Most shifter stories I read are Paranormal Romance in genre, so it was interesting to get to read one that was something entirely different, courtesy of Wally Jones and Sam the Chosen.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows Samantha as she goes with her family to the mountains for camping as a vacation after the world has suffered a series of deadly attacks. Only, things go very badly and Sam ends up being helped by a group of wolf shifters known as Chosen. Not everything is as it seems, though, and Sam has a great deal to learn about this new world.
In general, I would say that the plot was good. Entertaining, even. However, the actual plot points were so interspersed by detailed exposition and backstory that I had a hard time actually figuring out what was plot and what was not. I understand that there is a great deal of lore involved in this story, but the constant exposition and telling of lore by the characters very much diminished the plot movement to the point where I felt more like I was reading a wiki article about the book’s lore than the actual story. Which is a shame, because the story was otherwise interesting.
2. Thoughts on the characters
As a main character, Sam is a reasonable one. Very human in her characteristics, she has to learn to adapt to a new world. I appreciate seeing her actually struggle with this, instead of accepting everything and being adept immediately. The other characters, though, felt more like standins for archetypes than people I could get to know. They were very flat to read, especially against the rich background of Sam’s thoughts and emotions and actions.
3. Favourite part
The ending, because it showed a certain amount of growth in Sam that was both heartening and a little worrying given the events that were going on. She learned the consequences of actions and I think that’s very important.
My main critique for this book is the vast amount of exposition that happened. Most of it was done through the “story telling” style where a character relays the information in the form of a story. That’s perfectly fine for a small amount of information, but for approximately 80% of the book to be that sort of exposition, it became quickly very dull and overpowered the actual plot.
Overall, I would say that Sam the Chosen has potential to be a very good shifter story that strays from the normal Paranormal Romance genre, but was too caught up in the exposition and lore to really focus on the plot.