Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Review: Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Grades 7+. Egmont USA, June 2010. Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher.

Bryn has been raised by wolves. Werewolves, that is.

When Bryn was four years old, her parents were killed by a rogue rabid werewolf and Bryn was adopted by Callum, the leader of her local werewolf pack. The Weres have a strict code and they deal swiftly and harshly with any Were who attacks humans. Bryn has felt safe under their protection, though she has worked hard to close off the bond that comes with being a member of the pack. Bryn is fiercely independent and can't stomach the thought that, through the bond, members of the pack can know what she's feeling.

But when a new werewolf arrives, Bryn feels compelled to see him and what she learns from him will change everything.

Oh, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. You did good.

Werewolves may be the in thing right now, but not all supernatural teen novels are created equal. This is one of the good ones. (I made a terrible pun in my Good Reads review and I'm not going to repeat it here.)

I just really dig Jennifer Lynn Barnes's writing style. It's snappy and pithy. Bryn is so scrappy and snarky, I couldn't help but like her from the very beginning. It's the same dry wit that made me love The Squad: Perfect Cover so much.

Add to that, a different take on the werewolf lore. I know that some people get all indignant when authors reimagine mythical creatures, but I'm not one of those people. Here, the werewolves are divided into different territories with one Alpha per pack. Animal instincts dictate that the Weres obey their Alpha and the different packs have slipped into a rather uneasy democracy. I'm digging it.

There's a bit of a sizzling romance and, though I could have done with more of that aspect, it'll please members of Team Jacob. Hand this one to Twilighters and fans of supernatural stories like Shiver and Hush, Hush. They won't be disappointed.

Read more reviews at Persnickety Snark and Bookworming in the 21st Century.

Raised by Wolves hits shelves June 8!
And I found out through Jennifer's blog that there's gonna be a sequel! Yayayay!