(Image courtesy of Goodreads)
377 page – Young Adult, Fantasy/Science Fiction
October 1, 2011-Tu Books
Purpose: For Review
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this e-galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac, is about Luke who discovers his Abenaki family’s secret a skin that will let him walk as a wolf and must save his father from kidnappers.
Somehow this book got lost in the Netgalley pile (and the review was lost in the pile of written but not posted reviews). Regardless, I was drawn to this book. I visited Tu Books’ website (a family owned publishing company that believes and promotes diversity in science fiction and fantasy for young adults) <yep, I just plugged a publisher! I was looking through my kindle a little later and saw this title. I did my happy dance and started reading it. If you could see me now, you would see that I am doing another happy dance; this book was A-MAZ-ING! Rich in culture. Rich in myth. Rich in characters! Rich in story! For me, I loved the fact that I could hear the character’s voice. Each character was fleshed out and distinguishable.
Now that I have finished reading, I have this strong urge to go back re-read it. I am not sure if that is me just being a book nerd or if the story is that captivating. This is one of the few books that I’ve read lately (review written in December 2012) that I’ve read without any complaints. At first Lucas’ tangents seemed to be to random info dumps. But I saw the purpose, and soon found myself looking forward to and expecting them. I couldn’t imagine the book being written any other way.
There are so many things to love about Wolf Mark that I am not sure where to start. The werewolf legend is something new and not found in “traditional” werewolf stories. The wolf is still powerful, aggressive and strangely alluring. It’s just not the typical mindless beast full of rage or bloodlust that normal ties into the story. There is this balance between beast and humanity that kept me on my toes.
I really, really like Lucas. He is not your regular teenager. He knows that he is different, just not how very different. He is really smart, but not in an arrogant “I’m better than you” way. Lucas’ parents have been preparing and grooming him for the time he would merge with his wolf-half since he was born. He lives in a realistically unique situation. His dad is obviously an undercover agent and they need to stay under the radar, lest danger finds them. Perhaps it was Lucas’ family relationship that makes this story more believable and likable. Perhaps, it’s that Bruchac has drawn on Native American lore of the werewolf that makes the skin walkers more like their human counterparts instead of mindless beasts.
Where there are werewolves, there are vampires (or vampire-like creatures). And where there are U.S. undercover operatives, there are Russian spies. Where there are shape shifters and other mutated species, there are those who wish to exploit them. Nothing is as it seems.
In more ways than I can express here, I am thankful for that. I am sure that Lucas is also thankful for that. Yep, this is one of those books that I could go on and on and on about. There’s so much depth to the characters and to the plot that I can’t find a nice place to stop.
Though this is Lucas’ story, he is not the only stand out character. The action was vivid and so easy to visualize. There were moments I felt as if I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. I am just going to stop here, not because I don’t have anything else to say. Not because I think I have said enough. But honestly, you should just go out and read Wolf Mark for yourself.
5 Stars *****