Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bonds of Fenris by S.J. Bell

Talia Thornwood's life ended one year ago, when she became a werewolf. She survived the attack, and the horrifying transformation a month later, but the life she has now is barely worth living. She lurks about in a filthy, run-down house, with too many werewolves crammed into too small a space. Every day is a struggle against the stress of human contact, the romantic prodding of her obnoxious packmate Pierce, and the gnawing hunger for flesh in her soul.

She's all but resigned herself to a dreary existence on the margins of society when she meets Corwin. Corwin is a werewolf like none other. He walks among humans as if it was nothing, and can keep his wolf under control even when the moon is full. Talia's mind is suddenly opened to the possibilities before her, and the realization of how little she really knows about lycanthropy. Corwin claims that he can teach her how to cope as he does, even how to transcend her affliction. But it will not be easy. It is a hard education that requires her to question everything her pack taught her, and confront exactly what she has become. And, more amazingly, what she never stopped being.

This book is more than just a werewolf book. That’s what caught my attention from the beginning. There are layers to the plot which make this a great read. What’s best about it are the characters.

They’re cleverly written. Talia, the protagonist, really journeys throughout this book, ending as a completely different, evolved person. That evolution in this character keeps the reader interested and engaged with the plotline. I was so glad, you don’t know how glad, that there was no instantaneous love anywhere in these pages. The romance began normally and grew in a realistic manner, so if you’re looking for the overdone, bloated romantic scenes we’ve been saturated with recently, this will probably not be for you.

There is a depth to the plot. That’s what makes the book stand out among the multitude of paranormal stories out there at the moment. It is a love story, an almost coming-of-age tale, and most of all an entertaining fantasy.

  I can easily recommend this interesting read to all lovers of the paranormal, and really, most lovers of fiction in general.

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