Thursday, June 09, 2011

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Pack life is about order, but Bryn is about to push all the limits, with hair-raising results. At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule. Little fazes her. But the pack's been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum's orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her parents come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences. A thrilling new YA adventure, with an electrifying link between a tough heroine and an exciting boy-were at its heart, Raised by Wolves will leave you howling for more.

This poor book has sat on my TBR shelf for ages, since September of last year to be exact. I kept looking at it and thinking, "I really must get around to reading that." I read brilliant reviews of it and then the sequel turned up and I was finally spurred into action. A day and a half later I was totally sold on the world that the author has created.

Bryn lives with her human adopted mother with a pack of werewolves in the middle of a wood. Kids at the local school know she's different and avoid her, occasionally poking fun at her in class but otherwise she doesn't exist. She holds herself separate from the pack too and even goes so far to erect barriers so she doesn't have the mental traffic that were's share. As a result, apart from truly brilliant friend Devon, she's very alone in her world. This all changes when she senses a change in the pack. She has to be home by dusk by order of Callum, the alpha were. Finally, her curiosity gets the better of her and she breaks into Callum's basement to find Chase, a boy who got bit and survived the transformation into a werewolf.

Firstly, the voice of Bryn is brilliant. From page one you feel as if you're kicking back at the side of a creek chatting to her. I was reminded of Kelley Armstrong and I hope I'm not throwing her name in just because she's a fellow werewolf writer but rather because she also has amazing skills in writing voice. Bryn's fierce, stubborn and independent - a life in the pack has moulded her. She drives the plot through and I never questioned her thoughts or actions. There are an amazing array of secondary characters - I particularly loved Lake, Devon and Callum. Raised by Wolves doesn't hold back on the harsh realities of pack life either. This is no simple paranormal romance and the pack dynamics are well thought out, sometimes to their brutal end.

As the book progresses it becomes something of a manhunt and the tension ramps up. The showdown and resulting conclusion was certainly not what I was expecting. Raised by Wolves is exciting, unconventional and innovative - I thoroughly enjoyed it (and am still apologising to my copy for keeping it waiting so long).

1 comment:

Clover said...

Aw, man. This one's been sitting on my shelves unread for ages as well. It's an ARC copy. I've been seeing all the reviews of the sequel and like you, it makes me want to read this book more - I just haven't gotten around to it. YET.