Faewolf by D. M. Atkins & Chris Taylor
Although there are some very interesting aspects to this book, it drags and contains some uncomfortable scenes that add little to nothing to the story. The warning contains caution against some scenes of rough sex and dubious consent but there should also be a warning about sex in shifter state – wolf on human – as the scene is rather graphic and intense. Very few things squick me out but this scene did and in combination to what is a rather wordy, somewhat boring book – overall the story just didn’t work for me despite the few interesting concepts.
Brian is a faewolf, which is a wolf that can take on human shape to disguise himself among humans. Brian has left his pack to try and discover a way to help prolong the species as fewer numbers are born and survive each year. While at graduate school, Brian meets new student Kiya White Cloud, a Native American student. The attraction is instantaneous for both men but Kiya’s persistent ex-boyfriend and the rules of the university prevent the two from acting on their feelings at the start. Soon though, neither man can hide his desire and the results are passionate.
Although the story opens with an extended prologue about the hazards of being a lone wolf and the noble path Brian has taken to try and save the species, this theme is completely ignored in the story. Other than the prologue and one mention later in the book, the reason that Brian is studying at the university, supposedly to save his species, is completely ignored and never mentioned. The focus is then on the sexual chemistry between Kiya and Brian, Kiya’s possessive ex-boyfriend Ted, and possible dangers to Brian since he’s a wolf. This is disappointing since the beginning of the book sets up Brian’s reasons for being alone yet ultimately this is an extended scene meant to dump information about Brian’s background instead of actually contributing to the story.
The plot spends about 100 pages (out of 230 pgs) with Kiya and Brian dancing around each other sexually while nothing much happens in the book. Kiya has a possessive ex-boyfriend that won’t go away but Kiya is too busy pursuing Brian and others to worry too much about Ted. Once Brian and Kiya have sex, the next 120 pages or so is filled with sex scenes and one action scene that endangers both men. However, nothing is resolved by the end of the book. The problems with Ted are still outstanding, just as how the hunters knew to find Brian is a mystery, and even the numerous references to Kiya’s family and Brian’s research are left hanging. This book feels almost like part one of a series but is very loose and meandering. The prose is often wordy and takes much longer to describe a scene and actions than necessary, thus the narrative becomes slightly boring.
Additionally the point of view hops from Brian to Kiya every other paragraph so much that I got sick of trying to figure out which head I was in at any particular moment. The scene breaks make very little sense since sometimes the scene break would be only a few minutes ahead or sometimes weeks. There was no discernable rhythm of the writing and the story to make it easier to read and engage. Of which all of this is confounded by the rather weak characterization. Neither Brian nor Kiya is well developed and Kiya especially is very contradictory. He is supposed to be a very intelligent, yet vain young man and that is depicted often enough but then there are numerous scenes of Kiya being upset and sucking his thumb, which kept portraying him as much younger emotionally and physically than the story was trying to achieve. This is very dubious given the incredible ease that Kiya accepts Brian’s wolf nature, so much so that Kiya asks Brian to shift to a wolf during sex.
This of course leads to mentioning the shifter sex scene where Brian as a wolf is forced to penetrate Kiya, after licking Kiya’s ass clean of previous cum. This in and of itself is not usually bothersome but both men are forced to do so by others standing around and videotaping the scene. Eventually Brian and Kiya escape through sudden (out of the blue) magical help. The dialogue and set up of the pseudo-rape just paints a very uncomfortable scene that adds nothing to the characters, the story, or the overall book. This isn’t rape per se since Kiya wanted the sex but neither man had a real choice as they were forced by their captors. This scene felt as though the story was attempting to push boundaries, but in a wrong, unsuccessful way. Very little squicks me out (other than nun chuck rape) but this scene threw me and on top of a book that was boring, it never recovered.
As always this is just my opinion and Faewolf has certainly garnered some positive feedback from sites. Most have said that the book entertained them, yet I found it verbose and the most interesting ideas (such as Brian’s research about Faewolves or Native American ties to magic) to be ignored. Just my opinion and feel free to see for yourselves.
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