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Wolfsong by TJ Klune


by TJ Klune

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There are a lot of shifter books, and I try to read as many of them as I can fit into my reading schedule without neglecting any of the other favorite genres I have, but ‘Wolfsong’ is special. Not just does it have a mythology nearly all its own, it also has characters who touched my heart deeply. The emotional torment Ox goes through, the discoveries he makes as he grows up, and the revelations he finds once he knows where to look are amazing. He describes everything that happens in such simple, straightforward terms that I couldn’t help but be pulled in. Both Ox and Joe are fascinating, complicated, flawed, and “real” characters and bring this story to life in a way that had me spellbound.

Ox tells the story in first person, and while he has very low self-confidence in the beginning – he's been told he is stupid and slow by his father who then abandoned Ox and his mother – he grows into an amazingly strong man who does things no human is supposed to be able to do.

Joe, the “boy” who fascinates Ox is the local alpha's son and next in line to become alpha. He has already lived through hell once when he was less than ten years old. Then he finds Ox, his mate, only to lose everything again when the villain returns to kill Joe's father and Joe feels he has to avenge him. Long years of separation follow, before they ever actually mate, and both characters grow tremendously, but the pain of separation is a constant companion.

Ox and Joe’s romance, as you may have realized from the description above, is not an easy one. The seven-year age difference alone makes things interesting – Joe is only eleven when he meets Ox. Joe may know that Ox is his mate, but Ox is clueless for the longest time. I was still able to feel they were meant for each other, but it was romance/friendship without any sexual feelings at that point. Just as they finally begin to date all hell breaks loose, and they are physically separated. The three years of separation and the internal and external battles they have to fight once they are reunited are gripping. It’s almost like a second courtship when they finally physically come together and made the emotional payoff all the better.

If you’re interested in character-driven stories, werewolves, and extra-long novels with gripping story arcs, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. The combination of fantastic characters and the unique werewolf/supernatural world T.J. Klune has developed is wrapped in a breathtaking, emotionally exhausting novel and makes this a very satisfying read.

NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review. ( )
  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
T.J. Klune is one of my favorite authors, and he delivers a stunning paranormal, wolf-shifter “romance” that draws characters, supernatural elements, and relationship angst vividly on the page. While Klune normally writes extraordinarily humorous and snarky contemporary gay romance, he brings similar but serious rattling, prattling, rapid-fire character thoughts and attitudes to this rather angst-filled and dramatic coming-of-age romance. The paranormal elements were compelling and the setting interesting, and eventhough many of the themes could apply to less magical environments, there is quite a novel development that brings a fresh and sometimes dramatic theme and challenge concerning a human protagonist not found in other paranormal stories.

Ox’s struggle with his sometimes dim view of himself is challenged dramatically by the events, thrusting him into positions and decisions that force him to choose just what kind of person, partner, friend, lover, and family member he wants to be. The tapestry surrounding the protagonist’s struggle is deep and rich for fans of paranormal and extended family settings, intriguingly framing personal growth and coming of age themes with supernatural and relationship struggles.

My one critique would be the couples’ relationship was a bit more angst-filled and the protagonist’s anger a bit over-the-top from my perspective, but it did make for a rather atypical and fresh approach to potential shifter mates. ( )
  LocoLibros | Jul 22, 2016 |
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Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
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