Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
He’s in a cage, I reminded myself, but the words meant nothing to me, because I just couldn’t stop staring into his wild eyes and playing the last words he’d said before he Shifted, over and over again.
I got bit.
I got bit.
I got bit.
At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. She was rescued and taken in by the mysterious Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn’s been a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule. But the pack’s been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum’s orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, it’s Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.
When I first received this book and looked at the cover I judged it instantly. It looked like any other teen paranormal romance – along the lines of Twilight (which if you have read any of my previous reviews you will know that I am not a fan!). They say you should never judge a book by its cover but let’s face it, that is what draws you to it in the first place.
However, when I started reading it, within the first few pages I realised I had judged it far too quickly. The quality of the writing is on a whole other level to Stephanie Meyer’s. Jennifer Lynn Barnes has managed to create a vivid and compelling world that does not so much focus on the love between two young people, but rather the love between family and friends. Bryn is not a werewolf, she is a human that has been raised by wolves and therefore is taught to obey the pack’s rules and it’s alpha male, Callum. The bond between the pack members is so intriguing to watch and feel through Barnes vivid descriptions throughout. I really felt like I understood this way of life. There are so many obligations, rules, and duties to fulfill within the pack but at the same time so much love for one another that it truly felt like a family.
Of course the novel’s main focus is on the relationship between Bryn and the newly-turned werewolf Chase. It was really refreshing to see how Barnes didn’t fill her narrative with some sappy love story. It is more about the bond than their love for one another. They have been through the same thing, they are almost the same being. There is so much more to the story than their relationship however, and Barnes does not choose to dwindle on them nearly half as much as you would expect.
There is a whole host of excellent characters throughout that help give the story its quick pace and excitement, drawing you into their world. I particularly like the numerous strong, independent female characters – Bryn, Ali and Lake. They prove that the wolf pack is not just a male-dominated world, and it is refreshing to see.
Overall I would say that I feel the book cover does not do it justice – although quite beautifully done, it doesn’t quite show what the story is really about for me – the bonds between a pack of wolves. It is not just another teen paranormal romance. It is much much more and no one should disregard it. Barnes is a talented writer and could definitely show the likes of Stephanie Meyer a thing or two if you ask me!
The sequel Trial by Fire is published on 26th May 2011.