Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Wolf Gift - Review

Title: The Wolf Gift
Author:  Anne Rice
Source: Christmas Gift Card Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Summary:

The time is the present. 

The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. 

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift. 

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

My thoughts:

I was so excited to read a new supernatural book by one of my favorite authors, Anne Rice.  I have been waiting so long, and when I heard that her newest book was about werewolves, I raced to the store and bought it.  Then I heard that the main character's looks were based on actor Matt Bomer, I thought that was pretty cool too, since I watch White Collar, the current show he is in.  

However, I have mixed feelings about this book.  The writing, the descriptions, the crumbly house with eccentric, well read, intelligent characters is classic Anne Rice.  I could not get enough of Nideck House, and I, like Nick, would have loved to live there.  I loved Marchent.  I love the account of the attack on them, Reuben's miraculous recovery, his gradual changing into something other, then his first forays as a werewolf and the use of his "wolf gift" to help those that are being killed or abused.   

Then it starts to get weird.  Reuben has a girlfriend, although he seems ambivalent about her.  This does not stop him from having sex in his werewolf form with a human he runs into in the woods.  That whole part was seriously icky and I did not enjoy reading it one bit.  Bleh.  This continues throughout the book as well, with the same woman and same furry form.  Then other things start to happen, other werewolves, the mystery of Felix Nideck, a fight. That is all pretty interesting, and set up for the next book.

I think that Reuben, before he became a werewolf, was pampered, spoiled, and not taken seriously by anyone, not even himself, and was often referred to by close family and his girlfriend as some sort of boy nickname, like Golden Boy, Baby Boy.  He is just a pretty face, an innocent almost.  Then, he becomes the werewolf and this change not only changed him physically, but also seemed to force him to grow up and become a man, and I believe this was the real transformation.

I am not so sure where this series is going - but I am willing to give the next book, which I am sure there will be one, a try.  

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