Book Review: War of the Alphas (series) by SM Reine

War of the Alphas is a four book urban fantasy / dystopian series by SM Reine. As I read all of the books in the course of two evenings, I’ll review them altogether. The series includes the following titles: Omega, Beta, Alpha, Pas.

Description from Amazon: Ten years ago, Deirdre Tombs died. When she was reborn the next day, Deirdre had become a shapeshifter who can’t shift shapes. Nobody knows what animal she’s supposed to be. She’s definitely not a werewolf. The Alpha, Rylie Gresham, can’t force her to transform like other members of her pack.

Now Deirdre is considered an omega, the weakest shapeshifter in the pack—a vulnerable position when Everton Stark demands tribute from Rylie. He wants to be the dominant Alpha. The only Alpha. And he plans to make her pack submit whether they want to or not. Stark can make every shapeshifter obey him by force of will alone.

Every shapeshifter except Deirdre.

The shifter who can’t shift is the only hope for Rylie to win the war against Stark. It will take everything Deirdre has to survive undercover in his den. But can an omega’s will be stronger than that of a charismatic, deadly Alpha like Everton Stark?

my thoughts on the series

I’ll be up front and honest about my thoughts on this series. I adored the first two books. Deirdre seemed like the type of woman who could possibly bring change to Everton Stark. I gobble down those sort of books binge style. I love stories where the woman is a force of her own to be faced or she’ll destroy you. Not necessarily callous, but real, strong-willed, and willing to put in effort and take risks for what she believes in. She’s a person with feelings. I like that. In Omega, Deirdre has this. She’s bitter, but she’s bitter for the right reasons… and she’s trying to do good–even if it is good in all the wrong ways.

This carried through to the second book… and falls apart from there.

This is a dark series, and it makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a perfect fairy tale story where girl meets boy, he gives her the world, and they live happily ever after. Reading this series actually made me reevaluate my look at Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, I’m one of those people who believe the series fringes too close to abuse for comfort… but War of the Alphas takes it to the extremes.

If you have triggers relating to abuse, run away now. This series reeks of it. There are so many abusers in this tale that my head was spinning by the ending. Had I not been reading on my very expensive laptop, I would have thrown the entire series across the room. If I had bought print copies, I would have thrown them at the wall–hard. I’m considering booting up a reject phone, loading kindle app on it, and smashing the phone to vent out my frustrations with the final two books of this series.

Deirdre is a victim. That’s it. She’s a victim. She never breaks the cycle. She never truly grows.She spins her wheels and goes around in circles chasing after… something. She just becomes a victim who in turn continues the cycle of abuse. She initiates the continuation of the abuse, to make things worse. The ending left me screaming–literally. My husband was startled and slightly alarmed.

I understand writing abuse stories–and bringing to light the consequences of abuse. I understand delving into that sort of relationship to discover what can be found on the page–and how characters can grow and change.

What started as such a promising series left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe some girls will like this book, but all I saw was abuse. Everton Stark abuses her in just about every single way a woman can be abused by a man. He misses a few of them, though. I genuinely wanted to love Deirdre because her situation is understandable. She does terrible things for a great cause, and for the first two books, I got strung along for the ride. But there comes a line between having sympathy for the character and realizing she’s just a victim and isn’t really interested in becoming anything other than a victim.

If you want a good read… the first and second books are really good. I liked them a lot. But it’s a downhill spiral from there, and unless you’re the kind of person who likes abuse stories without a strong happy ending or a redemption arc, I’d shy away from the final two volumes. The ending left a sour taste in my mouth. Maybe I’m sensitive about abuse storylines, but this was just too much.

So, first two books–great! Second half of the series left me sad and despairing for the women of the world. There’s a whole lot of unrelenting darkness in this series, too… which doesn’t help the ending come out strong. So, approach this one at your own risk… and be wary if you have triggers.


I totally used affiliate links. I bought these books and reviewed them because I love books–even the ones that leave me sad at the end of them.

I was disappointed in the third and fourth volumes of this book, but people with a higher tolerance for abuse story lines may not have the same troubles I had with the second half.

Happy reading, book lovers!

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