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Chapter by Chapter

A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.

Release (The Protector, #3) - M.R. Merrick Okay, so you know those series’ where once you start the first page of the next installment, you are instantly pulled back into the work and its characters as though you had never left? Release by M.R. Merrick did just that. I was thrilled to have been able to come back again in to this fabulous world created by M.R. Merrick. The characters have become ones that I have come to love reading about and following, and am in constant need to know what is happening, or going to happen, with them!The first scene that you walk into upon opening the first page is one that left me wondering what the heck was going on? But in a good way! It was straight into a fight scene of magical proportions. A battle of wills, of whose magic can overcome the others first…and I was instantly crying out “Chase! Who are you fighting? Be carefulllllll!” I love when an author throws you right into the mix of things without a chance to even take a breath. Gah! M.R. Merrick is certainly one of those authors who know how to start of a book, and grab the reader’s attention, because my attention was certainly gripped!In Release, we are still left with Chase, Rayna, Marcus, Tiki, Willy and the gang trying to figure out how to get the other remaining soul pieces before Riley’s does. With much training with Marcus, Chase has learned to control his emotions, which in turn has allowed him to control his magic. But something is happening to Chase, and something terrible is happening to him when he starts to use his magic. And Chase is not the only one whose magic is changing. Rayna learns an unbelievable fact about just how strong of a witch she is, and we learn how important her role is in all of this.Even though Chase still has his most reliable crew to help him out, he also comes face to face with those who don’t believe he has the knowledge or the experience to do what needs to be done. And never mind the fact that Chase has aligned himself with a variety of different demons and half-breeds. Although Chase has come to accept and assist these half-breeds, it’s these other Hunters that can’t get past the fact that they are demons.What’s amazing about the way in which M.R. Merrick writes is that he is able to intertwine different storylines into one amazing story! Take for instance the problems that arise with Victor (whom, by the way, I have come to crush on again in this installment). With his own past coming back to haunt him, Victor must now seek out the assistance of Chase and his Scooby gang, even after all the evil that he did to them in the past. As the Protector, Chase must dig down deep and find it in him to be who he is meant to be…the Protector of all who seek help…even if it is the infamous Victor. And can I just say that the interactions between Chase and Victor had me cracking up all over the place? I am so in love with the way in which M.R. Merrick makes his characters connect with each other. Their conversations were one of the reasons I fell in love with these characters.On top of that, Chase’s father, Riley, has upped the ante and is now coming after Chase with no holds barred. With the help of the Dark Brothers, Riley will thwart Chase time and time again. But Riley is not the only one hot on Chase’s heels. Arian is also out in full force, doing whatever he can to get Chase to come to his side, and prevent Riley from obtaining the pieces needed, and rule by his side instead.In Release, we also witness the deepest and darkest secrets of both Victor and Willy. We witness the more vulnerable and humane side of Victor and the reasons behind why he is who he is, and we see the reasons behind why Willy is so scared of Victor and the personal demons he has hidden deep within him.Don’t even begin to think that these are the only obstacles preventing Chase from accomplishing his mission. With evil coming at him from all avenues, things don’t look very promising for our hero and his band of misfits.I said it once, and I’ll say it again….M.R. Merrick is a freakin’ amazing writer! He has the ability to capture your imagination and take you to places that you can’t even begin to dream about. His characters are ones that you will come to love and ones that you will love to hate. The way in which he introduces new characters into the fold is done seamlessly and it feels as though they have always been there in the background…just waiting for their chance to appear.The way in which he describes the battle scenes are done in such a way that you can’t help but he completely engrossed in the story unfolding before you. His ability to weave the tale in the various different backdrops presented had me hooked from back in book one, Exiled, and continues in Release. The different twists and turns riddled throughout the book easily makes Release the best of the three books in the series thus far.Not only does M.R. Merrick grip you with his amazing story telling skills, but he also grabs a hold of your emotions. Release will break your heart into a million pieces with nothing to pick them up with in the end. The way in which M.R. Merrick ends the book left my mouth agape and crying out for the next one immediately. I believe the exact words that came out of my mouth in the end were “Say it ain’t so…!”.Fans of The Mortal Instruments series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will fall in love with The Protector series, and Release will solidify your reasons for loving this series. As in the famous words of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist “Please sir, can I have some more…?” (in a really awful English accent. Seriously, I can’t do it if my life depended on it…)