You know that feeling of disappointment when you’ve finished reading a really exceptional book? That’s what happened to me with My Wolf’s Bane. I read this book in about 2 1/2 days, and that says a lot since I am a slow reader and usually read 2-3 books simultaneously. Within the YA paranormal romance genre, this book excels. For me (and for many other Goodreads reviewers) it’s one of the best, and I’ll tell you why.
For one thing, the characters in My Wolf’s Bane aren’t annoying but actually well-developed and different from one another. One thing that kills my attention span is when all the characters in a novel start melding together as the same person, not one of them distinct from the next. Autumn is the sarcastic, attractive high-school aged protagonist who at first is preparing to unceremoniously dump her popular douche-bag of a boyfriend, Daniel. As Daniel begins harassing Autumn, she becomes increasingly more attracted to Zach — the mysterious hot new guy at school.
When a change appears in Daniel that causes both Zach and Autumn to believe he’s off his meds (or worse), eventually a feud breaks out between the two boys. Zach is suddenly at Autumn’s side night and day as her protector. Zach proves himself a complex character by giving Autumn the cold shoulder despite his obsession over her safety and her obvious interest in him. Unable to read the feelings of this gorgeous boy who she’s coming to realize is anything but human, Autumn struggles internally with facing the reality that she has acquired her own supernatural abilities.
Enough plot synopsis. It should already be apparent that along with formulating interesting characters, Veronica Blade can weave details together into a seamless and captivating storyline. This is no easy feat. I find often times when reading any sub genre of fiction, I subconsciously delete sentences or phrases in my head that are unnecessary. Those works of writing needed more editing. My Wolf’s Bane was not one of those works. The story flowed and was without the awkward, extra wording that slows a story down, making the reader all too aware of the writer’s inability to edit their own work.
In regards to plot — again, I loved it. There is a ton of YA paranormal romance about werewolves. It feels overdone, and I’m always wary of any fantasy fiction I pick up these days involving vampires, werewolves, or shifters. But I enjoyed this book so much that I didn’t mind it. Veronica Blade has described a human world in which werewolves exist that is actually believable. This is how I imagine werewolves to act and exist among us humans, with a hierarchy similar to the packs in the HBO show Trueblood.
My only complaint about this book is the very last paragraph. It’s a pet peeve of mine when the author ends a book in a way that is almost a sale pitch for the sequel. I just don’t think it’s needed. If the reader liked the book, as I did, they’re likely to read the sequel. There’s no need to set up the next book with a series of questions like, “What’s going to happen with ____?” or “Will so and so character do _____?” If you really want that to be the last thing your reader sees, then put it on the next page as an afterthought but don’t make it part of the book. It gives the impression the author is trying too hard and with a book this good, there’s really no need.
On that note, I truly hope I’ve convinced people to read this excellent book. You’ll find it hard to put down, I assure you.