michael is not the protagonist of the story, though, but rather the catalyst to bring Logan and Cole together; this is their origin story, and it’s an angsty and tension-filled one with lots of slow-burn chemistry and pining and no little conflict as Cole longs to find a way, any way, to avoid joining the McKillan pack. And Logan, who is meant to recruit Cole, shows Cole that not all wolves are blindly obedient, nor do they all believe in the system of absolute power and control over humans. In fact, the title is not a spoiler but a foreshadowing of all the action and suspense that will bring Logan and Cole closer together while also nearly tearing them apart. But while there is no little conflict, there is also an undeniable sweetness to their growing closer, and I loved the way Jacobs balances this to create a taut Urban Fantasy that complements a budding romance, neither one overshadowing the other but relying on both to tell the story.
Escape doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but there is so much more story to tell, and it will no doubt be as angst-ridden and dangerous if the title, Defiance, is any sort of predictor. Cole’s life changed in a moment’s decision, and it remains to be seen what the consequences of his and Logan’s actions will be. Only time will tell if wolves and humans will find a meaningful way of coexisting. If this book is any indication, Annabelle Jacobs is going to pull her readers through the emotional wringer to get there, and it’s going to absolutely be worth the trip.
You can buy Escape here:
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