Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Beast of Burden

Beast of Burden (The Hidden Blood #2)

by A.Z. Green

4 out of 5

*Warning - graphic content*
Pack Leaders who were allies at the time of the Vikings, had rings made to remind them of who they were and what they stood for. Weremen of peace, justice and loyalty. We try to stand by that principle.

After the attempt on Nik's life, he and Jaz leave Deer Creek to escape the dangers and judgements on both their heads. But many are determined to find them and drag them back. 
Curs are creeping out of the woodwork and making themselves known by the increase of deaths, kidnappings and rapes but it seems the Head Council are looking the other way. 

Jaz and Nik put their differences aside to begin her training in self-defence and controlling her ability to Change. Jaz allows herself to trust him again despite their rocky start, and in doing so, she soon understands the true reasons behind his past actions. 
Things aren't what they seem. 
Packs are stirring, enemies are coming out to play, humans will be caught in the crossfire, hybrid Weres must fight for their survival and sides must be picked. 
Which side are you on?

The Hidden Blood series continues.  Jaz has accepted what she is, she has accepted that the world is more complex than she could have ever thought.

I really enjoyed book 1 in the series (clickee here to read my review), Beasthood may not have been flawless, but it was a riveting debut.  Beast of Burden is much smoother, and you feel that Green has really hit her stride with this second book.
It picks up where the first left off, with Jaz and Nik trying to avoid new enemies, as well as old.
I love the political angst and drama in the world that Green has created, you really start to see the bigger picture, with the clans that were mentioned in the first book.  And the whole mythology of the Weres and Manis is developed.
The characters are all tested as Nik's claim to leadership of his pack wavers.  He has to sacrifice his security as pack leader to protect the woman he loves, and others are keen to take advantage of his distraction.
We are introduced to new characters, including my favourite - Nik's sister.

It nicely rounds up and answers all of the questions raised in the first book, but leaves you with a whole lot more!
I never would have guessed the identity of the Black Cloak!  But it all goes on to make perfect (insane killer) sense!

Ok, so mild spoiler, but I know for a lot of readers it is a problem plotline - but there is a rape scene.  I won't lie, I didn't like it.  I think it affirmed the feeling I got from the story that females are mates, there to be claimed and used by males; and that males are by nature, controlled by their lust.
I know that the characters are always balancing between their human and animal selves; but nobody came out well.

Overall, I enjoyed it.  It might not have captured my imagination as firmly as the first book, but I will definitely be continuing with this exciting series.

And don't forget, you have the chance to win one of 5 ecopies of both books.
For more details see the giveaway post.


  1. Thank you for this fabulous review, Kelly! I'm chuffed to bits that you still enjoyed it despite the controversial rape scene. It was meant to show the brutality of the Curs. To instil that fear and then the powerful desire to see Jaz come out on top and kick butt. Which she will. I guarantee that. Xx

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for letting me read it/ be part of the tour.
      I think a rape scene is always going to raise mixed opinions. But even though I didn't like it per se, it was a natural progression of the plot and was very well-handled.
      I'm just looking forward to the rest of the series now!