I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of werewolf stories, but I was curious what the hype was about and I was curious enough to give it a chance. Seeing as this author is one of the most popular out there I thought there must be a reason for that and so started reading one of their stories.
Read the story now
I wasn't disappointed.
When I started reading I was intrigued by the characters and the set-up. The author managed to convey the characters perfectly, showing their weaknesses and strengths, making them a real person you can believe actually exists somewhere in this world. The characters are well crafted and interesting to follow, which really is something considering how easy it is to just use a typical character to get your story across. Adding those little ticks, like how Alex can't keep her fingers still, was a nice touch as well.
However, I did also come across some things that kept me from fully emerging into the story. The story is written in third-person, which was a good choice considering the number of characters and the different views the author wanted to show. Though, and I've come across this by many authors writing in third-person, it is often forgotten that it still has to be written from one pov.
Third-person is a perfect way of showing more of the world and pov switches but in the way that it is used in this story, it seems more of an easy way to tell it. Even in third-person, we can only know one person's thoughts at a time (unless they are a mindreader, but that is not the case here). Having to keep up with everyone's thoughts all at once is confusing and kept me personally from fully emerging into the story. While Alex is out MC, I often felt distanced from her. Things she shouldn't be able to know are just thrown in there as if it was obvious, making it, for one, less suspenseful and intense. The reader isn't left guessing and unknowing like the MC, making it difficult to connect after chapter 5. There is a difference in telling a secret that the MC doesn't know and see her slowly come to the realization and adding in every small detail that she wouldn't know but are still presented to the audience instead of having them figure it out along with the MC.
POV changed are allowed of course, but usually, they are after a paragraph break or at the start of a new chapter. (personally, I prefer at the start of a new chapter, it gives the reader some time to shift into the mindset before continuing, keeping them in the story without much effort on their part.) As might can tell I am all for suspense, and suspense is creating by secrets. I personally think your audience would grow even bigger if you kept a little more from them.
For example, in chapter 5 Sean is badly hurt, but despite that, he is attracted to Alex's scent to the point he needs to know more about it. While immediately revealing that it is because they are mates, I personally think this would be a better scene of we only got to see what Alex thought of the situation. A normal human girl, only coming to know about werewolf not too long ago, is suddenly thrown in the mids, and as she is helping one of them he keeps reaching for her, growling and screaming things she doesn't understand. That is terrifying. Yet, I didn't feel scared for her because of everything else that was explaining away the situation, making it more normal than it should be for Alex. This is what I mean by feeling distanced from her at times. She doesn't know these things, and because we do, because we know the facts, we completely can't sympathize with her and we don't look up when she isn't as frightened as she should be. If we knew as much as her, we could of course speculate what will happen or what the reason was, but the facts, the real reason, is as much a mystery until confirmed. To me, that adds just a bit more suspense, just a bit more mystery, and intrigues me enough to continue to the next chapter.
As for another point I wanted to touch on, although the author is very talented at describing characters, as mentioned before, I also noticed the lack of description of the surroundings. I completely understand how difficult it is to describe the surroundings, I myself struggle with it as well, and as someone who writes fantasy, I know both the struggle but also the importance of surrounding description.
What I've noticed is that you focus a lot on the characters. What are they doing? what are they feeling? what is happening with them? And although that is good, you have to also consider everything around the characters. Since you chose for third-person you made it easy on yourself, allowing yourself to write about the surroundings beyond the MC's view. Try taking advantage of that, overdo it even at first, find your balance between character and surroundings. Because of the lack of this form of description scenes are easily rushed over and don't carry the impact of weight that you intend.
In chapter 4, when Sean dives into the water only to be hit by something sharp, I was at a loss about what exactly was happening. It all happened so fast and it was described with no focus on anything. Where was the wound? What had hit him? What even happened? I felt as though it was written just because it had to happen, not to invoke any reaction from anyone. And for that reason, I think it could easily have been cut from the story. Where is the mystery if it is just glossed over even if given an explanation?
At the beginning, I was thrilled at the promise of discovering what went on in a pack like that, yet only after a few chapters I already knew too much to fully understand the MC anymore.
However, I can understand how so many people can enjoy your stories. They are easy to read and enjoy (and hot guys, who doesn't enjoy those?) I myself have a guilty pleasure for innuendoes, so I thoroughly enjoyed those far more than I probably should. The characters are likable, and although I miss the mystery that it could have, the plot is enjoyable as well.
These were my thoughts on this story so far. What you plan to do with it is up to you since it is your story, but I hope you take some of it into consideration if you want to better your writing :) Anyways, I can't wait for September to come with the new chapters.
Keep it up and good luck in your writing journey :D