Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Wolves of Black Pine by SJ Himes

Wolves of Black Pine (The Wolfkin Saga #1) by SJ Himes
Novel: 598pgs

4.5 Pants Off

Blurb: An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war. 

Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes. Among the dead is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans, but he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.

Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, Kane is charged with hunting down the traitors who betrayed their kind to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.

Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining, though the reunion does not come without cost... 

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What a ride this was, a magical wolfy ride of epic proportions. I can say with honesty I’ve never read a gay shifter book where the characters are so woven into the world building. It wasn’t just about, you’re my mate and I claim you its a world of magic, politics, friendship, and family. I went in with a slight trepidation thinking it would take me at least a week to read or I might DNF at some point. Oh ever did I play myself!! I devoured this in a little over a day. Wolves of Black Pine gripped me by the pants and didn’t let go. 

Shamans, Alphas, Betas, lesser Alphas, all with some kind of strong gift is what this shifter world is made of. Little Luca was meant to be a great shaman, because his grandfather said so and he was to teach him ways of a wolf so revered and honoured by its people. Until a traitor among their midst snuffed his light and his family. Now he’s lost his grandfather and the security of the pack. He now has to navigate a world he doesn’t know in the body of a wolf that came too early. 

Kane has spent the last 15yrs searching for a traitor within their midst and looking for the humans responsible for the death of his pack-mates and of his little Luca. A light so bright gone so quick, but deep in hearts of hearts Kane feels like Luca isn’t gone. Even though 15yrs have passed but the hope in heart has never faded. Now wolves are going missing, turning up dead, and it’s all connecting to that heartbreaking day. Someone’s hunting wolves and Kane is hunting them.

I’m not gonna get too deep into the meat of it, but let’s say Kane’s feelings were spot on and little Luca ain’t so dead and ain’t so Luca anymore. Things happen, people change, and love comes a knocking. With all that they still have to catch some killers. 

Things I liked: The world building is A+ it totally had me captivated. Its not just a backdrop to a love story but intimately woven into the story telling. 

Love all the Alpha dynamics and hierarchy. It leads to salty feeling individuals. 

I loved the relationships, pretty much all the characters (except the assholes I didn’t like them). 

Things I didnt like: The coming together of Ghost (aka Luca) and Kane. It just didn’t sit well with me. It was too easy, too freaking perfect their coming together. I can understand Kane’s joy of finally having Luca home but their progression to an actual relationship was too soon. 

Which leads me to my other thing. Ghost took to everything like fish in water. Too easy peasy beautiful cover girl for my liking. All of it made the book a good read instead of a great one.

The fact that it is so damn long. While its entertaining, it needed a tightness because after awhile I felt like I was coming down from a sugar rush. I felt like it needed to be a lot cleaner. Every bad thing that happened felt too formulated. I wanted to be surprised and I never was. Ever!!

Regardless, I very much enjoyed reading Wolves of Black Pine. The author is solid at storytelling and created a wonderful shifter world. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel but I’m in no hurry. 

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