REVIEW: September Release – Strength of the Wolf by Jorrie Spencer
Dear Ms. Spencer:
I’ve come to the conclusion that you are a careful, thoughtful author. This book may not be for everyone because it is a quiet book, but it contains detailed characters who are both flawed with a compelling and a fresh new look at the werewolf mythology.
This book was unusual, from the recreation of the myth of werewolf to the characters that inhabited the pages. This is a quiet, different type of paranormal and while it may be that I just have Seidel on my mind given the past blog discussion about her style and work, I find that there are some comparisons to be drawn. The body of the work is understated, allowing the characters to drive the plot, rather than physical compulsions and mental lustings.
Veronica is a werewolf who has no memory of her past. All she knows is that she can shift and that she is in some kind of danger because she’s fearful. Her life as a werewolf has not been easy and she has succumbed to stealing food and clothing from campers and other occupants near the forest. One day, however, her paw gets stuck in a trap and she feels that it might be over for her.
David comes across the wolf and takes her home to his sister, a veterinarian. Veronica heals up and quickly becomes attached to David who she finds to be safe and kind. Of course, David and his sister, believing Veronica to be a wolf, release her back into the wild. Veronica determines that she will find David again and so she sets out to find him and encounters him and his nephew canoeing amongst the waters.
David takes Veronica home with him, not knowing she is a wolf, but recognizing an attraction between them and unable to resist the need to help her. She has no money, no memory of her past, no connections. It is easy to see that David’s family might find her a grasping opportunist.
The story has an underlying suspense thread but it is primarily focused on David and Veronica’s love story. What was clear to me was that David was a man worth loving. He was tender and strong, protective yet understandably jealous, a bit put upon by his sister and mother who love him dearly. Veronica was less of a full bodied character and much of that may be due to her lack of memory. She is honest and direct and her time spent in her werewolf state seemed very natural and authentic.
If the story is lacking, it is in growth of character. For the most part, David and Veronica’s characters are static throughout the story without much development. The villians aren’t so carefully nuanced as David and his family members and much of the drama is externally driven. David's easy acceptance of the werewolf mythology and his lack of fear seems at odds with his practical nature.
Yet, David and Veronica were touching characters and their tender romance was an easy read. B-
This book can be purchased at Samhain.