Book Review: Alpha Kaden by Midika Crane

This book was written in first person, present tense format to induce a sense of realism and prompt full character immersion for readers. It takes place in a world where werewolves are divided into packs such as Purity, Vengeance, Love, Freedom, Discipline, and so forth in a minor mimicry of how people were divided up in the Divergent’s series by Veronica Roth. Midika Crane uses this categorical method to represent each pack’s unique characteristics based on their naming virtue.

We start out with the quick paced introduction detailing how Purity Pack is scared of Vengeance Pack because of a boogeyman type character named Alpha Kaden, yet our main protagonist, Mara, isn’t afraid of what everyone says about him. He’s used to keep the pack in line, for fear they’ll be kidnapped or killed at the whim of this supposedly merciless antagonist. The pack has strict laws about how they must behave and she breaks the rules. Her parents scold her, she blows it off, in comes the scary bad guy we are expecting. We learn just moments prior to her abduction about the mantra (more like a scary nursery rhyme) Purity Pack has which encourages everyone to put their safety before anyone else when it involves escaping from Alpha Kaden. Through the book this character to whom all are supposed to be afraid of is routinely disregarded by all but a girl, Milly, who came from Purity Pack, that Mara knew. The other subsidiary characters, Coen, Kace, Evan, Grayson, and such aren’t afraid of ‘big bad’ Alpha Kaden.

I’m afraid this book also brings about the wrong message for young readers with the continual offhand remarks about punishment involving an authoritative male figure bending a girl over a bed for their pleasure. It’s done as a threat, but it happens so frequently that malleable minds may begin to accept this as the way things progress in a romantic world. We barely have Mara afraid about any of it in the book. There’s a line about how alpha’s have limited control, which is counterproductive to the very merit of the story when we’re made to believe Alphas are all powerful rulers of their respective pack. This book constantly danced along lines of wanting to be an adult read and wanting to remain young adult. I’m not precisely sure which category it hoped to be marketed in.

As far as realistic, the author has no concept of binary phrases and believable scenarios with regards to it. The three and one quarter lines of binary on Coen’s Achilles’ heel being briefly glanced at by Mara while he removes his sock isn’t enough time for someone to memorize a large group of 0s and 1s. Much less the description of it not being overly large, but small and hardly taking up any space as a tattoo. Kaden, meant to be the scary force that drives the story, isn’t properly demonstrated and before the big reveal about the true threat in the story, he’s undermined constantly in ferocity by the other characters and the news anchors treating his lackluster threats to Mara on the news like he’s some cute, high strung celebrity. Ms. Crane attempts to use fancy similes for added flare, yet they are a far cry from making genuine sense. She may also wish to have an editor review the book once more to remove typing errors/punctuation mistakes.

What could have been a very interesting story fleshed out within staged chapters appeared more akin to a long run-on than much else. It reads like an adult-themed romance for a middle school reader. There’s also a very noticeable lack of shifting in this otherwise supposed supernatural book about werewolves. However, it was an easy read for those who prefer a short, quick book between responsibilities. If you want to give it a try, Alpha Kaden releases on Amazon May 17, 2017. As of May 16, 2017, it remains available for free on Kindle format.

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