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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Blooded - Amanda Carlson
I've read several books on shapeshifters over the last year and a half, and while this one isn't my favourite, it's definitely up there in my top five. Full Blooded starts with a bang and the action never stops. I won't lie, it seemed to drag in a couple of places, but the action soon picked right back up and thrust me into more drama and fighting than I knew what to do...
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by Beks

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not horrible, but not great either..
The story follows Jessica McClain as she unexpectedly changes to a werewolf in a world where female werewolves don't exist. This idea has been done to death before by Kelly Armstrong and Tammy Blackwell, but I chose to read on to see if Carlson brought anything new to the table. At times the story has promise as the plot develops, but sadly these times are few and far...
Published 19 months ago by Mythology


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full Blooded - Amanda Carlson, 13 Sep 2012
I've read several books on shapeshifters over the last year and a half, and while this one isn't my favourite, it's definitely up there in my top five. Full Blooded starts with a bang and the action never stops. I won't lie, it seemed to drag in a couple of places, but the action soon picked right back up and thrust me into more drama and fighting than I knew what to do with. The only problem I really have with this novel is that it's very unoriginal. There are many subplots that are extremely similar to other books in the same genre. In fact, as I was reading it, I could name pretty much every series that had the same themes. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this book and I definitely don't regret reading it.

Now, our heroine - Jessica McClain - had one important thing in common with other adult books of the same genre: she was kick-ass. She reminded me a lot of Faythe Sanders from Rachel Vincent's Shifters series, as well as Eugenie Markham from Richelle Mead's Dark Swan. I don't know what it is with these chicks, but they really have the whole "girl-power" thing going on. Jess is stubborn, strong, and brave, and all around a fantastic character to read about. Her sarcasm is hilarious, and I love her relationship with her brother. You can also see how much she adores her father - and respects him as Alpha - by the way she interacts with him. Yes, she's head-strong and reckless at times, but she's ultimately a good person.

Another character Carlson did an amazing job with is Rourke. He's introduced later than I would have liked, but reading about him, I couldn't stay mad at Carlson for not bringing him in sooner. The way she writes Rourke leaves us panting after him, even though we really don't learn all that much about his history. I'm hoping that the sequel will incorporate more backstory, but I'm content just to imagine him as the personification of (really hot) sex for now. I'm also itching to find out what kind of cat he shifts into. I think that might be the biggest question this book left unanswered.

The reason I gave this book four stars rather than the five I was leaning towards was, quite simply, the writing. I was willing to give this book a little leeway considering it is a debut and all, but after a couple of chapters, the mediocre writing started grating on me, and it didn't really get better as the story progressed. Nevertheless, I highly recommend you pick up this book when it's released next week. I doubt you'll regret it. The ending left me itching for more and the action left me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. Definitely a worthwhile read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not horrible, but not great either.., 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
The story follows Jessica McClain as she unexpectedly changes to a werewolf in a world where female werewolves don't exist. This idea has been done to death before by Kelly Armstrong and Tammy Blackwell, but I chose to read on to see if Carlson brought anything new to the table. At times the story has promise as the plot develops, but sadly these times are few and far between. As the story progresses, characters do things because the author says so rather than doing them because they make sense. This leads to constantly being dragged out of the story, which is very distracting, making it hard to finish. So, as I said before, not horrible, but not great either. This book is a pale imitation of what other great authors have done before, bringing nothing new or original to the genre as a whole.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too much cliche, 17 April 2013
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The author has produced a perfectly solid, workable novel, with a well developed heroine, a workable world and a functional plot.

There are 2 big faults in the book that made me take off 2 stars.

The first thing nearly made me put the book down in the first 10 mins. Our heroine is surprised into her first Shift, runs amok and regains control of herself, reaches safety, and the plot takes off. All a good UF opening. However, in the course of running amok she has attacked someone. Badly. An innocent. No idea if he survives - because she never asks!

Seriously? You're responsible for a horrific attack, possibly a killing. It is your first traumatic Shift, and you just ignore the fact you may have to live with being a murderer. No guilt, shame or regret. No interest. No follow up. In fact, throughout the whole book, humans are dismissed, ignored and generally treated as insignificant, with the possible exception of one cop and one neighbour.

Was I really supposed to identify with this shallow, self centred bitch?

The second problem with this book was the plot. Don't get me wrong, it was workable. It moved at a good pace. Yet at the same time it was unsatisfying. The heroine doesn't do much at all. She talks to wolves, she turns up to several places and fights, she travels around with colleagues and other shifters... She is also well capable of analytical thought and decision making.

So why is she so reactive? Everything that happens comes to her (except at the end, when I see a glimmer of hope). She doesn't ever make a decision that matters, act on it, take control, resolve an issue, or even choose a sexual partner. They just happen to be there, available and interested (one of them permanently so). It's a huge problem for me as a reader, since I enjoy seeing characters change, develop and learn. This heroine doesn't do this. She experiences change, but she doesn't seem to develop.

I also wonder if the author hasn't backed herself into a corner by the end of this, the first in a series. She has created the biggest and baddest, where else is there to go? This heroine can face down alpha werewolves, kill them with her bare hands, ignore the pack structure and her father's authority, she faces off against goddesses and queens, and has already (effortlessly) snagged the ultimate guy. She even has a personal apocalypic prophesy. I mean, where else is there to go?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic!, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
Amanda Carlson is a phenomenal new author who is going to go far! Full Blooded is full of suspense, romance, wonderful characters and a plot you will not be able to forget. This book is a promising start to what is looking to be a brilliant series.

The main character, Jessica is not as you would expect from a werewolf series, which just makes her all the more appealing. Abandoning her lifestyle for a more conventional one, her past soon catches up with her with exciting twists and turns. As urban fantasy goes, this is one of the best ones I'v ever read!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly poor writing, 3 July 2014
This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
If you give even the most microscopic fig for the ability of a writer to write in the English language, skip this one and jump straight to Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series. Otherwise, you're in for a migraine. Awful. Moon Called: Mercy Thompson book 1
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant thank you
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4.0 out of 5 stars Full Blooded Furry Fun, 30 Jun 2014
By 
Ms. Theresa M. Derwin (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
[...]

Jessica McClain is the only female werewolf in an all-male werewolf race. Except for Jessica has never changed - it's not supposed to happen. Yet one night she wakes up in body wrenching pain to find her body going through the change, so she tries to grab the serum left for her to halt the process by knocking her unconscious, the serum she wasn't meant to need. Through mind-to-mind connection, Jessica is able to communicate with her twin brother Tyler and her Dad, which is quite handy considering she wakes up naked and injured unsure where she is after her first change. Her new found status as a full-blooded wolf was about to rock the supernatural status quo with major ramifications, particularly as her father Callum is Pack Alpha. She wakes up again after passing out to find herself back at the Compound she'd moved out of seven years before. In the real word she is now Molly Hannon, working with Nick as part of a detective business. The Compound has a number of 'Essentials'; humans who know about the supernatural community but keep it quiet, doctors, nurses, lawyers and the like. It's up to Callum to protect his daughter and keep her change a secret from the Pack. According to the Cain Myth, Jessica would bring the downfall of the Pack.
Carlson's debut novel is a rollicking read, fast-paced and immense fun. Her authorial voice, especially as wolf and woman is very strong, the whole piece having been written in first person, or what C E Murphy has referred to as "first person snark"; an accurate description. Carlson mixes more supernatural stuff into the novel, with Jessica's business partner Nick being a werefox and their secretary Marcy being a talented witch. The case she returns to work to also involves an imp that's a little too friendly with the local females.
As Jessica struggles with her new status she finds her appetite and senses increased as well as her interior wolf battling her for control. It all makes for an interesting supernatural novel fraught with tension and laced with plenty of humour. A nice addition to the werewolf sub genre of modern Urban Fantasy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How many ways can you say brilliant?, 24 Dec 2013
Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series.
How many ways can you say brilliant? Well this book is so brilliant I couldn't put it down until I had read every last delicious word in it.
A must own as you will read it again and again, utterly fantastic.

Jessica McClain's life takes a sudden sharp turn into rapid change when she turns for the very first time into the only female werewolf ever! With superstition and wolves baying for her blood as fear ripples through the supernatural community life is not easy as she tries to learn the changes of her new life at a run. With threats against her life and annoying cop on her heals life could definitely be easier but as war threatens her Pack wont back down and the fight for survival is on.

Be prepared to reach for book 2 after reading this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning, 19 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
I love urban fantasy and this book is a very good example of it. The author has written a book based in reality but featuring supernatural races living hidden amongst humans. This the first in her series featuring Jessica McClain charts the story of her first change as a werewolf and the repercussions that follow.
Jessica is a twin born to her Alpha father and although no female werewolves have ever been known to exist has always been prepared in case she was the exception. This tale starts with a bang as literally that is what happens! Jessica finds herself changing into a wolf for the first time and struggles with her instincts as she takes her first run. Her father senses the change in her and sends help . Realising that their pack will be unsettled by this long feared development he reluctantly agrees to let her return home but wants safeguards put in place. A long foretold prophecy of a female werewolf being the daughter of Cain and destroying Werewolves is something that can not be ignored and it's vital that Jessica's secret remain hidden
Unfortunately Jessica's transformation has been discovered and someone has betrayed her. A brutal attack on her results in her killing a rogue werewolf and it's obvious that they need to find out who the traitor in their midst is. Trying to draw the traitor out whilst returning to her normal life isn't working and even with the help of her twin and fellow pack mates Jessica's life is in danger. Soon it's obvious that she's a target for more than one supernatural faction and Jessica will have to fight for her life.
I really enjoyed this book. It's obviously the beginning of what could be a very good series. The lead Jessica is a very strong heroine. Unafraid to stand up for herself and ready to defend her pack and yet she comes across as quite naive at times. Good supporting characters in particular her twin brother Tyler and James. Also the enigmatic Rourke is a very sexy guy! Lots going on towards the end and an finale that leaves this reader wanting more.
All in all a great beginning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good potential for a new series, 13 Sep 2013
By 
Jeannie Zelos "jeanie zelos book reviews" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Full Blooded: Book 1 in the Jessica McClain series (Kindle Edition)
Full Blooded. Amanda Carlson.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I love this sort of fantasy read, shape-shifters with a romantic angle. I had some trouble initially with Jessica though - her situation just didn't ring true. For the last seven years she's been living off compound, and working with another shifter and a witch running their own business. She's using an alter ego as Molly Harman, so you'd think they'd use that name all the time, but no - everyone who already knows her from the shifters calls her Jessica....and given the uproar if they're over heard that's a huge mistake. Then Jessica herself, she comes across as pretty selfish and almost arrogant to begin. She's one of those know it all types with a big chip about who and what she is...then she shifts one night and the danger to her for being a female in an all male society rises exponentially. There's a prophecy (isn't there always !!) and of course now she has shifted the super-naturals are going to fear she's the subject of it, which means ultimately she could rule them all. They're not going to let that happen. Her dad - the pack Alpha - decides to keep quiet if he can, and let her continue with her life while they decide what to do. But somehow the secret is out within a short time, and there are different factions out for her life within days.
What I didn't like - well, as I've noted in other novels - I have a real problem with heroines who suddenly grow superpowers, and are able to beat others hundreds of years older. And that's Jessica to a T. Then there's the convenience of the witch and shifter who she works with having just the right powers to get her out of trouble - that was just too convenient, and led to the problems getting cleaned away far too quickly and easily IMO. Then I carried on, and began to get "into" the story, Jessica came across better and I saw how loyal she was to her family, friends and pack, and how even though one had a real grudge on her and targeted her unfairly she still tried to play right by human rules, and work with the police if possible. The "quick witchery" solutions got less, and real action played out. Jessica was in real danger but there weren't quick and easy supernatural solutions brought in, but more traditional fighting between factions, and her trying to outrun/hide from those after her blood. When she meets Rourke, the legendary mercenary shifter, sparks fly between them and her wolf goes crazy for him. Jessica thinks he's well put together too :) - but is much more cautious, especially not knowing whether he's out to kill her, capture her, or protect her.
So once I got past my initial reservations I enjoyed this book, and I've book two - and hopefully will get book three - to read. Its often difficult opening a new fantasy series with new characters and world setting to introduce, so maybe that's what happened with the beginning where I wasn't really connected to it. I look forward to reading more - this "adventure" is still open with Jessica needing to best the Goddess witch Selene in the next book and retrieve someone she's kidnapped. That's certainly going to take some planning. Priced at £4.49 for 322 pages/517kb its around average for the genre, and if the rest of the series carries on the way the latter half of this book did it'll join my keeper files as one to be re read. I love to have a whole series on my kindle and spend a couple of days reading them back to back.
Stars: well, if it wasn't for that big hiccup in the beginning I'd have gone four and a half but...that was a big turn off for me so I'm dropping half a star to a four.
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