Dan Schwent 's Reviews > The Wolf Gift

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
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Feb 24, 12

bookshelves: horror, 2012, great-if-it-didn-t-suck
Read from February 21 to 23, 2012

A young reporter narrowly escapes being mauled by a man wolf and soon finds himself changing into a man wolf by the light of the moon. He begins taking the law into his own hands and soon has a horde of police and scientists looking for him, as well as others of his kind...

Ever run into an old flame and try to rekindle the spark? For years, I was a devout Anne Rice fan, wolfing down the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches books with reckless abandon. After a few years of that, I started seeing changes in our relationship. After a few disappointing books like Blackwood Farm, Anne and I parted ways. Late last year, Anne's path crossed with mine once again when I learned of the Wolf Gift. Could we recapture the old magic?

NO! And here's what went down.

I really wanted to like this book but there are many reasons why I didn't. First off, I didn't care about the main character at all. His name is Reuben, he's 23, and he drives a Porsche. While I'm sure there are likeable 23 year old Porsche drivers, Reuben is not one of them. He's a really bland character with no real traits other than inexplicably having sex with women who aren't his girlfriend and talking like a 45 year old philosophy major.

The rest of the characters are similarly thin. I know I'm supposed to think it's interesting that Reuben's brother is a priest or his mother is a doctor but they are pretty much definied by their jobs. The other man wolves are pretty interchangeable as characters.

The writing isn't very good either. It's clunky and chock full of infodumps. Maybe I'm looking back at Anne Rice's previous work through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia but I can't remember her earlier work being this badly written.

All that being said, I did find some things of value in The Wolf's Gift. I actually like the mythology she's created for her werewolves, the Chrism and so forth, as well as the origin of the species. I also like that Reuben was accepting of the change and started acting like a werewolf version of Batman. The rest of the book just didn't do it for me. It was obviously meant to the be the first book in a series and the climax of the story occurs way before the end.

Sorry Anne, maybe we'll try again in another ten years. 2 stars.
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message 96: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent There's a good chance Anne Rice and I WON'T be rekindling our old relationship after this.


message 95: by [deleted user] (new)

Good. Then I won't have to hear about it.


message 94: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Dodged that bullet


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways It was obviously meant to the be the first book in a series and the climax of the story occurs way before the end.

That's never good. Never.


message 92: by Judith (new)

Judith I, too, had a serious fling with Annie..back in the day (I still have my original PB of Interview With the Vampire from 1977)...but tired of her after the Mayfair Witches series. Not to say i won't sniff out this one....just not right now...


message 91: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Richard wrote: "It was obviously meant to the be the first book in a series and the climax of the story occurs way before the end.

That's never good. Never."


There's about 50-60 pages of talking after the climax.


message 90: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Judith wrote: "I, too, had a serious fling with Annie..back in the day (I still have my original PB of Interview With the Vampire from 1977)...but tired of her after the Mayfair Witches series. No..."

Everything went downhill after the Maybair Witches for me.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways *gurgles*

No, not good At All!


message 88: by Rick (new)

Rick Fisher She lost me with the Mayfair Witch series. I will always sing her praise due to "Interwiew With A Vampire", which I feel is the epitome of it's genre. I held on throught some ugly final books in the series, like "Memnoch the Devil".
I was wondering if she would be able to recapture the glory days with "The Wolf Gift". Guess I have my answer.


message 87: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Rick wrote: "She lost me with the Mayfair Witch series. I will always sing her praise due to "Interwiew With A Vampire", which I feel is the epitome of it's genre. I held on throught some ugly final books in ..."

Interview was great. I'd say Wolf Gift is as good as some of the later weaker vampire books.


message 86: by Melki (new)

Melki But Anne says you're the father of her baby!


message 85: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Melki wrote: "But Anne says you're the father of her baby!"

She said she was on the pill, or at least that's what I thought she said.


message 84: by Rick (new)

Rick Fisher The only thing she told me was I was a hard pill to swallow.


message 83: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Rick wrote: "The only thing she told me was I was a hard pill to swallow."

Heh


message 82: by Sesana (new)

Sesana Maybe I'm fickle, but she lost me with The Tale of the Body Thief.


message 81: by Rick (new)

Rick Fisher Oddly enough, "The Tale of the Body Thief" just got optioned for the big screen. I was somewhat surprised by this because Im not sure how well it will do. I think someone should redo Interview and follow up with "The Vampire Lestat", since the original with Cruise and Pitt sucked and "Queen of the Damned" was a joke.


message 80: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Rick wrote: "Oddly enough, "The Tale of the Body Thief" just got optioned for the big screen. I was somewhat surprised by this because Im not sure how well it will do. I think someone should redo Interview an..."

I think a Vampire Chronicles series on HBO would be the way to go.


message 79: by Traci (new)

Traci I was surprised to see her put this out, what with all her "I'm done with vampires/supernaturals" talk a few years back. It was all Christian stuff, all the time. Wasn't crazy about the idea of those books, and truthfully, I don't believe any of my library patrons enjoyed them. I never did make it past "Tale of the Body Thief" in her vampire series. The one book I really did love, she never revisted.... her mummy one. Sigh.


message 78: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Traci wrote: "I was surprised to see her put this out, what with all her "I'm done with vampires/supernaturals" talk a few years back. It was all Christian stuff, all the time. Wasn't crazy about the idea of tho..."

I forgot about The Mummy. That one was pretty good.


message 77: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Well, I think I'll go ahead and knock that off the "to read" list. I was intrigued by her return to the supernatural, but it may be best just to severe the ties completely and fondly recall the good old days.


message 76: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Amanda wrote: "Well, I think I'll go ahead and knock that off the "to read" list. I was intrigued by her return to the supernatural, but it may be best just to severe the ties completely and fondly recall the go..."

There were quite a few times during The Wolf Gift where I caught myself thinking "This would be better with vampires. And if it didn't suck."


message 75: by Amanda (last edited Feb 23, 2012 06:13PM) (new)

Amanda Dan wrote: "Amanda wrote: "There were quite a few times during The Wolf Gift where I caught myself thinking "This would be better with vampires. And if it didn't suck.""

I do prefer that my authors go light on the suckage.


message 74: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Slaton Well that just flat-out SUCKS! Not the review :) ... I have always been a HUGE Rice fan. I have some fantastic signed first editions and a gold rimmed and numbered and certified interview with the vampire *grin* .. Of course *sigh* They are sittig on a bookshelf and have been unread for over a decade. Pity.

Blackwood Farm is when things began to go downhill for me as well. Total bummer ..

I saw the cover for this book on your review and thought WOO HOO .. A Rice book I have yet to read! I was excited and then dundundun .. I read your review.

What a damned shame. :(

Nonetheless ... I will have to give the woman some money and purchase the book... If not to read to at the very least add it to her collection on my bookshelf.

I'll check it out soon and see if our opinions are similar.


message 73: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Tilly wrote: "Well that just flat-out SUCKS! Not the review :) ... I have always been a HUGE Rice fan. I have some fantastic signed first editions and a gold rimmed and numbered and certified interview with th..."

If you're giving her more money, I hope you like it better than I did.


message 72: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Slaton There are four authors that I will ALWAYS give money to:

Stephen King
Clive Barker
Anne Rice
Dean Koontz

I owe King for getting me through the 6th grade *grin* and the others for helping me discover my passion for reading.

And for that alone .. I'll buy every book they publish .. even if they down right suck.

And yes .. I wholeheartedly hope that I enjoy it. :)


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways A Public Service Announcement for Rice Fans: Inside Google Books has an interview with the undead herself this afternoon 1p Eastern
http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2012/0...


message 70: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Slaton Rock on thanks for the tip


Katie I cant believe u finished it already!I guess I'm pacing myself till another Murakami comes in the mail. I don't think it's that bad so far (about half way point), but I just get the sense that something is missing from her former glory days with the vampire chronicles.Maybe total commitment. Seems like she used to throw herself in and immerse herself in the vampire chronicles. Now she seems a little distant. Idk.


message 68: by Randy (last edited Feb 25, 2012 06:20PM) (new)

Randy I loved INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, barely made it through the next one, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED I think(it's hard to remember that far back), and stumbled badly on whatever was the third in the series. Never felt the need to try another of her books.


message 67: by mark (new)

mark monday my relationship with Anne is also kaput. i feel like she really fucked me over and i am actually still harboring a lot of resentment and anger. probably some therapy is in order. but we are way past the point of couples counseling.


message 66: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent mark wrote: "my relationship with Anne is also kaput. i feel like she really fucked me over and i am actually still harboring a lot of resentment and anger. probably some therapy is in order. but we are way pas..."

It sounds like you're blaming yourself for the failure of your relationship with Anne Rice. I'd put the blame directly on her!


message 65: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Morgan I gave it 4 stars...solely based on her take of werewolf mythology. I'm so happy to read that others felt she "overwrite" with the climax and infodumps! I thought chunks of it were muddled. Jim as a priest...ok, I guess that's supposed to display some sort of crisis or something? but I wasn't sympathetic. his mother annoyed me and his dad...what the hell? guess I just got lost? and why the hell did the groundskeeper just except this "illegitimate Felix son who looks just like him"? reuban & marchent getting it on? I guess I missed their chemistry? and... the girlfriend, Laurie, Laura, whatever...okay, she went to college, I'd thought for something "woodsy" like her father, but she somehow understands all this biology stuff & can explain it? and, ok...I get it...a mysterious stranger shows up on my doorstep...intriging...but he's half wolf looking and dancing around in the woods in the middle of the night? where I come from, that's a 911 lunatic on premises...
I really wanted to like this book, and parts of it I did...but anyone wanting to read this and they think their getting Interview with a werewolf will be sorely mistaken...


*my apologies for any typos & odd words...written o. my cellphone...


message 64: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent The werewolf mythology was the best part. I can't remember if I said it in an earlier comment or just imagined it but I thought this one was as good as some of the lesser vampire books like Merrick.


Katie I miss books of hers like Blood and Gold. That was my favorite. I read that one every couple years. Now, the writing is still beautiful, but the characters and stories just seem flat.


message 62: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Katie wrote: "I miss books of hers like Blood and Gold. That was my favorite. I read that one every couple years. Now, the writing is still beautiful, but the characters and stories just seem flat."

I think she's just going through the motions now.


Katie Dan wrote: "Katie wrote: "I miss books of hers like Blood and Gold. That was my favorite. I read that one every couple years. Now, the writing is still beautiful, but the characters and stories just seem flat...."

It does seem so. I wonder why she keeps going?


message 60: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Maybe she's out of touch with her readers. I think she's big enough now that no one will dare suggest she edit anything.


Katie I think she'd be able to tell though by the sales and readers comments. Her people might not tell her anything, but the fans don't hold back much. At least they shouldn't. The thing that kept me interested in this book even to the halfway point (which is about where I left it) wasn't even the wolf, it was the house. Her writing about the house was beautiful, but she couldn't capture the same depth with the rest of the story or the people. It's odd. She made me care more for a house than any person...


message 58: by Sesana (new)

Sesana Katie, this is the lady that responded to a negative review on Amazon by saying that they were interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. Unless she's had a bit of a wake up call since, she doesn't accept criticism very well.


Katie Lol. Well that actually sucks for her because she could use it write better books. She could easily be on top again if she chose. Her writing is still beautiful. It just doesn't seem like she cares much about her own characters, so how are we supposed to ya know?


message 56: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent Sesana wrote: "Katie, this is the lady that responded to a negative review on Amazon by saying that they were interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. Unless she's had a bit of a wake up call since, she..."

Didn't hear about that. Maybe I'll post my review on Amazon and see if she says anything about my perspective.


message 55: by Sesana (new)

Sesana This was years ago, I think when the last (or second to last?) Vampire Chronicles book came out. Google "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective" and you'll probably find more than you could ever want to know.


message 54: by Shelley (new) - added it

Shelley Taylor Dan thanks for your thoughts on the book. Anne Rice’s books were the first books I ever read giving me the lifelong enjoyment of reading. And I like you was excited when I say that she had a new book out and THE WITCHING HOUR is still my favorite book of all time. But after watching her talk about the book I had second thoughts on if I would like it. I guess we all change and for us Ms. Rice change was not to our liking, But now I know I will not be reading The Wolf Gift unless I get free and have nothing else to read again thanks for the info.


VegasGal Someone else with the same issues as me, glad I'm not the only one. I loved Anne Rice and was glad that this book didn't "scare" me off in the first few pages, which most of her books besides the vampire and witches ones have been doing for me. But alas, it fell short, especially when it got sort of religious preachy, ugh.


message 52: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent The sad thing is that Wolf Gift seemed like it had a lot of potential in the first couple chapters.


truthandvirtue I had only read her Vampire Chronicles, but I too was hoping I could rekindle that friendship. But like you, I was sorely disappointed with her current writing style. No more Anne Rice books for me!


message 50: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent truthandvirtue wrote: "I had only read her Vampire Chronicles, but I too was hoping I could rekindle that friendship. But like you, I was sorely disappointed with her current writing style. No more Anne Rice books for me!"

It makes me sad how far she's fallen. I read the first four or five Vampire Chronicles three or four times back in the day.


Katie You know,the writing is still beautiful. And the story didn't catch for me in many ways, but just because of the body of awesome work she has I still think if she wrote another book I'd read it. I mean how many musicians have you known that wrote a really bad song, or whole album for that matter, but that doesn't mean they couldn't or didn't write anything good again right? On almost every album there is a song you skip, I'm just putting this in that category.


message 48: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan Schwent That's an interesting way of looking at it.


Justin Totally agree about the climax. Did we really need 50 pages of backstory AFTER the end of the book? I didn't. Also, maybe it's because I'm a genre nut, but there was really nothing new or original about the actual transformation process, writing wise. With a heavy heart, I have to agree with your review.


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