Alex is his pack’s heir apparent, but truthfully, he isn’t like most other alphas. He’s sick of outdated traditions and loathes his inner wolf, who seems determined to take control of Alex. For Alex, the one bright spot is his friendship with Talen, who was raised along aside him like a brother. Talen is an omega and, now that he’s older, he’s ripped away from Alex and forced into the omega housing, where he is expect to be subservient and obey every order. But Talen has survived a lot in his young life and he’s unlike any other omega, refusing to to submit and frequently getting into trouble.
Alex wants nothing more than to be with Talen, but his parents are pushing him towards other mates, mates that will strengthen their pack as relations with humans continue to unravel. Talen and Alex know what the pack expects of them, but neither can force themselves into their respective molds. And when their wolves start making decisions for them, Alex and Talen find themselves thrust into roles neither of them expects.
Feral Hearts is the first in a new series of the same name. I struggled with quite a bit of the book, which I found unnecessarily jumbled in its world building and somewhat lacking in the maturity of its writing structure. But for all that, I’m still interested to see where the series goes, primarily because of the MCs.
Alex and Talen aren’t exactly strong characters, but they are compelling ones. The dialogue between them occasionally reads as limited and stilted and yet, despite this, they work well as a newly burgeoning couple (this series looks to be slow burning) and their devotion to one another is rather sweet. Both are still trying to figure out what kind of men they will become and in doing so must deal with the bonds of pack, their inner wolves, and their feelings for one another. This interplay sets up some nice tension that kept my attention most of the book.
The world building in Feral Hearts is excessively complex and poorly detailed at the same time. The author tends to either assume the reader has information already (which we don’t) or tosses out partial explanations that are often dumped and left for the reader to figure out. There are wolves and werewolves and wolf aspects and human aspects and male/female aspects and on and on. And given a person’s wolf is something of a separate entity, it adds another layer of confusion. Added to this is writing that while not precisely bad, does tend to lack a level of nuance and sophistication. It needed to be polished and tightened in areas and a bit smoother overall.
Chaotic world building and weaker writing could have crippled Feral Hearts. Instead, a pair of compelling MCs and a bit of originality gave this book an interesting approach. There is a second book on the horizon and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes. I think if you’re a fan of the alpha/omega trope, you’ll probably find something to enjoy here.