I’m pretty late to the e-book party, but now that I’m here, I have to say it’s a pretty awesome party. My first foray into the world of digital books was Prince of Wolves, book one of The Grey Wolves series by Quinn Loftis. I was breaking in my brand-spanking-new iPad over the Christmas break, and was searching for some free books to read while on my way to Seattle.
Now I know you have to take “free” anything with a grain of salt, but even with keeping that in mind I wasn’t very impressed with the quality of free titles available. I wasn’t really interested in recipe books, I’ve read most of the “classics” more times than I can count, and wasn’t really chomping at the bit to delve into any of the 50 Shades of Gray spin-offs either.
I was getting desperate to find something that spoke to my love of the fantasy and paranormal genres, when I stumbled across the description for Prince of Wolves, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually sounded like a worthwhile read. Also surprisingly, the entire book (not just selected chapters) was available through the iTunes store as a free download, so I thought, “What the hell. Let’s try it out.”
I wish I could say that I jumped into the book right then and there, but forces on the plane (namely a VERY talkative seat mate) kept me from reading or doing anything enjoyable for the remainder of my journey. It wasn’t until much later (two weeks later in fact) that I was finally able to find thirty minutes or so of quiet time to give Prince of Wolves a go. At least, that was the plan. What happened instead is that I began reading Prince of Wolves and became so engrossed in the characters that I couldn’t put it down until I’d read the entire book, in one sitting. I was so intrigued by the first book, that I downloaded the second the next day, and the third through fifth books the day after that, all-in-all devouring all five books currently available in the series in less than a week.
So what was it about the book that so drew me in…?
[blockquote]SPOILER WARNING: The following descriptions may contain some spoilers, although I’ll try to keep them to a minimum. That being said, nobody’s perfect so read on at your own peril. [/blockquote]
Prince of Wolves Summary:
The story begins in the home of 17-year-old Jacque Pierce as she gets ready to stake out the arrival of a new foreign exchange student who is moving in across the street. Armed with binoculars (a requirement for every good stakeout) she peers out her window to get the scoop for her BFFs, and is startled to find that not only is the new guy breathtakingly hot, and maybe just maybe something more than human.
Little does Jacque realize how many changes are in store for her and her friends, as the mysterious exchange student’s arrival serves as the catalyst for drastic changes in her sleepy little Texas town. Haunted by a strange voice in her mind, and struggling against the intense connection she feels to Fane (the new guy), Jacque find herself in an unsolicited love triangle as a complete stranger from her hometown challenges Fane to a battle to the death to win Jacque as a mate?!
As a pack of paranormals descend on the town in preparation for the duel, Jacque struggles to make sense of the sudden knowledge that beings she believed only existed in myth are not only real, but ready to fight to the death for the honor of marking her as their own. Can Jacque escape her fate? And when all is said and done, will she want to?
To find out, you’ll have to read Prince of Wolves for yourself!
It’s not often that I say what I’m about to say, but one of the things I loved most about this book was the dialogue, not only between Jacque, Sally and Jen (three best friends who’ve known each other since childhood and obviously have an easy rapport), but also the dialogue between Jacque and Fane (especially when Fane peppered in Romanian endearments – it sent shivers down my spine). The sarcastic comments, slang (most of it anyway) and quippy side conversations felt very real to me, even though they might seem a little overdone to others. Perhaps it’s because I still have vivid memories of being pretty dramatic (okay, especially melodramatic) in my teen years, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to Jen’s outlandish statements and Sally’s (mostly) patient silencing of Jen’s constant stream inappropriate, innuendo-laden comments.
There was also a real sense of that awkward teen attraction I think nearly everyone has experienced for themselves, and I found Fane and Jacque’s emotion/attraction-charged interest in one another to be pretty spot-on, especially when you add the usual teen hormonal complex to a super-intense, supernatural mate bond. ::insert sexy growl here::
One tiny drawback of this e-published book was the fact that it had a couple of instances that set off my grammar siren, and some descriptions/word play that were repetitive, but to be honest, the story held me so transfixed and was so enjoyable that any critique on the book just feels nit-picky.
As I read through other books in the series, I realized I’d felt these feelings before – when I went back and reread J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter, The Sorceror’s Stone. Once you had the other books to compare against, you realized that she was making huge strides as a writer as her story developed. Quinn Loftis’s books have a similar feel to me now that I’ve finished off all the books in the series (to-date, that is).
Another aspect of the story that I REALLY dig is the mental bond between Fane and Jacque. I’ve been a sucker for romance via telepathy since my dad handed me Rowan by Anne McCaffrey but strangely enough, I haven’t seen many writers use that type of connection between their characters. And while the thought of mental dialogue seems like it could get overly cheesy pretty quickly, Quinn does a great job of keeping those conversations believable – especially the awkward thoughts that Jacque doesn’t realize she’s transmitting until too late (so adorable!).
So I guess I’ve said all this, to really say this – if you’re looking for an enjoyable read for your Saturday or Sunday afternoon, featuring a pack of sexy wolf boys, teen angst, telepathy, and an impending duel that will have you biting your nails in suspense, I definitely recommend checking out Prince of Wolves.
And while you’re checking out those links so you can download your own copy, be sure to stay tuned for my review of Blood Rites, Book 2 of The Grey Wolves series. I’ll have it up on the blog over the weekend!