Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ATWT)

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (June 8, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1606840592
ISBN-13: 978-1606840597

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?


After hearing an ominous knock from the door, everything seems to fast-forward for four year-old Bronwyn who gets saved by a pack of werewolves after seeing her parents brutally murdered by a Rabid. Under the protection of the pack Alpha Callum, Bryn is theirs as much as the pack is hers. Growing up with the Stone River Pack means acquiring the pack mentality of when to submit to dominance, the Mark (three cuts on your waist) and the pack-bond (mind connection between all the pack members). When Bryn starts to notice the over-protective, cautious ways some pack members are being, she decides to investigate and what she stumbles upon breaks open a whole web of secrets that unravel with the presence of a new pack member. A boy named Chase.

Tough-as-nails Bryn makes a deal with her Alpha Callum to get to have supervised visitations with Chase because of mystery she's desperate to solve about her parents murderer. Is the Rabid really dead? Or is he continuing his tortuous ways and killing others?

Associated with the dominance and protectiveness over their few females, the Stone River Pack runs on a system of need-to-know. Being raised in such an environment, Bryn had to learn their rules and the power of the Alpha's law. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did a great job of creating this unique world ruled by werewolves and bringing in Bryn's past from the very beginning as a thoughtful tragedy and giving it depth throughout the entire novel. The characters in Raised by Wolves each have their own attributes that make them endearing and genuine. Halfway through I found the climax to be a bit dramatic but only to be added to the hype that made up the ending. Bryn was a strong-willed character with a mind of her own; not falling under the pressure of the constant compulsion that the dominance dictated unless she willing chose to do so. Barnes made almost every little detail connect to something bigger as the mystery of the Rabid unwound itself. The connection that Bryn shares with Chase is thoroughly analyzed in the second half, but I would like to have seen what connects them personally. Nonetheless, being such a thrilling, kick-ass novel, I would highly recommend it to all who like to see the heroin triumph.

Grade: A-