Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: Raised by Wolves

Right, since I apparently have a hard time sticking to an update time these days anyway, this blog should update Sunday-Wednesday, 5 to 9pm EST, which yes means that this update is going up late, sorry!
Anyway, I came across this book at my local library and the title seemed a little familiar, I thought I had heard some other authors talking about how much they liked the book (even though, yes, it's about werewolves) so I grabbed it and hoped that it was the book I was thinking of. Still haven't found that original recommendation but, considering that the book matched up pretty well with the summary I remembered and I saw another author on twitter celebrating that they had sequels being released on the same day, yeah I'm pretty sure this was a recommendation that I actually liked.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  Nice color scheme on the cover and I like the font used for the title but, is that the moon halfway down the right hand side? I'm a bit confused how the moon is somehow between the woods and the mountains but o-kay.

Summary: When Bryn was four she survived a werewolf attack that killed her family and was adopted into the pack by the werewolves who saved her. She's never been quite able to remember what happened that day and when she comes across a newcomer to the pack, another boy who survived she's desperate to talk to him and unravel secrets of her own past.

The Good: One of the major conflicts in the book was Bryn's struggled to maintain her sense of self/be separate from the pack-hive-mind and also having to accept the pack-hive-mind as a requirement to see Chase (the new werewolf). It's rather nice to see Bryn have to give in to other's athority at times yet still remain true to herself and it also helps that her foster mother serves as a counter-balance by being very unhappy at what Bryn is doing (well, it helps in that it shows the readers that yes, it is reasonable to be annoyed at Bryn at this point). Actually, the book has a good sized cast and, thanks to the length of the book, all the important supporting characters get fleshed out which is always a good thing.

The Bad: To be blunt, the way that the villain's plans actually work is, dumb. Can't say anything more due to end of series spoilers but, in a nutshell, villain is doing something that no one else should be able to do (and hasn't been done for all of werewolf history) and the reason why they can do it feels not very well planned out. The book also seems a bit too long at points (character development is good and all but the book could have worked perfectly well without all of it), things went a bit too easily for Bryn throughout the entire book and she's much to young to be as mature as she was. At first I believed she was 17 but in fact she was closer to 15 and she was acting years too mature for her age* which always drags me out of a story, when a book tries for realism but messed that part up it just really rubs me the wrong way.

In the end, I did like the book (although not enough to buy a copy of it, maybe an e-copy someday) yet I'm a little confused why a sequel was just released back on the 14th (titled Trial by Fire). The ending, while it could leave room for a sequel, did wrap up all the events of the book pretty nicely and honestly, unless the author introduces some game changing plot details that weren't in or even hinted at in this book I really don't see a need to read it right now.

*let me put it this way, I've always been mature for my age so if a character is way more mature than I was at that age then it's unrealistic, I wasn't nearly this mature and clear thinking at 15. Plus, there's no reason for her to be this young in the book so geeze, why NOT make her a few years older?


  1. "Unless the author introduces some game changing plot details that weren't in or even hinted at in this book"

    Just finished it yesterday and she does - I was surprised, and this book has an ending that leaves open plenty of room for a sequel.

  2. Huh, what details did you see that left a lot of room for a sequel? It's been a few months since I read it so I'm hazy on the details but, while I could see room for a sequel, I didn't see a real need for one.