Release (The Protector #3) by M.R. Merrick
December 8, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Source: Purchased on Amazon
Amazon • Goodreads
***Warning: if you haven't read Exiled and Shift, there will be spoilers.***
After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.
Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.
Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.
One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.
Release, for me, felt a bit slower than the previous books. It's getting to the point in the series where shit's gonna get real, but you're not quite there yet and the anticipation is killer. That being said, there's still plenty of drama unfolding. Chase's powers seem to be, quite literally, trying to destroy him from the inside out. His father is still at large and getting closer and closer to what might be too powerful to beat. Not to mention the strain of seeing his friends risk themselves for him and their cause is wearing heavily. At times you want to shake him to snap him out of it, but you'd be wallowing too, if you were him.
That still doesn't mean I'm okay with his decisions regarding Rayna. It takes no time at all for Chase to run scared. And while I can kind of understand it, it's really just frustrating as all get out because they're good for each other and the last thing they both need is another reason to be sad. So I think they're dumb. But I believe it'll all be okay. I have to.
Pacing and decision-making frustrations aside, when the book picks up, it really picks up. Chock full of more fantastic and action-packed dimension-hopping, the later part of the book doesn't quit and keeps you on the edge of your seat. You'll be confused, anxious, and eventually heartbroken.
Which brings us to the ending. Guys. Prepare for all the feels. Anything you thought was sad or hard in the series before this, about to be blown to pieces. I cried. Granted, it's not that hard to make me cry in a book, but this was difficult to get through. Heading into Endure is going to be painful.
Probably my favorite part of this series overall is that it defies a lot of the stereotypes of this genre. Sure, there's an all-powerful, Chose One teen, but I'm not sure I've ever seen an author make that very power the Achilles's heel. It leaves the reader wondering if all this power really was meant for Chase and whether he's going to be able to save everyone. I definitely can't wait to find out!
The series remains enthralling and full of adventure, and I can't wait to see how it all ends. If you still haven't checked out this series, you should get on it! Now! It's a fantastic series written by an awesome author (who also follows me on Twitter and it makes me fangirl real hard! :P) and any YA paranormal fan should try it.
About the Author
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.