Series: Wereworld #1
Copy obtained: review copy from publisher
Release date: Jan 6th 2011
Challenges: BBC 2011, DAC 2011
"You are the last of the werewolves. Don't fight it, son; embrace it. Conquer in."
When the air is clear, sixteen-year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a vicious beast invades his home, his flesh tears, his fingers become claws and Drew transforms . . .
Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Duke Bergan's men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy.
Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him - and master the animal within?
I must confess that I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy this book. I thought it sounded good, and that I'd likely consider it a decent read, just maybe not for me. Turned out, I loved it! I'm a huge urban fantasy fan, but rarely a fantasy one. But Drew had me won over in a very short space of time.
Drew is a strong character, but events early in the book take a tole on his confidence and leave him seeming more vulnerable and a little younger than he actually is. Yet despite this, he proves himself over and over to be tough, capable and loyal. I loved watching him grow and change as the book went on and see him really find his feet again. There is a very good supporting cast of characters as well, be they the good guys or bad, they all have their specific characteristics that really jump off the page at you.
There is some impressive world building here as well. It's a vivid story, one that has as much horror to it as fantasy, with plenty of action. And pretty much every scene jumps off the page at you. I could see almost the whole story playing out like a movie in my head as I was reading it, right down to camera angles some times! Very unusual for me to see a book played out so clearly, normally characters are my focus, but the scene was just as easy to picture. I love the set up with the various were creatures and all the mythology involved with it. It's a book rich in description of events past and present but never at the cost of the pacing of the book. I found it very hard to put down and just kept turning the pages because I had to find out what happened next.
The first half of he book has a steady pace, not slow by any means as plenty happens, but it does take a real up turn at the halfway point where the tension and danger increases rapidly. And so does the horror aspect I have to say! It's not excessivly graphic but it still gives enough to cause some chills. Not that that's a bad thing. I really enjoyed the dark gritty nature to Rise of the Wolf. Despite the painful events Drew, and the others he meets along his journey face, there is a definite lack of angst. Plenty of emotion to make the characters seem real but never over done either. Which makes it all the more of a pleasure to read!
This is a fantastic start to a new series! It's written in third person and for once that's something I loved. Rise of the Wolf is such a well rounded story, both in plot and with the characters. I loved the world building and could happily have stayed lost in Drew's world for much longer! It's got an actioned packed and intense ending, and despite it not having a true cliff hanger, I was left wishing book 2 was out already. Great read and one I highly recommend!!
Also, go check out the blogs taking part in the 'Were-Creation' for this tour, it starts over at Wondrous Reads.