by Maria Vale
Read: 17th – 21st December 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (Sourcebooks Cassablanca) after making a request via Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is 6th February 2018.
Thanks for the advance copy.
So what’s this book about?
The Last Wolf is the fantastic début novel from Maria Vale that will kick off her new series The Legend of all Wolves. Our story is set in the modern world – the Adirondack Mountains of Northern America to be precise – and features the werewolf pack that live there, hidden from view. I feel that The Last Wolf is closer to the urban fantasy genre than a classic paranormal romance due to its grittiness and some of the content within its pages.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild. Silver Nilsdottir is a lone runt with a crippled leg, facing a life of endless submission in the Pack.
Then Tiberius Leveraux stumbles wounded into their territory with a plea for protection. If Silver is to make a real place for herself, she must fight for Tiberius—her only chance at ever having a mate. And in the end, she is forced to shield all of them—the Pack, the land, and the man she loves—from ancient enemies.
So, what did I like about it?
As a début author, I was very impressed with Ms Vale’s writing style; it felt graceful, full bodied and very easy to read. I thought that the story itself was intelligent and felt well researched and I enjoyed her prose; the way she weaves known wolf behaviours, Norse mythology and archaic languages into her tale is inspiring. The Last Wolf is an unexpected find.
I liked the way that Ms Vale used a prologue to give us a glimpse of the history of her werewolves, the world that they came from and the fundamental difference between werewolves and shapeshifters, before taking us to modern day America where The Great North pack lives.
The Last Wolf is unlike any book I’ve read before; it is told from first person point of view by our main female lead, Quicksilver Nilsdottir, who is a werewolf but because she was born a runt and has a crippled leg, she is destined to be a nidling – a bond servant to the Alpha pair. Those of you who have read my reviews before will know that I enjoy a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resilient and independent, i.e. able to stand on her own two feet, I wasn’t disappointed here; Silver (Sil) was all of these and more, despite her social position in her pack, she’s got gumption; a cool wit, loyalty, a big heart and has spirit.
I enjoyed the way that this werewolf story is told; beings that are born wolf cubs and have to learn how to wear a human “skin” and fit in with the human world rather than humans who have an animal beast within themselves, or animal spirit, a voice/presence in their head and a second being that they morph into that they resist and/or fight.
I was so involved in the story, that emotions came easily while reading it; I was on the edge of my seat during the fight scenes, full of horrified indignation at the blatant injustices, shed a few tears at the sad scenes, had a smile on my face with the subtle humour and a lump in my throat at the more romantic scenes. There are explicit sex scenes in this story but the way Ms Vale writes them, lending us the insights into the principles of wolf pack behaviour, Silver’s heart and the growth of Tiberius and Silver’s trust and feelings for each other, made it all the more heart-warming to read.
I enjoyed the twists and turns that Ms Vale sprinkled throughout her tale and liked the fact I wasn’t ever really sure how, or if, she would resolve things. I couldn’t help turning the page to find out to find out what would happen next. As a first in series, I was bracing myself for the inevitable cliffhanger, but I am happy to confirm that there is no life or death situation type cliffhanger at the end of this book. Woop!Woop! (‘cause you all know how I feel a about cliffhangers) and I’m looking forward to finding out where Ms Vale takes us in book 2.
…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
No. I wouldn’t change a thing; even the more unpalatable, harsh aspects of this story that are harder to read, played an important role to the overall appreciation.
…So, basically what I’m saying is…
I really loved this book. The Last Wolf has everything that I look for in a 5 star book; adventure, a bit of mystery, some action, great characters, a little humour and even a sprinkling of romance.
Due to the sexual content and violence, I’d rate this story 18+, which means I’d recommend this book to adults who are fans of paranormal fantasy stories featuring relationship drama – both family and romantic – with some darker themes. I posted an excerpt from The Last Wolf on my blog on 22nd December 2017, click here to read it yourself.
So, has my review of THE LAST WOLF encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See THE LAST WOLF on Goodreads.com
The expected publication date is 6th February 2018 but you can pre-order THE LAST WOLF through the usual sources, including Amazon.co.uk or through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Google Books or iBooks