Psy Arrow Ethan Night has seen the world in a grey filter until he literally crashes into BlackEdge Alpha Selenka Durev and her wolf takes an opportunity to mate with this quiet Arrow on the edge of oblivion.
Ethan keeps to the fringes and is reserved even by Arrow standards. But unlike the rest of the Arrows, who were trained together, the former arrow leader Ming LeBon kept Ethan separated in order to train his unique ability to control light to be used as a weapon. Ethan had no desire to kill for anyone so Ming tortured and punished him by shutting him in a lightless room. Even after Ming was removed as the leader, the other Arrows didn’t even know who Ethan was or that he was kept imprisoned in such a torturous way. Aden has tried to make the Arrows into a family and has worked especially hard to include Ethan, who never even knew compassion let alone friendship.
While assigned to protect the E’s at a symposium, Ethan crashes into Selenka to protect her from an attack. She then gets hurt returning the favor by saving Ethan from a gunshot and for the first time ever something inside Ethan blossoms into full color. He has never had anyone try to protect him before. Mating at first sight is the stuff of fairy tales and soap operas, but when Selenka’s wolf suddenly claims Ethan as her mate, he couldn’t be happier with the situation although the bond hasn’t snapped together perfectly. Something is interfering with the mating bond and Ethan believes that is the fact that he is mentally damaged. Ethan also believes that the pressure building inside him is Scarab Syndrome, where a sudden increase in psychic abilities causes violent outbursts and delusions of grandeur. He doesn’t believe he has much time left before the pressure in his brain bursts free and he has already requested that Aden take care of him before he becomes a danger to those around him and the already fragile Psy-net.
Now I know it seems odd in a series where most of the characters have teeth and claw or powerful psychic abilities to say this is the first powerful female, but I can’t think of another book in the series where the female lead wasn’t somewhat submissive to the male lead once their romance was set in stone, or in cases like Silver Silence, where they were both very powerful in their own way. All the women in this series were strong women, but generally, it was the male who was the protector and took the lead in most matters and 99 percent of the time, she defers to his wishes and dominance. Here, Psy Arrow Ethan Night often defers to Blackedge Alpha Selenka Durev to make the decision of what to do next, and several times refers to himself as the Knight to her Queen. He puts himself between Selenka and danger, just like her lieutenants would, but he would neutralize that danger and wait for her decision of whether someone would be killed or simply punished.
This is was a very important distinction because Selenka is an Alpha, one of the few female alphas we have been introduced to with except, I believe, maybe the Blacksea changelings, and it would diminish her standing as Alpha is she was suddenly submissive to a mate, deferring to his every decision. While having a submissive mate isn’t bad since the submissive wolves play an important part in the pack, it wouldn’t be a good dynamic for an Alpha to have so much forced control over her mate. It would be a very unbalanced power dynamic. Ethan was strong and lethal in the way of the Psy especially an elite Arrow, but his strength didn’t challenge her standing as the Alpha especially as he was the one who kept offering himself as her knight, or as a subordinate member of her pack.
There are moments where his new found devotion come off as almost fanatical or obsessive, and I can only wonder if that is borne of his traumatic upbringing. This is the first time that Ethan has felt love and inclusion and as a mating bond isn’t breakable, Ethan throws himself in into the devotion of hew new mate.
I love Alpha Night and really enjoyed seeing this take charge Alpha female hold her pack with love and strength and you can easily see how she can hold her own territory against the likes of Kaleb Krychek and Valentin Nikolaev. Great story and certainly a worthy addition to such a fabulous series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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- Started reading
- 6 May, 2020: Finished reading
- 6 May, 2020: Reviewed