REVIEW - Haven's Revenge (A Caddo Norse Novel) by Phetra H. Novak
Title: Haven’s Revenge
Series: Caddo Norse
Author: Phetra H. Novak
Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Phetra H. Novak
Heat Level: 3
Blurb: Haven Naranjo is a proud Caddo Indian, with a frightening past. He was a mere fifteen year old boy when he found his parents, part of his tribe, and his high school sweetheart slaughtered by a wereman gone mad. Falling victim to a system that is not always prepared to deal with a shattered young mind, Haven finally gives up on himself. He grows up to be bitter and hateful toward the creatures he hates. Werewolves.
Alexander Prescott is the younger of the two Prescott boys and comes from a large werewolf clan. But things are bigger than that. Alexander, is the true vessel of the Fenrir Ulv and is to become the leader of all supernatural beings, the King of Wolves. On top of that, he’s in love with Haven. He’s known since he hit puberty that Haven is his true mate. But there’s one problem, Haven hates what he can become. However, Alexander has a plan on how he is to charm his, and his wolf’s way into the grumpy Caddo Indian man’s heart.
But fate has other plans for them. The Asa Guard enters their calm country living, determined to use their own kind against them and kill the true vessel—Alexander Prescott.
When war between the Asa Gods and the Fenrir Ulv starts knocking on their door, what side will the damaged Haven choose? Will he find a way of trusting those, especially Alexander, who he feels has betrayed him and let his animal, the eagle, lead him straight to his fate by his mate’s side? Or will he trust the words of strangers, who come to make his quest of seeing all shifters dead a reality?
Haven’s Revenge is a story of an emotional journey for a whole community. It’s about finding acceptance not just from others but in yourself.
Jeffery's Review: Haven’s Revenge is the new paranormal/shifter novel and the first full-length book of the Caddo Norse series by author Phetra H. Novak. It tells the story of Haven Naranjo, a member of the Native American Caddo tribe and his destined mate, Alexander Prescott.
The author combines Norse myth and Native American legend to create a unique take on the shifter world. I found the mythology she established to be interesting and entertaining, and loved her new take on the genre. The author provided some prep material in the front of the book, which provided a short primer on how these particular shifters were ruled, what their beliefs were and how they interacted. It helped set the stage for the novel and was just enough to whet my appetite and prepare my mind for the story ahead.
The characters were well formed, and in particular, the teenaged Haven was captured perfectly. His giddy excitement at the prospect of his first real date with the boy he had a crush on was handled well, and his transition into a troubled man angry at the world worked well and was very believable. The relationships throughout the book are spot on, and the dynamics between Haven and the Prescott pack were colorful and entertaining. The sexual heat and tension between Haven and Alexander was reeved up just enough to get the juices flowing without taking away from or overshadowing the rest of the story. I enjoyed the snapshots of small town Oklahoma that popped up throughout the novel. They added a lot to the novel and provided a perfect backdrop to the story.
I think one of the key strengths of the book is the author’s use of dialog to capture the characters’ emotions, reactions to a situation or move the story forward. She managed to use just enough words from the Caddo language to give a rich sense of culture, and accomplished it unobtrusively.
So why just three and a half stars? The key issue for me came down to sentence structure, punctuation and word choice. At times I felt the construction of the narrative to be awkward enough that it took me out of the story. There were times where I wanted more commas; especial those times when a conjunction was introducing an independent clause. The lack of a comma, or a comma in the wrong place, impacted the message and the rhythm of this read. I also felt that some of the phrasing was repetitive, and the participles didn’t refer to the subject correctly. Sounds picky, but those things yanked me right out of the wonderful world the author had created and kept the book from being an outstanding example of new and creative storytelling.
That being said, I’ll be on the lookout for the next book of the series. The story and the characters were compelling enough that I want to see what happens next between Haven and Alexander when the battle between the Asa gods and the Fenrir Ulv continues.