'Havoc' is book two in the Haven series by Mary Lindsey, a YA paranormal romance where the balance between wolf shifters and witches has never been equal. While the shifters are looking to achieve their freedom from the dominance of the witches, a group that controls everything they do.. right down to who they can pair up with, others want to see them kept in their place.
Though I didn't read the first book, this one was very easy to pick up with. Pertinent major events from the debut title, Haven, were referenced and explained in passing, so that everything still made sense.
Pacing is very solid throughout the story, plenty of action and emotional drama to keep the reader turning pages, making it a quick read. In fact, most of the story is just really well-executed. My one minor complaint is the conclusion is done in a quick information dump.. like the author didn't know a better way to convey all the little details she'd held onto. Almost all of it was delivered by the same character in a conversation with another.. and the effect was if felt like sort of a Scooby Doo ending, which is sad.. because the book deserved better.
That one small thing aside, I really enjoyed the story. I loved Rain, who is exactly my type of character. His background was unpleasant, but he's loyal and loving.. desperate to hang onto the bit of happiness he's found. The rest of the group is interesting as well.. Merrick, Petra, and Freddie are all pretty richly textured, likeable people.. and the dynamic with Grant is amusing in spots.
The author definitely tried to drop hints with the intention the reader would either overlook them or forget them, so they'd have that moment later where they realized they should have spotted the anomaly.. but they weren't very subtle. Rather than dropping a clue, sometimes Lindsey would outline the entire area with them before moving on.. but really that's just lack of experience where some finesse would have gone farther to achieving her goal.
As with all skills though, we only get better with time.. and with so few constructive criticisms to be stated, I look forward to seeing more work from her in the future. If you like underdog stories (no pun intended) and paranormal worlds, this one is probably for you.