Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring

The Mystic Wolves
The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You know I try to remain objective about critiquing someone's life work, but this book gave me a headache and if I'd had it in hardcopy, it would've been flung across the room a number of times. Only sheer willpower led me to finish it.

First off, this is the first book in a series, but when you start reading, all this stuff has already happened. Darcy and Mason are together, war has been averted, and football has commenced. Boring later inserts a flashback showing us how they got together, but, at that point, it's anti-climatic. Why not make it a prologue at least?

Secondly, a supporting character is killed and someone who is very important to both Mason & Darcy. However, rather than mourning or dealing with the fallout, they go romping in the woods. Mason, who should be more devastated than anyone, seems particularly unmoved by the murder of a loved one. He eventually breaks down a little, but it didn't ring true to me.

Thirdly, it was hard to get a grasp on the culture of this particular breed of werewolves. During the first violent scene, Darcy makes reference to the idea that they are taught not to change, as if the wolf will take over, but no reason or explanation is given as to why. In addition, Boring allows her characters to utilize some wolf behaviors while still in human form, implying the human and wolf are meshed together. So why aren't they allowed to change? There also seemed to be some kind of psychic component to this werewolf breed as Darcy tries repeatedly to connect properly with Mason. Darcy and Mason also reference dreams that foreshadow finding their mates. However, the reader is never told how these werewolves came into being, how they evolved into what they are.

Fourthly, it was in first person and Darcy is, um, how to put this, not exactly what I'd call alpha material. She's an unreliable narrator because she's so focused on Mason and she, presumably, knows all the things that the reader doesn't, so she doesn't feel the need to think about them, leaving us in the dark. For example, we know that the humans are unaware of the existence of supernatural species. Darcy violently kills an attacker and then gets swept away by Mason. No mention of hiding the evidence, of DNA, nothing. The attacker has links to vampires, but Mason & Darcy just go la la la-ing into the woods. Yet, SOMEHOW, the vampires find out and show up. The plot holes, they are huge.

In conclusion, I did not enjoy this book. However, after writing this, I have come to the conclusion that I think it would have been salvageable. The biggest problems were the flow and the complete lack of world-building. There were no spelling or grammar errors. The funeral scene was lovely. Shifting some scenes around, adding some detail here, trimming some interactions between Mason & Darcy there, and you'd have a solid read.

If you'd like to form your own opinion, as of 6/15/12, The Mystic Wolves is currently free from Amazon and Smashwords.

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