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REVIEW: Prisoner by Lia Silver

Prisoner Lia Silver

Dear Lia Silver:

I knew I was going to like this book when the hero tries to guess the heroine’s shifting ability based on her scent which is green, of cut grass and new leaves. “Tree shifter” he asks her. She responds with some disbelief but he answers that he shifts into a wolf so he’s not going to presume there aren’t tree shifters. Echo, the heroine, goes on to say that she’s a platypus shifter. (She’s not)

She was seized by an unexpected mischievous impulse. “I’m a platypus shifter.”

Now it was his turn to be thrown. She watched his mobile face register a quick sequence of thoughts: disbelief, contemplation of the possibility that it might be true, amusement at the thought that it might be true, hope that it was true, then the rueful decision that she was teasing him. “You are not.” Then back to hope. “Are you?”

Echo couldn’t resist teasing him some more. His facial expressions were so entertaining. “Maybe.”“Come on, what are you really? I have to know. You don’t want to go to all this trouble to save me, and then have me to die of curiosity.”

DJ Torres is a wolf shifter who joined the Marines against the better judgment of his pack. As a born wolf, he is able to be separated from his pack for long periods of time unlike made wolves. While deployed, his best friend Roy is mortally wounded and DJ bites him in hopes of turning him into a wolf and saving his life.

This brings Torres and Roy to the attention of a secretive governmental body who is trying to make super warriors including wolves. Torres misses his wolf pack and is desperate to escape, but they have Roy and they warn Torres that if he doesn’t remain with his captors that Roy will not get the medical attention his needs. Effectively handcuffed, Torres agrees and he is assigned Echo as his partner.

The first part of the book is Torres capture while the last two thirds is focused on Torres trying to figure out how to escape while still keeping Roy alive. For anyone who has read the first book “Laura’s Wolf” part of the suspense of this book might be taken away. Prisoner hit all my happy buttons. First, there were werewolf stuff with fun mythological components such as the difference between made and born wolves; their gifts; their scents. There was almost no emphasis on soul mates but rather the importance of “pack” and how lack of a pack could drive a wolf mad.

The term Prison is broad in this book. There’s physical imprisonment but it’s the mental imprisonment that kills you as it slowly saps away at your will to survive. DJ suffers some kind of mild PTSD but he’s also imprisoned by his love and sense of responsibility toward Roy. Echo is trapped by her sister’s circumstances. The made wolves can’t leave because they need each other to survive. They can’t survive even a week without each other. There is one character who is literally trapped both in mind and form. For these individuals there was no need for physical boundaries. They would always be forced to return of their own volition which is mentally crippling.  The only release for many of these individuals was death and so the balance between the hope of survival and the peace of death was one they faced daily.

But none of this would have kept my attention if Torres and Echo weren’t so interesting–Torres more so than Echo. Echo is a super soldier kept in line because of her sister’s ill health. She’s got a single minded focus until Torres comes along and that is to do whatever her handlers ask so long as she and her sister can be left in peace. Torres frenetic energy and almost unconscious charm takes her by surprise and she finds herself drawn to Torres though their love is doomed.

Holding him was throwing myself off a cliff, she thought. Kissing him would be walking into a fire. This is the most reckless thing I’ll ever do.

And who wouldn’t love Torres? He’s got a good sense of humor, a big heart and is strongly devoted to his family. He also doesn’t shy away from making hard decisions.  The best part is that the story just isn’t one I’ve read a lot before. It surprised me and kept me entertained.  I’d recommend it to those who like shifter stories but also for anyone who is looking for a different kind of hero and heroine than currently dominates the market. B

Best regards,


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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. cleo
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 12:04:11

    This sounds like fun. I’m a sucker for good banter between the h/h.

  2. JewelCourt
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 12:04:27

    Yes, yes, yes. Sold! BTW for anyone testing out Kindle Unlimited, it’s free.

  3. Willa
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 13:18:55

    Sold! The first book Laura’s Wolf is free on Amazon – snaffled it up!

  4. Estara Swanberg
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 16:09:25

    Waah, ah review. Also, there are new covers for the series ^^. I mentioned you response to the LJ friend who recommended Lia Silver to me, so maybe that has something to do with it?

  5. Jolanda
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 16:39:36

    @Willa Thanks! Downloaded that to try.

  6. Kaetrin
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 21:57:21

    @Jane – is it a stand alone book or does Echo’s & Torres’ story continue? (if so, is there HEA/HFN here?)

  7. Jane
    Jul 19, 2014 @ 23:12:45

    @Kaetrin: It is not a stand alone. I think it’s a HFN. The info provided by the author indicates that this is the first of three stories. It overlaps with Laura’s Wolf so you kind of get a sense of where the story is going but not exactly? There is a cliffhanger but the couple is together at the end. If that helps.

  8. Kaetrin
    Jul 20, 2014 @ 02:40:32

    Good to know, thx!

  9. Allison
    Jul 20, 2014 @ 08:10:47

    I bought this yesterday and ended up staying up too late finishing it. The humor was by far the best part of this book and sets it apart from other super-serious shifter books. It’s not as absurdist as Shelly Laurenston shifter books but still every bit as funny.

    And it was only $2.99. Yay!

  10. JenM
    Jul 20, 2014 @ 10:36:22

    Aargh! I’m such a sucker for shifter books, and if they are have some humor, that’s even better. Needless to say, I’m a huge Shelly Laurenston fan and always looking for others that can make me laugh (although they don’t have to be quite so over there top LOL). I just downloaded the first book, Laura’s Wolf, and I’m tempted to just go ahead and buy this one.

  11. Carolyn Jewel
    Jul 20, 2014 @ 12:13:58

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved that the hero was Filipino and not a huge guy, and that he had a decidedly non-alpha outlook on life — which made him Alpha-like. I read the author’s notes before I read the book so I knew when I started that the story would complete two books later. So, the ending did not bother me.

    I did buy Laura’s Wolf right away and enjoyed that as well, though it’s not quite as tightly put together.

    Both books were a win for me.

  12. Amy
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 16:53:57

    I bought this book after reading this review. I, too, enjoyed the humor in the banter, the fact that the hero was Filipino and so far from the stereotypical Alpha-wolf, and the H/H’s nearly equal strength/kill skills. While I understood from the comments before I bought that this has a HFN ending and is part of a series, I was still disappointed that the physical connection took so long to show up in the story. On the one hand, I loved the fact that the story gave a more realistic time frame for the development of the friendship/romance. (I am so tired of insta-love or lust stories.) On the other hand, it took so long to get to even a non-platonic touch/kiss (which doesn’t happen until 89% into the story according to my Kindle) that I felt a bit cheated that the story was ending so soon afterwards. I wish the book had an extra few chapters before ending.

  13. Amy
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 16:57:18

    Does the author have a website? I can’t find one via a Google search.

  14. Michele Mills
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 19:29:07

    @Amy: Right there with you Amy. I was like, at 89% I’m finally getting my sex scene and now it’s. ..over? I liked the rest, it was a fresh take on shifter rom and I was hooked with the background story on how determined DJ was to become a Marine. But yeah, I needed a little more too.

  15. Kay
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 20:51:33

    I’d already read this and enjoyed it for the aforementioned humor and the same reasons Carolyn listed; I was fine with the wait before a sex scene because it felt like it fit the story, but I do want the next books now, now, now!

    (I enjoyed Laura’s Wolf as well when I read it afterward, but it’s Prisoner that really hit the spot. I also like the writer’s apparent depth of knowledge when it came to PTSD.)

  16. Lia Silver
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 22:13:21

    I hope me chiming in won’t stifle the discussion. I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments. I just wanted to answer Amy’s question. I don’t have a website yet, just the Goodreads profile. It has a link to my mailing list if you want to be alerted when “Partner” comes out.

    I also wanted to mention that for those of you who would have liked the romance in “Prisoner” to start earlier, go on longer, and/or feature more sex… The romance in “Laura’s Wolf” starts much earlier, goes on much longer, and features much more sex. ;)

    However, that book is mildly spoilery for “Partner” in the sense that it answers the question of whether or not DJ ever manages to escape from the lab, though it doesn’t give details. The first chapter answers the same question about Roy, and it does give details on that.

  17. Amy
    Jul 21, 2014 @ 22:21:36

    @Michelle: I just checked and it’s worse than “89%.” The story ends and the “Author’s Note” starts at the 93% mark in my Kindle.

  18. Estara Swanberg
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 16:52:48

  19. P. J. Dean
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 18:50:50

    Note: The cover to this book has been changed. I almost passed it by because the cover in this review is not the one on Amazon. The one here has an Asian male on it as DJ is Filipino. The new one has stock male and female in action poses on a blah background. Unless one is for Kindle and the other for a print version.

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