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Publisher's Summary

It's hard enough being an undergraduate student, an intern at Downtown Manhattan's police station, and a bouncer at a local bar. Add her now ex-boyfriend who recently dumped her for the school's resident bimbo - oh, and she's a werewolf.

Mackenzie Grey meets her match when she is kidnapped by the Brooklyn Pack and tossed between Sebastian and Jonah - the Alpha and the Beta. Being a lone-wolf in the city is dangerous, and now that the Pack has found her, so can every supernatural being in the Tri-State area. And not even her sarcastic, smart mouth can get her out of this.

When a string of kidnappings involves Mackenzie in supernatural politics, she questions her new acquaintances and finds unlikely allies. Can she escape Pack law and keep her freedom - or will she be condemned to an unwanted path.

Contains mature themes.

©2015, 2016, 2017 Karina Espinosa (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Mackenzie Grey: Origins Complete Boxed Set

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Story of a spoiled brat

4 books in and the heroine has not grown one bit. She is still a spoiled impulsive brat who always runs when the going gets tough. Most of her problems are cause because of the way she is. I hate stories where the female becomes so important she would get away with murder, no matter what she does she gets away with it. It gets boring after 4 books. How can we continue knowing more of the same is waiting.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nicole Poole is the reason I kept going

Like this plot had so much potential but no the main characters has to be a brat who truly doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She’s a badass but immature emotionally. While everyone around her are the TRUE HEROS while cleaning up the mess she created. Now granted the cause was one I agreed but the impulsive tantrum ugh come on I wanted to off her in moments

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome series

I don't usually write a review,. Only with the really good series or books. So, When I say it's worth your time, I mean it. Nicole Poole Is it really good narrator. I have listened to many of her books, numbering in the double digits.

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  • KR
  • 04-07-22

Can we uninvite the main character?

The story had potential; the main character, not so much.

Mackenzie Grey is sort of a terrible person, and not just at the beginning of Book 1, but by the end of Book 4. I’d like to say she’s simply an unenlightened fool, but she does actually have some moments of reflection, where she even acknowledges her faults. She just does absolutely nothing to change them.

So, how do I rate a book with a decent story, but also a protagonist I can’t root for? Unfortunately, my feelings for the protagonist–probably best described as disdainful–corrupt my overall impression of this series, particularly considering the series is named after Mackenzie Grey. It truly would have been a better series without her, because the plot was engaging enough to keep me listening, despite wanting to throat-punch the main character.

She is, quite frankly, a narcissistic asshole. She is irrational, immature, reckless, and headstrong, all in a really un-cute way. Oh, and also cocky and absurdly overconfident. I’m almost inclined to call her sociopathic, because even her moments of self-sacrifice manage to be selfish and careless of other people’s interests and/or feelings. Her heroism is more performative than authentic.

She isn’t especially charming, and I don’t recall her being described as drop-dead gorgeous (as if this would really suffice, anyway) so I truly can’t fathom how she draws admirers. The fact that she had even one love interest, let alone three, is truly unbelievable. The fact that anyone without a familial link to her felt any inclination to care for her simply boggles the mind.

***Spoilers ahead***
After being a part of their world for about a minute, Mackenzie decides she's just gonna go ahead and create a massive upheaval in the entire Lycan Society, in the name of fighting for equality for Lunas, but then, after actually effecting a significant paradigm shift, she completely abandons all of them. Like…what?! She impulsively decided to stick her nose into an established system–not that I advocate that system, but those oppressed by it were not even champing at the bit to change things. But because their status quo was offensive to Kenzie’s outsider sensibilities, she arrogantly set her mind to overthrowing the entire order -- at the request of no one, mind you -- and despite having exactly zero investment in the society she was hell-bent on changing. She just popped in, vigorously stirred the pot, and then, with a careless little shrug, she bounced.

Also, she has no loyalty. The only other person she is ever really interested in fighting for, for more than an eye-blink (ahem, Emma) is Amy, and I wouldn’t really call that loyalty, either. It comes off more like a proprietary obsession; the protagonist's own words/thoughts would seem to indicate a type of codependency, as she describes Amy as grounding her, but, really, aside from these thoughts/comments, there is little evidence she needs her friend at all. Amy is definitely the one doing the heavy lifting in this friendship.

Is she loyal to her human family? Well, this really isn’t tested, so who knows? Is she loyal to her bio-dad? Hmm…kind of? Sometimes? Hard to say. The only thing that’s clear is that she’s content to keep him around as long as he is beneficial…or at least as long as he’s not an outright hindrance to her continuation of all her selfish, reckless behaviors.

What about loyalty to Lucien, the surrogate daddy vampire who, despite his initial aid coming under the auspices of repaying a debt, seems fairly devoted to her until his breaking point? Nope, she seems pretty indifferent to his sudden cold-shoulder (ha, no pun intended!). The fact that he could so easily turn on her, or that his turning on her is so obviously a result of being so hugely disappointed in her, appears not to tug at her conscience, nor her heartstrings, at all. (I have some grievances with Lucien’s and Amy’s reactions to that situation, too, but I won’t go into it, as I’m trying to curtail the length of this already quite long review.)

As to the love interests (I won’t even mention Roman, as she has even less invested in him than she has in Sebastian and Jonah) she doesn’t show much loyalty to either of them, either. Even her supposed divided loyalty between Sebastian and Jonah is really not loyalty at all, to either of them. It’s far more self-serving. She simply doesn’t want to make a choice, and while she doesn’t go so far as outright deceiving them–because she’s quite happy to play the noncommittal asshole–she definitely doesn’t disabuse them of their interest in her. And sure, she doesn’t make any effort to ensure that their affection will endure in her absence (because that would be too much like giving a shit, wouldn’t it?) but she also never offers any kind of closure, either…unless ghosting them was supposed to count as closure. Even after one of them outright confesses his love for her, and the other is pretty obviously equally in love with her, she feels no compunction to let either of them know she isn’t interested in them in return and they should just move on.

By the fourth book, despite the fact that she did finally choose one of them, this little sociopath still isn’t sure if her feelings for him actually rise to the level of love?! I legit do not understand this character! We readers usually are disappointed when the romance is insta-love, but this one goes so far in the opposite direction, it seems more like the protagonist is just emotionally dead inside, which is saying something when one considers that this character would generally best be described as being more feeling than thinking. But, it would seem that, though she indeed operates on raw, unexamined impulses, she still has zero emotional intelligence.

Now that I’ve spent so long complaining about the main character, I’ll offer a brief opinion on the supporting characters. All three love interests were appealing enough, I suppose. Sebastian was my favorite, though I can’t articulate exactly why. Roman is the most interesting, and definitely the most dashing. He is fun and witty and utterly wasted on Mackenzie, so I guess it’s best she didn’t keep him hanging on. Jonah is the typical love triangle “beta male”. He's occasionally spineless, petty, whiny, etc., but he does have more cool moments than most sad suckers in this category. Meanwhile, Sebastian is frequently overbearing, overreactive, and seems to be always shouting.

Also, oddly, there were some occasions when Sebastian’s and Jonah’s personalities seemed interchangeable. (Yeah, I know this is a weird claim to make when I expressed favoring one over the other, but I did indicate that it was only occasional.) There were some instances, especially earlier in the books, when the guys would alternate their good cop/bad cop roles. At one time, Jonah would be the one getting exasperated with her, while Sebastian just grinned and found her amusing; at another time, Sebastian would growl at her for being an immature fool, while Jonah defended her. I get that people are mutable and susceptible to their moods, but this was inconsistent enough that it took a while for their respective personalities to solidify in my mind, and, even now, I don’t know if I would really call them solid at all. While I feel like Jonah’s personality was adequately presented, I think Bash is still somewhat of an unknown (which may be why I favor him, because there is still undeveloped potential there). Either he’s the classically appealing stoic hero – you know, standing off in the distance on the moors, surrounded by morning fog and his swirling greatcoat – or he’s just your run-of-the-mill, hot alpha-male, who operates on basic instincts and expresses himself through uninspired grunts and testosterone-fueled actions, which we only find adorable, because…muscles! If I’m honest, the latter is probably better supported by the story.

In conclusion, Mackenzie Grey has earned a place at the top of my list of despised protagonists. I can’t say she’s the worst, but she’s definitely in the top ten. She is an unlikeable, flawed character who makes little to no growth throughout four books. Her character arc is a flat line. Really, much like Mackenzie’s investment in most of the folks in her life, I had almost no investment in her. I couldn’t care less if the series had concluded with her demise. To be fair, I barely cared about any of the characters. I feel like the story was mostly driven by the plot, while the characters, in general, weren’t just weren’t unique enough, or inspiring enough, to be exceptional. Except Mackenzie. She was entirely exceptional, just not in a good way.

As for the narration...well, I love Nicole Poole, but this wasn’t my favorite performance of hers. Perhaps it was just the way the characters were written, but there were quite a few moments where the performance came across as overwrought and over the top. I mean, was Sebastian truly always yelling, or was it just how she portrayed him? One thing is for sure, there were a lot of instances where her Scottish accent was cartoonishly bad. Just so, so bad. That being said, I still love her, and I’m just gonna give her a mulligan on this one.

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Read it!

This was definitely worth it! Loved the main character. If you like the Mercy Thompson series then you’ll like this!

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Huge Fan

Enjoyed this series.
I commend the authors for the creative battles and twists. Thank for a good series.

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Could listen to Nicole Poole for hours...so I did

Straght up bought this because I love the narrator. Story was definitely worth the credit. I haven't read anything by Espinosa before but I will definitely keep an eye out in the future.

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Surprisingly Good

I purchased the first 4 collection and loved it. The storyline anf the narrator were both great. i would reccomend.

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  • Christine
  • 02-27-22

loved it

I enjoyed the story I think the narrator did a fantastic job. the Scottish accent was a bit iffy but overall good.

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  • Des
  • 12-22-21

Exceptional

Was not sure about this genre & found...I Absolutely loved it! Ended up having a listening marathon. The narrator is very talented & keeps you wanting more after personalising each character.