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  1. It is a common human misperception that intimidation arises only from the amount of damage an individual can do to you, or that you perceive it can do to you. This is (at least amongst animals, and humans within strongly hierarchical societies) entirely false.

    True intimidation is more a matter of leverage, and simply watching a baboon troop for a while will teach you that. The first time you see a buff young male being chased off by an even younger female who’s half his size, you’ll see it in action. The little female can’t do that much damage personally to the big male. What she can do is bring down her entire matrilineage on him — with a single scream. Every single sister, brother, aunt, cousin, and her mom — and possibly any other nearby males — will come running and will gleefully trounce the buff young male.

    Frankly, this was one of the issues I had with both Elena in particular, and the author’s world background. She should have been practically bursting with confidence, and near terrifying for the “mutts” — not only was the most scary werewolf in the world her mate, but she was also backed by the entire Pack! That she was simply pathetic every time she tried to intimidate says to me (once more) that the author really should have done some actual research on animal behavior, rather than faking it.

    Further, I’m afraid Elena wasn’t as nobly inclined as you assume. She did not wish to protect human life — she just wanted to be able to live as a normal human. Her desire was, as far as I can tell, basically selfish. Hmm… now I think on it, that’s another reason she seriously failed to impress me. Maybe some of the other books in the series have better protagonists. ;)

  2. I tried not to laugh, at the idea that women can’t do intimidation.

    Of course in the end it comes down to: who do you ask? All you need is an extremely intense woman (they exist. Collie is one of them), or a woman that is any good at reading a man and knowing what buttons to push , or a woman that has more confidence than the man, and bam, intimidation happens.

    And when you’re a werewolf? Holy shite! How can you not be intimidating? Okay, maybe you’d have a hard time intimidating other werewolves, especially in the case where there are no other females, and so they’d be dismissive of you, but don’t generalize.

    Just off the top, though, I wonder why there has to be a choice between the human life and the werewolf life. Want to protect people? Good on you. Doesn’t mean you can’t do what needs doing, and then go back to the life you want most.

    This theme reminds me heavily of another recent book I’ve read: Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson. The protagonist is, of course, the daughter of the mortal that inherited the mantle of Death, and therefore became immortal, and with certain responsibilities. His daughter inherited the immortality, but didn’t want the life that came with it, so went so far as to impose a magic of forgetfulness on her so that she could live a normal life. Except she’s pulled back in when her father and elder sister disappear, and she has to take on the mantle of Death to save the family.

    I have not finished the book, because the personality of the protagonist so got on my nerves, and so I already wonder if the protagonist of this book is anything similar… :}

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