Series: STAT #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 26th May 2020
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For the cases no one else can solve, they send in the Special Threat Assessment Team.
Supernatural creatures are no longer keeping their existence secret from humans, causing panic around the globe. To investigate, monitor, and―when necessary―take down dangerous supernatural offenders, an international task force was established: The Special Threat Assessment Team.
STAT agent Jestina Ridley is in London with her team investigating a suspicious kidnapping. Over her radio, Jes hears her teammates being savagely attacked. She runs to help, but she's too late. The only survivor, Jes calls for backup and gets former Navy SEAL and alpha werewolf Jake Huang and his new pack.
Convinced that the creature who butchered her teammates was a werewolf, Jes doesn't trust them. But if they're going to uncover the facts and make it back home alive, she'll need Jake's help. And with everything on the line, Jes will have to accept Jake for who he is, or lose the partner she never expected to find...
Having followed Paige Tyler’s SWAT series from the very beginning, going into Tyler’s spinoff with the STAT series feels like a natural leap forward as the new team Alpha Jake Huang jumps into the unknown with his put-together team and a woman who just might be ’The One’ for him. With a wider range of supernatural creatures and a larger emphasis on paranormal activities driving occurrences around the world, this should have been an entertaining ride. That much was seen towards the end of Tyler’s SWAT series anyhow, as more and more creatures of the night started stalking the pages, which had gotten me excited.
But I definitely took days to finish this without having that sense of urgency of wanting to finish it. In the end, I wasn’t clear what to make of ‘Wolf Under Fire’.
Part-travelogue (there was a heck of a lot of place naming as though we needed repetitive reminders that much of story took place in the UK) and part-fast-paced-thriller-type-movie, “Wolf Under Fire” was noisy and messy: there was a whole introduction to a new team, a host of other supernatural characters with their own agendas that stayed unknown until the end.
I wasn’t able to take a stab at a clearer trajectory of where the story was heading as the team started out with a case of children-kidnapping, a few more odd dead ends and then to a seemingly unrelated case of a rocket launch for ‘climate-change’ purposes. It only became better towards the last quarter of the book when the storytelling finally settled into a framework I could understand, coupled with a momentum that I was more accustomed to when it comes to Tyler’s more straightforward SWAT-style writing.
‘Wolf Under Fire’ by the end of it, felt like a story that juggled too much, too soon, especially on the character-building front. On their own, Jake/Jes were credible team members, but I stayed rather disconnected to their instalove and their rather forced chemistry, only that Tyler’s established use of trope of the werewolf’s soulmate lent them both sufficient credibility to pine for each other inexplicably even after only knowing each other for a week.
I ended this feeling a little more disappointed than usual but hey, there’s always the hope that the series could get better as it rumbles along.