Review: Primal Law by J.D. Tyler (Alpha Pack #1)


Primal Law by JD Tyler // VBC ReviewPrimal Law (Alpha Pack #1)
J.D. Tyler
Published: Aug. 2, 2011 (NAL)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: library

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

I had just finished Nalini Singh’s Shards of Hope a few days earlier and was sad that I didn’t have any more Psy-Changeling books to read when I read the blurb for Primal Law: “wolf shifters with Psy powers.” Both Psy and Changelings–yay! It turns out Alpha Pack isn’t much like Singh’s series. It reminds me of a lot of romantic suspense series featuring former Special Forces soldiers who now form a private Black Ops group, except that they battle supernatural forces instead of human terrorists.

The members of Alpha Pack were Navy SEALs who were attacked during a mission in Afghanistan. About half were killed, and the surviving members all became wolf shifters. Newly alerted to the world’s supernatural dangers, they formed the Alpha Pack. About six months before the beginning of Primal Law, the Pack was ambushed by a group of unidentified creatures and once again lost half their number, including their leader. Jaxon Law, this book’s hero, was also injured in that battle.

During a weekend off in Las Vegas, Jax rescues a woman from a pair of thugs. Since he shifted into his wolf form to do it, he takes Kira back to headquarters with him so that she can’t reveal his secret. The Pack discovers that the samples Kira stole from the lab where she worked, which the thugs were trying to retrieve, showed that her employers were experimenting on both humans and shifters. Kira agrees to help them investigate the lab and rescue the test subjects, which also allows her to stay close to Jax, her fated mate.

There’s nothing wrong with the romance plot in Primal Law. There’s nothing really special about it either. Jax is reluctant to bond with Kira after being betrayed by his previous girlfriend. Kira is reluctant because she just found out that shifters exist and doesn’t want to let biology tell her who to fall in love with. What really interested me is the conspiracy plot with its twisty ending.

I also like the array of supernaturals that have been introduced into the world. Already in this first book, there are Fae, sorcerers, basilisks, and a few as yet unidentified creatures in addition to the shifters. Vampires are also mentioned, but don’t actually appear until later in the series. I did think it was unusual that some of these new characters are already part of the team. I expected to spend more time getting to know the existing Pack members before adding new ones.

A few things bothered me though. First, I don’t have a clear understanding of the team’s organizational structure. Other than Zander, whose Psy power is healing, no one appears to have a defined job. Jaxon seems to be the commander in the field, while Nick, the new leader, serves a more administrative role. But then sometimes Nick goes into the field, as did Terry, the previous leader, since that’s how he was killed. I would have liked some explanation of their ranks when they were in the Navy or a ranking in the pack to make it clear.

I was also frustrated trying to figure out why everyone has Psy powers. At first I assumed they got them when they were turned, since that’s fairly common in paranormal romance. Around the halfway point, I found out that the Pack members all had their powers before they were shifters; then I was thoroughly confused. Plus, Kira’s empathic gift starts getting stronger as soon as she meets Jax, before they’ve bonded and Jax suddenly announces he has a second Psy power halfway through the book. Toward the end, it’s revealed that their powers actually tie into the larger series plot, but I really wish I had more answers.

Still, Im enjoying Alpha Pack. I read the first four books in three days. I just don’t think this is a series I’ll read over and over again.

Sexual content: graphic sex

4 Responses to “Review: Primal Law by J.D. Tyler (Alpha Pack #1)”

  1. I’m with you. I’ve been listening to the series and while I enjoy it, it isn’t one that I will revisit over and over. For me, I like the secondary characters more than the main ones. Blue is still my favorite character, and I’m seven books in. I don’t know that he will ever get his own book, but I do like his character. I think all the books have been a solid 3 – 3.5 star read for me. Great review.

    • Margaret says:

      I wondered about him getting his own book as well. I just finished book 6 over the weekend so now I’d also like to see a Tarron book.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have books 1-3 on my shelf on loan from my friend. Once I start it I’ll read through at least 1-3.

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