on Aug. 8, 2014 :
Gent offers us a variation on the traditional werewolf genre that I found quite intriguing. There are those born Wolf (yes, she capitalizes the word), and those "made." There is a hierarchy among those born having to do with the amount of power, strength and abilities, and those who are "throwbacks," a danger to Wolfkind and always killed when found. They live and work beside us, a society within society at large, keeping their secrets and laws.
The main protagonist is Hazel, aka Red, a Sentinel whose job is to bring to justice or execute when necessary, Wolves whose activities risk exposing them to the world at large. Gent's Wolves unapologetically enjoy what they are when they hunt. Their prey of choice are Humes (humans to the rest of us).
At first appearance, the book reads like a story within a story because of it's dual timelines. This is one of those books that has you following Red in the current time stream while giving you Hazel's story, which begins some 500 years prior. Her history, written by a Scribe, is uncannily accurate for all that she was not consulted on its contents. As Red pursues answers to questions relevant to her most recent case, she hands a companion a book that tells her history. The book takes us through Hazel's making at a Wolf, to her claiming the name Red.
While not always the case, this is one of those times where going back and forth between present and past are used with great effect. I became more absorbed in the story the further I read. Red's history is necessary to the overall success of the book and was incorporated with skill and a deftness that enhanced the overall reading experience. The two timelines are brought together in a powerful conclusion at the end. The story offers greed, betrayal, power grabs, drugs, and a bit of romance.
This story was very well written. The historical aspects of life several hundred years ago felt well researched and came to life in my mind as I read. The characters were complex and very well developed. Gent even went so far as to explain why her Wolves went for certain parts when eating their prey, a twist I've not come across in any other novel of this genre. Kudos for a new twist. Now that I've been introduced to this author, I'm looking forward to reading more of her work.
I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)