Review: Raised by Wolves

Raised By Wolves
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Pages: 432

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary: (from Goodreads)

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two.

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?

I brought this book out of curiosity yesterday for my Nook, thinking that it was going to be just another book about werewolves. Boy, was I mistaken. Raised by Wolves was much more than a typical werewolf novel, instead it delved into what it was like living in a Pack and the relationship and hierarchy inside a Pack from the perspective of a non-Were, with a unique story line that had mystery, action, suspense and romance.

The main character, Bryn, was everything one could want in a female character. She is strong, independent, feisty and stubborn. Bryn’s narrative immediately sucked me into the story from the first page were she is already getting into trouble from the Pack leader, Callum. Bryn felt like a real girl, one people could relate to. Sure, she is not like other girls, having seen her parents murdered in front of her and being Marked and accepted into a Pack full werewolves, but her attitude and narrative made her feel real. What I loved about Bryn was that in society based on dominance and male superiority, Bryn is able to hold onto her independence and fight for what she believes. Bryn is not afraid to take risks for something she believes is right, even if she can get punished for it, something I love to see in female characters. 

Besides Bryn, I loved the character of Chase. While we do not learn much about him, he is one of my favorite characters, besides Bryn, in the book. After being attacked by the Rabid and surviving to be turned into a Were, Bryn and the reader really become interested in him and feel for him. I loved unraveling the mystery behind Chase and his attack. And the chemistry between Chase and Bryn was great. I loved all the scenes when they were in each others head, making me eager for when they would be together.  

What really set Raised by Wolves apart from other typical Werewolf novels is that the story did not focused on the supernatural aspect of being a Werewolf, but the issue of the Pack and of family. Since the story is told from the perspective of Bryn, one who is Marked, part of the Pack but not a Were, it is easy to see the structure of Pack life and the difficulties faced in living in a Pack. The dynamics in the Pack and interactions between Packs was very interesting and I loved learning about them in this book. Not to sound like a nerd, but I was really fascinated to learn what it was like to live in a Pack and the feeling of having the Pack there to support in protect you. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did an excellent at creating a believable life for Bryn in the Pack and explaining the difficulties Bryn faced from being in the pack.

While reading this book, I did not want to put it down for anything, but my sister kept interrupting me in the most intense scenes. This is definitely a book to read in one sitting. The plot is constantly moving forward until the conclusion of the story, leaving you wanting more after every event. This book also had some great action scenes in them that made it impossible to want to put down. The end of the book left me wanting more! I cannot wait to find out what happens next in Bryn’s life, especially after what happened when Bryn took on the Rabid. Jennifer Lynn Barnes left the book at a perfect place for a sequel to pick up.

While the plot was excellent and constantly kept me on the edge of my seat up until the end, what did bother me a little bit was that some of the characters felt under developed. While the relationship between Bryn and Callum, the Alpha of her Pack, felt genuine, some of Bryn’s other relationship did not feel as well developed. I felt that Bryn and Callum had a well developed relationship; Callum was a well developed character, who as Alpha, had taken Bryn in and fulfilled the role as father. Callum really cared for Bryn, and took care with her safety. On the other hand, I felt that Bryn’s relationships with other characters, particularly Ali, felt a little forced and undeveloped. Ali is supposed to fulfill the role of “mother” for Bryn, but their interactions were often brief and little was said or described to get the real feeling of love between the two, instead it felt a bit forced in my opinion. Some of the characters could have used a little more development in order to fully understand them and to make their actions, particularly their actions at the end, a little more believable. 

Overall, Raised by Wolves was a great read. I loved every minute of it. In a genre currently filled with all sort of paranormal books, Raised by Wolves really stand out in the crowd. It is a fresh new take on werewolves just when I thought I was getting bored with them. Raised by Wolves is a must read for anyone who likes paranormal YA. 

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