Wolf Brother was compared to Harry Potter in many reviews (which was the reason it caught my eye to begin with), but once I read a summary of the story, I knew I wanted it for its own merits.
Set in prehistoric times, Torak and his father live alone in the woods, away from all the other clans. An attack by a (possessed? evil? rabid?) bear kills the father, and 12 year old Torak is left on his own with his promise to his dying father that he would make a journey that could stop the bear.
Doesn't sound much like Harry Potter, does it? The similarities are mostly on the surface (and I can't go into them without spoiling), but that's not a bad thing. This book stands strongly on its own. The writing is just amazing (leagues and leagues ahead of JKR's -- it's the kind of thing where you'll be reading and have to pause to admire a sentence or some image just a couple of words conjure). And the story? Before I turned the first page, I was caught by it. Though I was already so tired and short on sleep, I read half of the book last night. And even when it was so late and I knew how tired I would be today, I didn't care! I wanted to keep on reading!
The single thing I didn't like about the book is a very funky thing: Single quotes are used for dialogue. I kept hoping we'd get a reason for that, but as I'm now halfway through the book, it seems as if there's not one coming. Isn't that an odd thing? I've seen a few fanfics using single quotes for dialogue. Is it some sort of style thing? Or some British thing? (Michelle Paver is from England, I think.)
The book is currently being reprinted and the new copies aren't available yet. You can get a copy of the original printings here. If you want to preorder the new version, you can do it here. I highly recommend it!