Saturday, 7 May 2011

Raised By Wolves By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

He's in a cage, I reminded myself, but the words meant nothing to me, because I just couldn't stop staring into his wild eyes and playing the last words he'd said before he Shifted, over and over again.

I got bit.
I got bit.
I got bit.

At the age of four, Bryn wayched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. She was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule.

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. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, it's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences. Raised by wolves will leave you howling for more.

The more werewolf books I read the more I love them. As well as Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, Jennifer Lynn Barnes has an enjoyable read in Raised By Wolves that sits quite well next to these other great and exciting stories.

Bryn is a real tough cookie after growing up human among wolves. She has had to keep her wits about her to make sure she doesn't get on the wrong side of the pack. If it wasn't for the alpha, Callum, that took her in and made sure the pack understood that she was part of them then she may not have survived for so long. However, that doesn't stop her from being herself and constantly pushing the boundaries with a cheeky perserverance. Sometimes she a bit rash with her decisions and doesn't think through the possibilities of danger but that doesn't make her unlikeable at all, if anything it made her more real and honest because she makes no allusions to being perfect. The one thing she always strives for is her independence and freedom and chooses to ignore the pack restrictions and bonds. That is until she finds out about Chase; a freshly bitten boy that may just hold the truth to why Callum insisted on taking her in as part of the pack when she was just a child.

I also really liked Callum in the end as well. There were times when I couldn't understand why he did some of the things he did and these made me dislike him, but you eventually realise there's more to him than meets the eye and he has some secrets of his own that allow him to look at the bigger picture. There was also Ali, Bryn's adoptive mother. She was such a fantastic character becasue she has nothing but love for Bryn and even though she also has loyalties to the pack she knows when they over step the mark and this is when she moves in to protect her family with a fierce determination that makes her admirable. The only person I felt I didn't really get to know was Chase, not that I didn't like him, I just felt that he just popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden and formed an attachment to Bryn a bit too quick.

I loved learning about the interesting dynamics of the wolf pack including the ones that seemed to be rooted in stubborn traditions. There are wolves in the pack that are quite strict and abide by the rules to the last letter and they don't like the fact that Bryn is allowed to get away with bending some of the rules slightly even though she is human and believe serious punishment is the answer. So the constant threat of danger is always int he atmosphere even when everything appears safe. I really liked learning about the bond between the wolves as well, especially when Bryn finally allows herself to become open to it and takes her first run with the wolves. A primal instinct takes over her and she forgets shes human and not one of her pack for a short while. That was one of my favourite parts of the book; the feeling she expressed when she just lost herself to her instincts and felt this warm kinship to the wolves and the surroundings of the wood.

There was also some really funny moments in the book as well, especially when it comes to Bryn's werewolf friend Dev. He has a great sense of humour which was sarcastic and dry at times and left me laughing. I also really enjoyed the energy Lake brought into the book, another one of Bryn's friends. She was a quirky, mischevious and fun character to get to know and would love to have as my own friend. They both are loyal to Bryn and hep her with her quest to find the truth which even though it takes a lot of bravery to go against strict rules they don't hesitant for a second.

The story is fast paced, suspensful and exciting with a dash of mystery as well which Bryn does her best to uncover. The characters are all fully developed and very interesting (I would have like to learnt more about Chase though). I really enjoyed it and would go as far to say that it is my favourite wolf book of the lot so far! I can't wait for the sequel, Trial By Fire, this summer!

Random Passage: I hit the ground running and didn't stop. As a matter of reflex, I covered my tracks, running in patterns designed to make tracking me difficult. There were several streams in the woods, as well as the disturbingly named Dead Man's Creek, and I made a point of crossing all of them. Whenever I saw a second pair of tracks, I ran along them, and I loosed my emergency bag of cayenne pepper (which I kept on my person at all times) in an area I knew any self-respecting tracker would take a great big whiff.


Clover said...

Oh I've had this book for absolutely ages and I haven't read it yet. I really should. I heard her speak at an event last summer and she was really interesting to listen to and talked a bit about how her studies in psychology shaped some of the characters and behaviour, it was fascinating. Great review!

The Library Owl said...

Thanks :) It was surprisingly goos especially with all the other werewolf books out there because it didn't merge into them and managed to stand out. You should definitely pick it up!