The Pack by LM Preston
Publisher: Phenomenal One Press
Publication Date: 8/10
Source: Review copy provided by publisher.
Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that Shamira is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them, the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. Yet, in order to save her brother's life she is willing to risk it all.
This review contains mild spoilers. Reading will not take away from your enjoyment of the book.
I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a strong female protagonist. I tend to grow very weary of the "oh man, please save me!" protags I see sometimes in YA fiction, so when The Pack came to my attention, it caught it, mainly because of Shamira. She is a strong-willed, butt kicking female that I would be very proud to have my (as yet imaginary) daughter look up to.
Shamira is blind, and that is what appealed to me about her character even more. That said, I was pretty disappointed when Shamira regained her sight pretty early on in the book. During the operation her eyesight was enhanced to make her stronger, so that made it less upsetting, I guess. Shamira is strong, so strong that she can be a bit off-putting at times. She is very distrustful of others, but when she lets her guard down, we see just how likable she is.
There are a lot of great familial element in The Pack, Shamira's best friend is her brother, and when he is kidnapped, she will do anything to get her brother back, even if that means risking her life. There is also a bit of romance between Shamira and Valens, who like Shamira is fighting to take down Monev, the dastardly organization who is responsible for all the missing children on Mars. The love element is nice, but it's not so ooey-gooey that it would put off young male readers.
Even though this book is marketed towards the YA market and Shamira is a teenager, I think this book would appeal to younger readers (10+-depending on their maturity/reading level) most of all. There is a very high "kid power!" factor in this book that I think younger readers will really enjoy. There is also lot of action and neat sci-fi elements to the book.
This book would be a great summer read if you're a teen or tween, or for the younger people in your in your life!