Friday, 23 March 2012

Book Review 13 - Raised by Wolves, Jennifer Lynn Barnett

It really was the cover that made me
pick up this book. It screams YA, but
also mystery and adrenaline, which was
 what I really needed at the time! I love it.
OK, so y'all know wolves aren't really my thing. But I think my opinion may just have been calmed by this book! I barely even had to read the blurb before I knew I wanted to read it, werewolves or no. I was looking for something exciting, supernatural and kick-ass, and that was exactly what I got. Raised By Wolves is an in-depth book that not only introduced me to the snarky, won't take no for answer, strong willed main character Bryn, but it captured me and brought into the amazing world of werewolves. Jennifer's world building and writing style allowed me to get a bird's eye view of what it would be like to live with these Weres.

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it, but that doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two. When her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a boy locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs. But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

'That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two' - what an understatement! Bryn's voice is lifelike and laugh-out-loud, and right from the very first chapter we get a sense of both her love for her Pack and her unwillingness to bend over backwards in order to stick to their rules, since she clearly defines herself as human and them as werewolves. It doesn't mean she views them as her family any less, but it does give her the freedom to stand up for herself and push the boundaries a little. Since she is Marked, there are certain things she has to do, but it's easier to take because we know how hard she is trying to be her own person. She's that girl everyone wants to play truth or dare with because they just know she'd take whatever was thrown at her and give as good as she got. Bryn is feisty, independent and sneaky, but she is also intelligent, deeply caring, and easy to adore. Bryn is everything Calla is supposed to be in Andrea Cremer's Nightshade, except for one major difference: she succeeds.

Barnes writes in such a captivating and electrifying way that keeps you on your toes, always second guessing any speculations you may have about the plot line and outcome of the book. Raised by Wolves is told in the first person and a mature, smart, funny narrative is created that can still be believed and go into great detail. The balance between plot and personality is deftly achieved and it was one of the things I really enjoyed about the book.

The way the characters interacted with each other was endearing and sincere, especially the interactions between Callum and Bryn. She's one of those girls that just doesn't really care what other people think, but she understood why Callum was more strict with her than other members of the pack, and just because she understood it, it didn't mean she was going to keep quiet and let him get away with it. However, we're also quickly introduced to other characters; the pack is made up of both wolf pack traditions and human family emotions. There's tight bonds, frustrations, heart ache, love, action and strong unbreakable bonds formed that will forever change the way Bryn's pack has lived for centuries. I thought Devon was brilliant, acting as a comedic relief when needed but also as a genuine, trusted friend and a connection for Bryn that never strays as the plot progresses. Ali was also very funny and the twins were just plain adorable.

Speaking of the plot; it all starts off with one simple catalyst. When Bryn finds Chase - a newly turned werewolf - locked in Callum's basement she begins to realise that the pack has been keeping secrets. She is determined to uncover the truth and needs to work with Chase to do that. Although one of my only disappointments was my lack of ability to believe the forbidden love between them both - though I sup[pose that was one of the reason why I didn't like it; it was forbidden, and the rest of Bryn's world seemed so perfect that I just didn't want her to have to leave it! -  it was still nice to see her breaking away from what she knew to do what she felt in her heart was right. The story is fast paced and has plenty of action.Jennifer Lynn Barnes has created an interesting world with an unusual twist to the werewolf mythology. The story sucks you in and takes you along a roller coaster journey until the very last page. I won't give too much away, but let's just say there is a lot of character growth and some very surprising twists. And besides, the story is always better when a character has a depressing back-story which adds to the plot!

Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Plot: 4/5
Impact: 4/5
Re-readability: 3/5
Overall: 4/5

Barnes has created a captivating story with a first class heroine and plenty of twists that took me completely by surprise.Although the story ended well things have definitely been left open for the next book Trial by Fire and I can't wait to get my hands on it. If you're a fan of paranormal stories then this is a must read book, one that I would highly recommend - I'd rate it right up there with Shiver, if not slightly more....but n'aww, I don't think anything could ever beat Shiver for me...*sighs dreamily* Speaking of which, I should probably review that soon, too!


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