Life's tough enough for Jay Caldwell. Then he discovers he's werewolf, that he's the subject of secret experiments by a ruthless technomantic mage, and that he and all his kind are pawns in a deadly scheme concocted by the werewolves' greatest enemies.
Jay thinks life involves nothing more than the militaristic discipline of the school he attends, but all that changes rather suddenly when he discovers he's a werewolf and that the school harbors more werewolves. Jay runs away from the giant experiment and meets up with some wild werewolves. Although he tries to get accepted into their pack, he is drawn back to the school where he faces down his father in the first of what is sure to be a series of battles.
This book will be vastly more comprehenJay thinks life involves nothing more than the militaristic discipline of the school he attends, but all that changes rather suddenly when he discovers he's a werewolf and that the school harbors more werewolves. Jay runs away from the giant experiment and meets up with some wild werewolves. Although he tries to get accepted into their pack, he is drawn back to the school where he faces down his father in the first of what is sure to be a series of battles.
This book will be vastly more comprehensible if you know anything about the White Wolf roleplaying games. I didn't realize this was one of those derivative books until after I'd bought it and was far enough along to get annoyed at the way none of the terms are explained. To wit: werewolf is about the only thing that makes sense. Apparently werewolves have multiple forms (I vaguely remember seeing an illustration of all the various forms a shapeshifter can take, but that was a while ago, and I don't remember what all of them were called). Don't expect the book to explain any of them to you. And don't expect the book to explain the religion, the enemies, the magic, or basically anything that matters.
I could have read and enjoyed the book despite its other flaws if that had been fixed. Not knowing what was going on most of the time was really annoying. Not knowing what species half the characters were was even more annoying.
The characters were flat and predictable, falling easily into their various stereotypes. There's the arrogant hothead as fiercely loyal as he was earlier disagreeable, the quiet, competent one, the big, strong friend with conflicted loyalties, the tough drillmaster with a heart of gold, etc. I can't really say any of them surprised me. Pretty much as soon as they were introduced I had them all figured out. Add to this the puzzling fact that no one feels more than a passing guilt at killing. Some characters are obviously experienced, so that's no problem, but others like Jay go from being "normal" to really good at killing people without a twinge. I know people aren't expecting a ton of character depth, but come on. And Jay gets used to his shapeshifting way too fast.
Point of view may also be an annoyance factor. By this point, I was reading more for the humor, and the way the book wandered into everyone's point of view became something of an amusement. At least a dozen characters showed up for about half a page before they died.
So if you're not reading this for the characters, the world, or the great storytelling, what are you reading this for? Apparently, about 250 pages (pretty much the entire second half of the book) of people getting ripped to pieces, one after another. Though people get ripped up in the first half, too. Lots of blood, guts, and bits scattered on the ground.
There are sequels to this. In one sense it amuses me. I can probably sketch out the major events of the sequels without even knowing their titles. Why read more of the same? If this had been better fleshed out, it could've opened the White Wolf world to non-players. As it is, the only people who are likely to enjoy it are those already intimately familiar with that universe. Not Recommended....more