Review: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 5, 2012 | 3 Comments

Review: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn BarnesRaised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Raised by Wolves #1
Published by EDGE (6.18.2010)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 418 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn't mean that she's averse to breaking a rule or two.  

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian's basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents' murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she's shaped?

My thoughts

This one dragged a bit in the beginning for me, but around page 100 or so – when Bryn opens her mind to the pack – it really picked up and from then on, the rest of the book flew by.

Bryn was only 15, but had a mature voice. I felt as if it was a bit too mature at times – and really, what kind of 15-year-old uses words like obfuscation, eschewed, and impertinent? I don’t mind big words because I have a fairly big vocabulary (although I did have to look up obfuscation), but it was distracting me from the story a  little bit in the beginning. In an adult novel it wouldn’t have been so bad, but this is supposed to be YA. I don’t want to give myself a headache trying to understand what the author is trying to say, I just want the words to flow. Thankfully, though, this was really my only complaint about this book.

Bryn was a pretty good lead – she was stubborn and hard-headed and rebelled against anything that remotely resembled rules, but she was strong. She was also sarcastic, which made me like her even more. I enjoyed reading her voice and easily related to her. Being with the pack had made her something more than human, and I thought it was totally awesome that she had lupine traits without actually being Were. Sure, her body was ultimately weak because it was human, but mentally she was very strong. And kick-ass! Just reading in her voice made me feel stronger, like I could go out and become the Fist of Goodness and run along rooftops. Whoa, slow down there Geo. This is fiction. FICTION. Don’t fall into a dinner party. Ahem. Anyway…

I loved the magic of the world that Barnes created. I adore werewolves, so pretty much anything with them in it is likely to grab my attention. But I really enjoyed the structure of the pack and the way everything was set up. The idea of being Marked, of ‘knacks,’ and Resilients, was pretty awesome. Even the way the wolves communicated – with mostly emotion instead of sentences was fantastic. Also, I liked that there was a bigger picture involving the Rabid that you don’t see until the end (unless you figure it out first, which I did not). Then you’re like, Ohhhh, it all makes sense now!

While I understood the relationship (or whatever you want to call it) between Chase and Bryn, I felt it came on much too fast. I never really connected or made any kind of attachment with Chase. He didn’t have much of a part until closer to the end, so I didn’t have time to truly get to know him or his personality. I did like Devon and Lake a lot, and while Callum’s intentions seemed a bit shady for the most part of the book, he turned out to be alright too, in the end.

I will definitely be getting my hands on book 2 very soon!

Favorite character: It’s a toss-up between Lake and Devon. Lake was a bit maniacal, but for some reason her homicidal ways were endearing to me. And Devon was hard not to like!

“There’s four of us and one of him.” After a brief moment pause, she amended her head count to better reflect our real odds. “Three and a half of us, one of him.”
Three and a half, as in three werewolves, one human. I narrowed my eyes. “For your sake, Lake, I’m going to pretend that Devon is the half.”
Dev, unquestionably the strongest person in this room, just shrugged and let me keep my delusions. “It’s because of my petite stature,” he said. All 6’4″ of him.

There were a few other phrases she used that were just funny to me, such as ‘mind bunnies’ and ‘my sarcasm barometer sensed an oncoming change in pressure.’ I giggled out loud many times in this book!

Plot: 4/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5 starfish
Jessi (Geo)

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