Adele's Reviews > Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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's review
Feb 08, 10

really liked it
Read from January 22 to February 08, 2010

Paranormal is a genre within YA that is swiftly getting played out with vapid romantic triangles, uninteresting protagonists and cliched depictions of fantastical beasts. It was with initial trepidation and then ecstatic relief that I read Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised By Wolves. Bryn is a complex character in her evolution. She starts out being one of only two humans in a werewolf pack, resenting every minute of it, and ends up somewhere completely different.

Deeply resentful of the restrictions placed upon her by her werewolf guardian, Callum, Bryn chafes at the bonds that tie her. She's the exception in her family in that she's normal. With the arrival of Chase onto the scene, a whole series of events start occurring like dominoes falling upon one another. While there is a mystical side to this novel's proceedings, I found the exploration of group mentality within the werewolves to be really intriguing. While it interested me and Barnes did a fantastic job at keeping the ideas coherent, it gets rather convoluted by the end. That being said, I enjoyed it regardless. The exploration of leadership, power struggles, incantations of love are all deftly woven into this story which ultimately tells the tale of a father (albeit adopted) and his daughter. It's the social and psychological aspects that pull you in.

The middle section of the book does tend to lose steam, mainly due to the core characters being removed from Bryn's sphere (which is actually the point). The reader will meet an intriguing character at this juncture to whom I would have liked to have learnt more about. To be less vague....Annie Oakley crossed with a werewolf (bliss). The best friend figure is a great one, supportive, strong and a bit of a goofball. The love interest is molded a traditionally, some more development about why he loves Bryn would have been nice. The chemistry and pull between them is constructed nicely.

The antagonist is one big embodiment of evil, both human and supernatural. He's like a cross between a rabid werewolf and a serial killer...he will give you the heebie jeebies on multiple fronts.

The commentary on democracy, the nature of leadership, the different shapes of disobedience, being true to one's self and instinct as well retaining independence in a group are all ably depicted. While I am not terribly sure I bought into all the paranormal elements, especially anything mind meldy or precognitive, I did enjoy the story quite a lot.

Barnes has a breezy way of writing this genre that makes it feel like a straight contemporary novel and I have to compliment her on her light touch. Despite it's length, it rushes by with speed and urgency that works with the storyline. Raised by Wolves will go down a treat for those wanting a paranormal read with character depth and evolution. Bryn is a character to whom nothing comes easy and who chooses to fight in many ways throughout the story. She's a protagonist that I really responded to and I fell in some respect this was Barnes' rebuttal to Bella (if I may be so bold).

A rip roaring read.
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