Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Book #57 of 2016: Wolfbreed | The Cageless Zoo

Wolfbreed by S. A. Swann
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Some backstory is important, before I get to the book's actual story: For some reason, the publisher wouldn't take only this book -- they wanted the author to write at least one more in the series. So the author wrote Wolf's Cross. Not knowing that, by mistake I read Wolf's Cross first (my review of it here), and liked it a whole lot.

However, turns out I was nearly unique in liking it. Most reviewers loved this book, Wolfbreed, and hated Wolf's Cross. The author himself said that Wolfbreed was the best book he ever wrote...

All that being said, sadly I didn't like Wolfbreed very much at all. I'm also kind of surprised at the comment from the author about it being his best work (and embarrassed for him) as there were some major issues/errors in the book. Like in the beginning: Middle of winter, 13th or so century Poland (Middle Ages Europe), a very poor character is surprised by something and falls into a creek. He then climbs out and holds a long conversation with someone. Is he not wet? He didn't even have a coat, just a cloak... which he takes off and gives to the other person to keep them warm. Was the cloak not wet? How is he outside, at least partially if not fully soaked through, in winter, and not be cold? It's like the author forgot what just happened in the scene...

That was a minor thing though. The larger plot had issues for me as well. The story, set 100 years before Wolf's Cross, was about how the church found ten werewolf children (a litter of a mother werewolf they killed), and decided that werewolves were animals and thus could be trained and used as weapons. Doesn't that sound like an outstanding story idea? Like it would be dark and make you question stuff?

For me, it just seemed so... shallow? Not dark? I suspect that if I had never read any fanfic, thus my idea of "dark" was set only by published books, maybe I'd agree that this was a great book. However, I've seen this kind of storyline done so often, and so much better, in fanfics.

Wolfbreed wasn't awful. I did (with effort near the end) make it to the 50% point of it, thus can count it in my total for the year. Unlike other books I stop at the halfway point of, I felt no guilt this time and no curiosity as to what I might miss in the rest of the book. It wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't good enough for me to spend my limited reading time finishing.

The Cageless Zoo by Thomas K. Carpenter
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Jurassic Park knockoff. A family goes to "galaxy's only Cageless Zoo" (caps by the author), and of course something goes wrong and the animals attack the guests.

While it's only a novella, I still only reached the 3% point of it before giving up. It could have been a fun idea (I knew going in it would be a Jurassic Park clone), but the writing was flat and boring.

It's free on Amazon zone (link above) if you want to give it a try for yourself.
Tags: 2016 books, book review, book: the cageless zoo, book: wolfbreed
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