Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: "The Wolf Gift" by Anne Rice

Received via: Netgalley
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Release Date: February 14th, 2012

The Scoop: (Goodreads)

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.

My Take:

I have been missing Anne Rice. I haven't devoured her books since her Mayfair Witches trilogy back in the day and, of course, The Vampire Chronicles was my first introduction to the beautiful mysteries of the vampire genre that I have loved ever since.

No lollygagging in fields of flowers for this vamp. Lestat liked to kick it old school.

Well, Rice is back in a big way with a new novel that examines the life of another of my favorite paranormal species: werewolves. The Wolf Gift follows our hero, Reuben, along his incredible journey of becoming a werewolf. Reuben finds an amazing house, a mysterious woman and a painful wolf bite all in the same day.

After his transformation, he struggles to control his "gift" and resist killing people. Then, our boy turns into somewhat of a hometown, mysterious superhero. Which really doesn't do much to ease his steadily growing guilty conscience.

A Big Bad Wolf doesn't need this guy hanging around on his shoulder while he's searching for a hot meal!

I found the beginning (leading to his transformation and the events following) to be a fast-paced, fun read. I was clicking my heels in the air, remembering why I loved Anne Rice in the first place and kicking myself for not keeping up with her writing all of these years.

Then... I got to the middle of The Wolf Gift (where his conscience kicks in and he starts questioning the meaning of everything: life, good, evil, God, vigilantism, werewolves, fate, love, family, immortality...and more) and I was slumped over my Nook, remembering why I abandoned Rice for a while (we were on a break...) and kicking myself to keep turning the pages.

Don't get me wrong, I love that she addressed the nature of evil and the meaning of life in general. However, this philosophizing runs for far to long for my tastes and to the detriment of the originally brisk plot, in my opinion. There was also some pretty steamy wolf-on-girl action that just didn't do it for me. Rice is known for her erotica and knows how to write a hot scene with the best of them, but the fact that we are still talking about a wolf here turned me off.

This behavior is perfectly fine as long as everybody keeps their clothes on...
Rice pulled me back in by the end, though, and the pace started picking up, things started happening and my page turning finger was back in action! I feel that things are definitely set up for a sequel, but Rice is a pro and didn't leave us hanging in the middle of a plot point as so many authors do lately.

Overall, I really liked and would recommend The Wolf Gift to paranormal fans in general and Rice fans in particular. Rice is a master of storytelling and The Wolf Gift is not to be missed.

Final Verdict:


  1. I have never read Anne Rice, I'm not sure why but I haven't. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book.

  2. Anne Rice has never been my favorite for reasons you mentioned. Great review, though.



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