4 Stars: Silver by Rhiannon Held

Silver is a very intense book. Newly published (June 2012), it tells the story of a lone woman struggling to regain her werewolf form even while she runs from the past that stripped her of it. Andrew Dare, the local Were pack's enforcer catches her scent and brings her in, intending to kill her because she smells of silver - poison to Weres and a torture only used by the cruelest of their kind. When Dare discovers that this lone wolf was a victim instead, he tries to get her back to wherever her pack is... and finds himself thrown into the middle of a gruesome mystery that threatens all the Weres in North America. The wolfless werewolf - she goes by the name Silver, having forgotten her name and her past in what seems to be severe PTSD. Silver is a very sympathetic character; her struggle to regain her "wild self", her passionate discussions with Death (a black wolf that only she can see), and her strength to face what she cannot even remember for the sake of her friend are believable and real.

The cold enforcer - Dare is the enforcer of the Roanoke pack, the head security for all the Weres on the eastern US. When he runs into Silver's scent, his first instinct is to take her down; she smells like silver and she's clearly unhinged. But when he realizes the truth, his protective instincts as a strong dominant wolf kick in and Dare tells Silver he will hunt down her monster before he can find her again.

And that's only the first thirty pages.

So many twists and teasers and secrets lurk in these pages. I backed up entire chapters to re-read them, just to make sure I'd gotten everything I could out of them. Held does a terrific job of weaving Dare's past into the present predicament without chunks of obvious infodumping (thank you!). What I found most interesting was the aspect of the werewolves themselves. The story is excellent, but the fact that the characters are Weres isn't essential to the plot - meaning anyone not overly interested in shapeshifter stories will still enjoy this book, and anyone who likes shifter stories will appreciate Silver's unique view of the legends.

I highly recommend this book, and I hope for a sequel. The reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because there were a few things that I felt weren't wrapped up very well in the end (not mentioned to keep things spoiler-free). Nothing major, but it would have been nice to see. Be aware, the story is a bit dark, but it is an interesting view of someone suffering from PTSD and the things they will endure to ensure their monsters don't go after their friends.

Favorite quotes:

"I lost my name. The Lady has turned Her back on me, and my wild self is gone. I walk only with Death." -Silver

"Ah, come on." The boy pulled a face of mock disappointment. "Don't tell me anyone broke my record for being the most colossal pain in your ass since I left." -Tom, to Dare

"The Lady is white, you know. Her wild self. And her face up there." Silver pointed to the sky. "Like Death is black. She creates the light and he absorbs it."

The girl pressed her thumb to her forehead, automatic. "Well, Death is evil."

Silver laughed... "I suppose I thought that at one point too, but mostly he's full of himself."