Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: June 8, 2010

My review:

When Bryn's parents were murdered by a rabid werewolf, she was adopted into the werewolf pack that hunted the rabid down. Raised by Callum, the Alpha, and her adoptive human mom, Ali, Bryn has learned to fight and think like a wolf. The pack has become her family and though she can never truly be one of them, she has made a new life for herself. She is unprepared however for the changes that come into her life when she discovers a teenage Were at Callum's house. Chase claims that he was bitten, not born a werewolf like the others. Bryn believes Chase holds the key to finding out what happened the night her parents died but to find the answers she seeks, Bryn may lose everything she's come to hold dear.

Raised by Wolves presents a unique take on werewolf fiction by having a human protagonist who is part of the pack. Bryn is smart, resourceful, and strong, though not physically strong compared to the rest of the pack. She thinks like a Were rather than a human teenager which makes her seem more like an adult at times. She can also be reckless and impatient, like a teen. Her human adoptive mother tries to give Bryn a normal life as much as possible but Bryn is still very different. I liked Bryn's character most of the time though she is rather stubborn. It is great to see Bryn grow over the course of the story as she deals with painful revelations and discoveries. 

I liked the other characters particularly Devon for his sense of humor, Lake for her bravery and quirky love of weapons, and Ali for her fierce protectiveness towards Bryn and the others. I liked Callum up to a point and then felt that he let Bryn down. Chase is the love interest for Bryn but I didn't care for the romance. It felt forced and manufactured though Bryn is not the simpering type thankfully and the romance is not the focus of the story. It is just part of the catalyst for change. To enjoy this book means buying into the world that Barnes creates with all its pack laws. I found the politics to be interesting and liked how Bryn wasn't afraid to take on the Werewolf Senate. My one issue with the book is an event that occurs where Bryn is treated as a Were rather than a human and betrayed by those who should protect her. Bryn thinks of herself as a human Were and it takes Ali to bring that realistic perspective to Bryn on how she should be treated.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic beginning to the series. I like this concept of Weres and also liked the mystery. It was the character of Bryn that really sold me on this series. I'd consider this to be the best werewolf series I've read because it isn't a romance and the characters grow throughout the series and there is plenty of action and suspense as well. I think fans of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series would appreciate this book.

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