Amanda's Reviews > Shara

Shara by Steven E. Wedel
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Mar 14, 11

Read in October, 2007

The back of the book gives a detailed plot summary that is so specific you go into the book already knowing the outcome. Having read the book, I would add that if I hadn't already known the outcome, I might not have finished it. Shara's life is one traumatic experience after another up to and after she accepts "the Gift" of becoming a werewolf.

Page one opens where the last chapter ends, so even if you skip the book summary at the back of the book, you know what's going to happen before you read the story.

The setting takes place over the course of Shara's life from age 16 through adulthood, beginning with Shara's senior prom and following her through two marriages. The book is well written and fast-paced enough to keep the pages turning, but I found some of the character motivations a bit unbelievable (i.e. Shara's mother urging her to let her boyfriend sample the milk to keep him happy), but even more unrealistic was Shara's expectation that her first husband would still accept the litter of wolf pups born of a fling with a wolf because they are "half hers". You would think after all she has been through up to that point, she would not be so naive.

I found the setting shifts a bit jarring. After the conclusion of Shara's senior prom, she is suddenly in college, and so forth. I realize the author did this in order to fast-forward the story along, but skipping long chunks of Shara's life in between each subsequent "traumatic experience" she suffers made her hard to empathize with. The reader only gets to see Shara in various stages of emotional distress, which doesn't make her a very well-rounded character. I found myself unsympathetic to her near the end, and at times even unlikable, such as when she re-visits her parents house and murders her mother's small dog for apparently no reason other than to scare them by proving that she is "a werewolf". Her casual acceptable of her second husband's gruesome (and apparently remorseless) tale about a brutal act committed in his past were hard to swallow. I would think a woman who suffered as much as Shara has would have at the very least questioned this story, but instead she blithely accepts is as proof that they have both experienced the hunter's instinct.

As a fan of werewolf novels, I think this is better than many I've read. However, the one-dimensional view of Shara as a "victim" prevents it from being a must-read. When all is said and done, you don't walk away from the book truly caring about the characters, which is what makes a book great.
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