Challenge the Darkness by Dirk Greyson explores the paranormal conundrum of two alpha wolf shifters discovering that they are mates. Both Denton and Mikael have small but important packs that look to them for guidance and emotional support. When Mikael is witness to the brutal slaying of another alpha via challenge by a power hungry wolf named Anton, he extends a home to the fallen wolf’s mate and children. However, his involvement in pack hierarchy does not stop there.
Mikael has always been gifted with reassuring communication between the Mother and himself. This guiding spirit, the goddess of their kind, was the one to alert Mikael to the idea that he had a fated mate—one which would complete him like no other. With Anton’s aggression fresh in his mind, he calls out to the closest pack to his own and their leader, Denton. They should form an alliance and guard each other. This was the goal of their meeting—little did Mikael or Denton realize that their meeting would actually reveal they were mates in the deepest of ways.
Thus begins a real struggle to understand how two alphas could possibly retain the leadership of their packs and still be together. It is a true struggle and neither man is eager to set aside his right to rule to be submissive to the other. With the dark Anton looming as a threat to their very lives and existence, Mikael and Denton must work together to save each other and their packs.
As far as paranormal stories go, Challenge the Darkness delved quite a bit into the “spirituality” of the shifter world. Using the Mother as a spirit guide and a source of strength, Mikael is certain he will eventually have to defeat the ever-growing evil darkness in Anton. With just the right blend of spiritualism and tension, Greyson weaves a dual story—one a romance, the other an action/adventure paranormal tale.
I felt this author achieved just the right balance when he had both Denton and Mikael grapple with the idea that one of them would ultimately have to give up leadership of his pack. This was a huge deal for these two alphas and rather than push it aside as a mere inconvenience, it became the focal point of the story. What is it like to suddenly lose all you think you are? Could either man live with the idea that he would no longer be the guy in charge? It was dealt with in such a way that we saw the real struggle this presented for the two men and it became a stumbling block to both encouraging and continuing their attempts to become a mated couple.
Along side this plot point was the continual fear of just how dark a spirit this rogue and violent alpha, Anton, would become. Seemingly able to control weaker willed wolves with hypnotic suggestions and promised violence against those they love, he is willfully creating a pack that will do his bidding unquestioningly. By continually bringing feelings that the wolves would soon be under siege into the overall plot, Greyson keeps readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what final battle may occur and who will be left standing in the aftermath.
All in all, Challenge the Darkness by Dirk Greyson is another fine story to add to the paranormal genre. With passion, action and realistic characters, this story is a must read for fans of this genre.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.