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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

Book 35/100: Eye of the Wolf by Marie Zhuikov

Eye of the Wolf - Marie Zhuikov

If you're looking for a book to take you away this summer, consider giving this one a try.

"Eye of the Wolf," while technically a paranormal romance (there is romance, and there are werewolves), it's far from what we've come to expect from the genre. There are a lot of things that make this book different -- the vivid, lush descriptions of the Isle Royale in the 1980s; the believable and nuanced cast of characters; the somewhat claustrophobic feel of being isolated on the island for a summer. But what really makes this story different in the wolves.

Marie Zhuikov's story puts the "wolf" back in "werewolf." Banish any images of half-lupine madmen howling at the moon, and replace them with people just like you and me who, through ancient magic, become psychically joined to the alpha pair of an Isle Royale pack desperate to save themselves at a time when the wolf population is suffering from years of inbreeding on the island. They know their only hope of survival is to reach the mainland, but to do that, they need human help. And to secure that help, they must be able to communicate with the humans. This is where the magic happens.

It's in the scenes with the wolf pack that this book really shines. Zhuikov's book is meticulously researched, and she brings us intimately into the world of the wolves, full of moose hunts, dominance struggles, pungent odors, and family loyalty. If you've ever wondered what it might be like to see the world through the eyes of these majestic and mysterious creatures, this book might get you closer than you'll ever be short of a werewolf bite.

The romance is atypical as well, with a beautiful and bittersweet ending that haunts me in the best way. Luckily, the sequel is out this summer, so you can read the last page knowing the story is not truly over yet.