According to the Department of Domestication and Assimilation, Val and Lyla Blackwood are the most dangerous kind of werewolves. Although they were raised in the wild, their Trueblood heritage has made them little more than experiments for years. Now, their freedom depends on their ability to become as human as possible, thrown into an assimilation school with humans and werewolves who have never known what it means to be wild. Trapped in a world where they don't belong and fighting to stay one step ahead of the horrific past that chases them, any wrong move could send them back to those stark white cells, losing their last chance of freedom.
Phased is a novel about werewolves, one that enters the category of paranormal YA, but at the same time it is kinda different from the rest of the books that share the genre with it, a take on Urban Fantasy, and giving a big spotlight to the mental health subtheme, which is explored from the eyes of the two Blackwood sisters, Val and Lyla, our main characters, two werewolves that are under the supervision of the DOA, which had experimented with them, and that now is allowing the sisters to join a normal school.
Val and Lyla Blackwood will be the main focus of the story, and how they adapt to this new life after having been part of cruel experiments. Obviously, as they are also powerful werewolves, it's not going to be easy, as they are meant to maintain control over their instincts, while being the focus of every single person. The family dynamic between Val and Lyla is really interesting, as both are counterparts that keep the other in a good emotional situation. While Val is anger and strength, endurance, Lyla is control over everything. The rest of the character cast is also interesting, being my favourite Christopher, as despite being a sole human, he's the only one that is a real and unconditional friend to the sisters, and Jules improves so much after the first half. Personally, I was only annoyed by the figure of Jackson, as I don't really like bullies.
Tecken also uses this novel as a way to explore different mental diseases, putting the focus on the PTSD that the two sisters suffer after the traumatic situation they experienced in the past. Depicting this kind of problem is not easy, but I think the way it is narrated hits the head of the nail in that aspect, using flashbacks and internal thoughts as the main driver to carry this message.
The concept of werewolf also gets twisted in this novel, being different from the classic shapeshifter affected by the Moon phases, and instead being closer to humans, while also keeping some aspects of the wolves. They are also classified as alphas, betas, and so, with a hierarchy, with packs as the main group unit.
Phased is a great Urban Fantasy novel, one about found family and the importance of bonds among people. While there are aspects I would like to have seen more explored, I think it's such an entertaining book, and I want to see what more Victoria Tecken is capable of.
Hey friends! I’m Tori. When I was a little sprout my epic fantasy storytelling involved small pirate and animal figurines who would brutally invade peaceful lego villages. Inspired early on by the powerful storytelling of writers like Jack London, Brian Jacques, and Francine Rivers, I was obsessed with characters I couldn’t get out of my head and the possibility of worlds undiscovered.
After writing a few books, being a self-published author starting at age 14, and teaching at Young Writers’ Conferences for a few years, I went to college. I married the weirdest boy I’d ever met. We now have three small humans of our own who are just as weird as we are, but much more wonderful.
Today, I’m a wife and a stay-at-home mom, but I’m still a storyteller. I write beneath the supervision of two feline overlords in a chair that is older than I am. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Pull up a chair and join the chaos. I hope you find a world here that you can’t wait to go back to.