Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Young Adult/Fantasy
EgmontUSA/June 2010
Library Book

From the author's website ~

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 had heard some buzz about Raised by Wolves, I liked the blurb, the library had it so it was an easy decision to read it. And am I glad I did! It was a wonderful story with a heroine that displayed not only maturity but still maintained that rebellious nature that teenagers are known for. Bryn walks a fine line, having to know when she's gone far enough and not push it with Callum, the pack's alpha.

The story opens with Bryn getting in trouble. It's a boy and grades that have brought her to the attention of Callum, again. He's patient but he's also use to Bryn and her testing his limits. Right off, Callum had shades of Bran from Patty Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. Callum is very old, very wise and very powerful. He spared Bryn's life when her parents were brutally murdered by a rogue werewolf. Not every alpha or werewolf would have spared Bryn's life. They keep the pack very secret, allowing only a few humans to know about the pack. The ones that do are almost always female and mated to the males of the pack. They must cut all ties to their human lives and give their loyalty to the pack.

Bryn knows all of this. She knows she's an oddity among the pack. She also knows that some members of the pack don't want her there and it's only due to Callum's protection that Bryn is left alone. I thought having the werewolves actually born to it made an interesting twist, rather than the more traditional method of being attacked and turned. It was practically unheard of for a werewolf to be attacked and turned. And then the fact that almost all are born male, there are very few females born as werewolves, making the female werewolves that much more treasured.

One of Bryn's few friends is a teenage werewolf. He's also an oddity because both of his parents are werewolves. His name is Devon and I thought he was a great match for Bryn. Not as a mate but as a best friend. You really get the sense that they get each other and it was such a nice change to have a guy and girl be friends. Sure they had complications, he's a werewolf, she's human, but the way their relationship is written, you know they are there for each other.

Another teenage werewolf in Bryn's life is Chase. He's the newest member of the pack and he's another oddity. (Callum seems to collect them.) Chase is having a hard time and Bryn, for reasons she doesn't understand, is drawn to him. Bryn must work hard and earn the right to see Chase. Callum doesn't go easy on her but pushes her to her limit and beyond. At the time, it seemed like Callum was being too harsh on Bryn, pushing her too hard and not taking into account that she was human. In the end, it made sense but getting there, Bryn had to go through some very tough times. There is one point that some readers may think Callum goes too far, treats Bryn more like a werewolf, who are nearly indestructible. But Bryn is human and she is horribly injured. It's not an easy scene to read.

Bryn's need to see Chase, talk to him, starts a chain of events that eventually bring Bryn to where she started, at the attack on her parents. There is a mystery within the story, it's the driving force for Bryn. It's her personal quest to find out what this connection is to Chase that she feels and how it all relates to her past. I loved how Barnes orchestrated the events within the pack and the realistic reactions of the characters. It all coalesced in a surprise ending that left me wanting more.

Rating: A-

Book 2, Trial by Fire, is due out summer of 2011. (Thanks Nath!)


  1. LOL, so is there going to be more?

    Sounds like a great book. Some YA authors brought up this book at RT and I thought I'd give it a try :D Now, after reading your review, I definitively will :)

    Sounds a bit like a mix of the Mercedes Thompson series with something else :P

  2. Nath ~ Oops! Forgot to add info for 2nd book. I'll be sure to do that. :) It's called Trial by Fire and it's due out summer, 2011.

    There is a Mercy Thompson feel to it which I liked. I hope you like it!