Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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Title:  Raised by Wolves
Author:  Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Narrator:  Eileen Stevens
Series:  Raised by Wolves, book #1
Publisher:  Audible, Inc.
Publication Date:  July 20, 2010
Source:  purchased audio
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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. That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen 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?

I won a copy of this book from Rachel Vincent a couple of years ago during the YA Crush Tourney (go #TeamTod!), but even before that, I'd heard friends singing this book's praises.  I've only read one other novel -- Every Other Day --  from Jennifer Lynn Barnes, but I've got Nobody on my shelf as well, thanks to another giveaway and I have The Naturals for review, courtesy of Netgalley and Disney Hyperion.  (I apparently have really good luck with procuring this author's books for free. :D)  And I thought that before I dived into Barnes' newer works, I should get another taste of her earlier novels.

So, hype aside, I thought this book showed signs of some of the same things I enjoyed in Every Other Day: a take-charge protagonist, strong writing, and a complicated back story that the main character is only just beginning to understand.  There was also political turmoil between packs, a series of rabid werewolf attacks, and one of the most serious cases of insta-love I've ever witnessed.  Almost as bad as Jacob imprinting on Renesmee.

The book wasn't as terrible as all that, though.  Where other human girls might have simply obeyed and done what was expected of them, especially when tethered to the Alpha of a wolf pack, Bryn questions everything and learns the hard way that even those closest to you might not be who you thought they were.  But Bryn's not alone.  She has some seriously awesome sidekicks.  And her adoptive mother proves to be one hell of a lady.  I really loved the group dynamic there.

I think what I like most about werewolf/shifter stories is trying to comprehend that whole pack-mentality thing. Remember that scene in BD1 where all the wolves are communicating telepathically and Jacob is supposed to submit to Sam as the Alpha but decides to go off on his own?  Yeah, something similar happens in this book, and it's kind of just as hokey sounding in this story as it appeared on screen in BD1.  But it shapes the whole story, so I'll let the eccentricity of that whole act slide.

I've never heard Eileen Stevens narrate before, but I daresay she sounded the part of stressed out and pissed off Bryn.  However, it did bother me a bit that every male she portrayed, whether in wolf form or not, was pretty much growling.  So, even when one was telepathically conversing with Bryn -- yes, because of the pack bond given to her at the tender age of four, she had this ability -- he was growling at her.  And when they were speaking to her wolfman to human girl, they were growling.  I don't's a werewolf book, sure, but it just seemed a bit unnecessary, maybe even overkill at times.

Of all the werewolf novels I've read, this one is definitely not the leader of the pack, but it was definitely entertaining.  It was good, but considering the sheer size of my TBR, I'm not sure if I'll be continuing the series anytime soon.  I will be picking up those other books I have from this author, though, and hopefully I'll find something more redeeming and less convenient for such shoddy comparisons as I made in this review.

Rating:  photo 3-1.png 1/2

About the author:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright to do post-graduate work at Cambridge, and then returned to the states, where she is hard at work on her PhD.

Find Jen:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr

1 comment:

  1. Ha, I loved how you said it's not the leader of the pack! And overkill growling seems very annoying, so that makes me hesitate as well, at least if I listened to it versus reading. I should probably read one older book of hers (but maybe not this one, although you did say it was entertaining...) because I LOVED The Naturals! Great review :)


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