Series: Vargulf trilogy, #1
Genres/Themes: urban fantasy, drug addiction, werewolves
Author: Naomi Clark
With a very different and unique sort of approach for its genre, this book breaks up the routine in a fascinating and engaging way. Recommended for those UF fans that can handle a darker subject matter and a touch more realism with their fantasy.
Book Description (via author site):
Lizzie Creighton ran away from her life a year ago, wanting to escape the pressures of university and just party. And that’s exactly what she did. But now she's sick of the world she's fallen into – the drink, the drugs, the violence – and she's desperate to start again. The chance to do it comes from the last source she could ever imagine. After her deadbeat boyfriend steals her car and abandons her in the dead of night, Lizzie is bitten by a wolf. And suddenly her next fix is her last problem. Now, caught between Nick Doyle, the outcast werewolf who claims he can save her, and Seth Weaver, the favourite son of the blue-blood werewolf royalty, Lizzie must decide what kind of werewolf she wants to be.
So, lemme just get down to it. This book is tough to nail down. ^_^ And I really, really dig that. It's not your typical...well, anything. From the protagonist and the premise to the plot progression and romantic elements, Wild certainly doesn't follow genre formulas. In fact, for a piece of genre fiction, this tale has quite a few elements closer to literary fiction than anything else. The pacing and narrative focus in particular were slower, less action-driven (of the high-octane sort, at least) and more introspective of the main character. The story presents many possible directions: as I was reading, I honestly didn't know what to expect next.
This is not a particularly happy tale...but it's certainly engaging. Protagonist Lizzie Creighton isn't fooling anyone, including herself--she's addicted. To drugs, to a cycle of self-destructive behavior, to poor judgement and no-good relationships. What she goes through is tough, not sugar-coated. It doesn't seem to be written as overtly shocking or cautionary, either, something I appreciated. For much of the book (the first half at the very least), this is really an observation of the very human struggles of a young woman, with supernatural flavoring slowly added in.
Moving through the book, I was never quite sure if things would be okay for Lizzie...even with her best of intentions. How refreshing it was to not have that forgone conclusion of an HEA being served on a silver platter! Now, don't get me wrong...I love m'self an HEA. But this story progresses in such a way that there is no easy fix right around the corner. It really will take the whole trilogy to figure out what's what! :o)
The supernatural elements were intriguing, as well. In this world, there are Kurtadam (born werewolves), and Vargulf (made werewolves). Through the lenses of Lizzie's experience, the reader is brought into a whole new realm of behavior and existence. I rather liked how it was built upon throughout the book. As mentioned previously, this book doesn't start out an urban fantasy, but does a good job of transitioning into one.
If this first installment is any indication, its sequel (and the book after that) will be awesome. It'll be dark, it will challenge, it will be full of action and excitement. I can't wait to find out what comes next!
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I really liked it."
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Disclosure: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.