Review: Frozen in Amber by Phyllis Ames


Frozen in Amber by Phyllis Ames // VBCFrozen in Amber
Phyllis Ames
Published: Aug. 4, 2015 (DAW Books)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for and honest review

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars

Amber Treganis is a junior partner at her grandfather’s law firm and a WerCougar in her 30s. Ashamed of her cougar half after a disastrous night with a man she loved while in college, a decade later, she is still struggling with her past and hesitant to join wholeheartedly back into the Wer community. After a hazy night out shifting, Amber wakes up feeling ill and completely unlike herself, with a belief she was hunted the night before. In the meantime at work, Amber is working on an extremely sensitive case for a man convicted of the murder of his wife using the scientific capabilities enabling a Wer to permanently become human. Capabilities that are highly in demand by members of the Wer council, placing her in the middle of Wer politics, where she was hoping not to be.

The Wer politics and the backdrop history of the Wer community in the novel was compelling and interesting, definitely the high point of Frozen in Amber. The problem for me, however, was in the pace and predictability of the novel. The pace was steady, if not a bit slow, throughout and because of the constant foreshadowing the novel was predictable to the point that I figured out most of the villains a quarter of the way through.

Also, Amber was confusing for me. While she disliked being a part of the Wer community and had done as much as she could to prevent herself from shifting and losing control, she was always behaving according to Wer standards of etiquette and judging those who were not behaving accordingly, contradicting herself. Amber was also lazy; from the beginning of the novel, she could see that some of the other characters seemed as if they were up to no good and yet ignored it until it was almost too late. The same can be said for her horrible experience while out shifting. Amber knew something was wrong with her body and after receiving conflicting advice from her lifetime doctor she ignored the obvious sign that something wasn’t right.

While her life continues to alter and her limits are being pushed at work and through Wer politics, Amber develops feelings for her building’s mail courier, a WerEagle named Adler, an ex-soldier in the U.S. military. Honestly, Adler’s history was interesting and he was the character I found to be the most compelling. The romantic element in the novel is sweet and pretty tame. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I enjoyed Amber and Adler’s connection all the same and wish there would have been a deeper development there.

Overall, Frozen in Amber was a quick summer read. I love series but I am happy to say that this book is not part of one, as the ending was too clean-cut and convenient—there is no need for a continuation to the story. If you’ve read this one, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. For those of you interested in urban fantasy novels with a definite happily ever after, this is the book for you.

Sexual content: scenes of a sensual nature

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