Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 404
Received: Bought own copy

Release Date: February 14, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Review:

I was so excited to pick this one up, I'm a huge fan of Anne Rice and I wanted to read this before I met her at her talk at the Toronto Reference Library. This book is Anne's foray back into horror after her angel series and her fictional tales on Jesus' life. I'm happy that Anne went back to those horror roots, it's what she does best!

This story opens up quickly, I find that Anne quickly gets into some action. I really enjoyed how Anne wrote all the wolf scenes, her descriptions of Rueben's change really makes you imagine it yourself. Anne's characters are written interestingly (very gender neutral, how she writes all her characters).

I found that there was a bit of history included in this book, which made it really interesting. There is a lot of research on werewolves, but I also enjoyed the family history of those that used to own the house. What is done really well is the descriptions of the house, Anne makes it a character of it's own throughout the story. It really makes for an interesting read.

What I really enjoyed throughout this book is the morality issues that come up a lot. It's interesting to see the inner arguments the main character has with himself about religious aspects.

There were a few parts of the novel that disappointed me a little while reading. The first was the women characters. I just found that they were over the top. They had no cares about what was happening. I just couldn't see any woman being like these people in the real world. The other problem I had was at the very end where everything is being explained. I found that this part was dragged on a little longer than need be and I found myself losing interest.

Despite these issues this was a great read and I am happy to welcome Anne back to her supernatural element, it's really where she belongs!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge Anne Rice fan, and have been since she first wrote "Interview..." But, I'm concerned about this one. I read an extended excerpt and found myself sighing with regret. I think Anne has lost something vital. Her paranormal muse has gone, I think, or at least I'm worried that it has. I may have to wait on this one... It didn't seem like you were completely convinced this was her best effort, either.



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