Monday, November 22, 2010
Raised by Wolves
Raised by Wolves is a YA paranormal novel by author Jennnifer Lynn Barnes that came out last June.
Bryn isn't like most fifteen-year-olds. She doesn't have a boyfriend, nor does she care that much that she doesn't. She doesn't obsess over her looks. She doesn't think about college. And, oh yeah, she was raised by wolves.
And not just regular, Discovery Channel wolves. Nope. Werewolves.
See, when she was four-years-old a "Rabid" werewolf attacked and savagely killed her parents. She was going to be next, if not for the last-minute rescue of Callum, the alpha of his pack. He took her in and had her raised as one of the Pack, despite her relentless humanness.
This life is all she has ever known, and despite her resistance to being "obedient" to Pack rule - the Pack is her family. But when her security is upped by Callum, her curiosity is peaked. Her search for answers brings her to a startling discovery: a newly turned werewolf, about her age, locked in a cage in the basement of Callum's basement.
Bryn's entire life is turned upside down when she realizes that everything she has known to be true since she was rescued by Callum may have been a lie.
Raised by Wolves wastes no time in acquainting you with Bryn's witty, snappy voice - making it clear early on that she is a unique protagonist. At first she came across as a bit frustrating to me, especially with her dogged stubborness - but it didn't take long for me to find Bryn very, very likable and easy to root for.
Quickly, you realize that Raised by Wolves is an intense novel. And I mean intense in the best way possible. But this is lightened by humor-laced first-person narration. I'll admit that I felt some of Bryn's cleverness came across as forced, not as organic as I like - yet this later was disproved. Bryn's voice becomes more and more natural and believable, and I'm sure if I were to reread it, it would no longer sound strained in the earlier pages.
As the many layers of the plot are peeled back and more is revealed, the more nail-biting it becomes! With increased involvement in the Pack I became truly fascinated with the detail Jennifer Lynn Barnes gives to this world. It's fascinating and feels dangerous. Extremely cool.
I just have to say in plain English here that I LOVED Raised by Wolves. As the pages turned, the hypnotic pull deepened - especially at the halfway mark. And, whoo-boy, I know I've used the word intense more than my old English teachers would appreciate but, really, it is INTENSE. Unpredictable. Suspenseful. Epic. Obsessive. Addictive.
Definitely a must-read for fans of the Twilight Saga, I feel. Definitely.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes creates such a fully realized, barely explored, incredible world - her writing is extremely strong, writing that wraps you up in the story, writing that makes you forget about what else is going on around you.
The plot hums with electric energy - and then moments of laugh-out-loud dialogue shake you a little from the insane, edge-of-your-seat stuff. I was pretty much yanked through an amazing, paranormal story and couldn't stop reading unless I absolutely had to. Raised by Wolves leads up to a breathless climax, having weaved Pack-like, emotional connections to the expertly drawn, individualistic characters.
Raised by Wolves is an extraordinary YA novel that deserves a huge audience! With the heart-pounding action, goosebump-causing scariness, and exquisite storytelling - I was soooooooo relieved when I found out that there is going to be a sequel coming out in June 2011.
And if you take my advice and read Raised by Wolves (which I can almost guarantee will make your bibliophile DNA tingle), I'm pretty sure you will too.