Aw yeah, now we’re talkin’. Doranna Durgin’s Sentinels series, in Books 1 and 2, was only mildly entertaining me–but with Book 3, I jumped up to actively enjoying it. This time around, we have the story featuring one of the characters only passingly mentioned in the first two books, Nick Carter, who leads the Sentinels of his part of the country. He’s a wolf-shifter–and the Atrum Core want to take him down. They do it by sending in Jet, over whom they have a strong and urgent hold, and giving her orders to immobilize Nick with an amulet that will poison him.
It’s not much of a spoiler at all to say that Jet, unlike every other shifter character we’ve met so far, is not human–she is in fact a wolf forced into sentient human shape by Atrum Core magic. This comes out very quickly early on in the story, and it’s a trope Durgin’s done before with great effect in her fantasy trilogy about Dun Lady’s Jess. I found her refreshingly blunt and straightforward, lacking a lot of baggage that someone who’s been human from day one would have; in short, I totally bought her as a wolf forced into bipedal, thinking shape. Moreover, I also very much liked her chemistry with Nick, and how she immediately realizes that the Core have pulled a fast one on her, by trying to convince her that the amulet wouldn’t “harm” Nick.
Most of the story is therefore about the two of them having to deal with the aftermath of her initial, failed assault, and how they can turn this to their advantage to take down the Core. At the same time, there’s a nifty little subplot involving traitors in the Sentinels’ midst, one who’s having deep second thoughts about what she’s being asked to do, and one with no repentance whatsoever! I liked the repentant one, and seriously would expect her to be the next in line to have a story starring her, if Durgin does more.
All in all this was good fun, and I do hope there will indeed be more on the way. Four stars.