Omega by S.M. Reine
Publisher’s Description: Ten years ago, Deirdre Tombs died. When she was reborn the next day, Deirdre had become a shapeshifter who can’t shift shapes. Nobody knows what animal she’s supposed to be. She’s definitely not a werewolf. The Alpha, Rylie Gresham, can’t force her to transform like other members of her pack.
Now Deirdre is considered an omega, the weakest shapeshifter in the pack–a vulnerable position when Everton Stark demands tribute from Rylie. He wants to be the dominant Alpha. The only Alpha. And he plans to make her pack submit whether they want to or not. Stark can make every shapeshifter obey him by force of will alone.
Every shapeshifter except Deirdre.
The shifter who can’t shift is the only hope for Rylie to win the war against Stark. It will take everything Deirdre has to survive undercover in his den. But can an omega’s will be stronger than that of a charismatic, deadly Alpha like Everton Stark?
Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Deirdre Tombs is super tough. She is a shapeshifter that cannot shift so she draws the ire of all the other shapeshifters everywhere. Being odd person out makes her defensive and fast. She is bitter at the “system” which can be likened to foster care in this world. Gage Cicerone is a nearly extinct bear shifter berserker. He was raised in privilege in the Sanctuary that was created by Alpha wolf Rylie Gresham. Everton Stark is a very strong shifter that wants to take over as Alpha. He is building an army to basically fight a civil war.
Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Jecek, the jerk. He really does make a great “wanna be second” to Stark and he’s a trigger happy jerk with bullying being #1 on his “to do” list. Niamh is Deirdre’s friend from growing up in the homes. She is the one that gets Deirdre the “in” to Stark’s organization. She is a very well developed and credible character. I could really picture her and for a secondary character, she really had depth. Oh, and she’s very pretty too. Just thought I’d throw that in there for fun.
World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The world as we know it is dead. Genesis is the point where the world as we know it ends and Deirdre dies to then start life over as a shifter. The White House is in shambles and the economic system is damaged. People or mundanes, vampires, were creatures, and demons are all living together in a conglomerate of government housing and programs unless they are one of the special shifters that get to live the good life in the Sanctuary. The world is described with no information overload and it is very easy to follow.
Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Heads up, there is a cliffhanger. The ending is written in such a way that leaves me wanting to see what happens next instead of being bereft at a cliffhanger. Trust me. If I say I can handle the cliff, so can you -no problem. This story is what you can imagine if you would follow an undercover cop going into a drug gang/cartel. Everton Stark is cruel and really feeds the villain vibe very well. He is strong and in uber control. He is a force to be reckoned with and even though Deirdre is labeled a weak Omega, she proves she has the attitude and the aggressiveness to stand on her own. She interests Everton Stark because of her gutsy and spirited personality. He sees potential with Dierdre to further his own twisted cause. I hesitate to say this, but what the hell, I’ve dived into worse ideas. Here goes: I have serious conflict with this story because I’m not exactly sure that Stark’s utopia is a bad world. His spin on the snake oil he’s selling makes me want to line up and buy some. I don’t think Dierdre is convinced the idea is all bad either, which makes for some self doubt & conflict. This story grabbed me from the start and did not let me rest until the last page. The ending was actually well placed even if it was a cliffhanger. The ending draws a line between one stage of Deidre’s undercover job and the next step. I think the next step is going to be darn interesting.
Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I really liked this story. It felt like I was right in the middle of a major undercover operation and it was a tough woman that was taking all the risks instead of a man. Deirdre is street wise, strong, but not super powers strong. Deirdre is a very credible character and I could very easily translate this story into real life. It was that good.
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A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.