Sunday, January 7, 2018

Review: The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

Title: The Last Wolf
Series: The Legend of All Wolves
Author: Maria Vale
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.

If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.
But if she stays...

Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack's social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn't all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves...

My rating:

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Quicksilver Nilsdottir is the runt of the Great North Pack. With her last chance at achieving at least a decent rank in the Pack gone, and with her future looking bleak at the beck and call of her echelon's Alpha, Silver grabs the opportunity to bond her Fate to that of the mortally wounded man that has stumbled onto her Pack's territory. He might be a Shifter, an abomination to her kind, but all is better than being a lone wolf.

Little does she know Tiberius harbors a dark secret, a secret that may tear apart their fragile new bond, and the entire Pack...Forever.

Sometimes taking on an unknown author, especially in the paranormal genre, is quite a gamble. In this case, my gamble has paid off.

This is a timeless story of stereotypes—how you look like and where you come from—and our judgment of them and the primordial struggle between right and wrong, duty and devotion, roots and upbringing, all neatly packaged in an intense, edgy paranormal with a definite twist on the werewolf/shape-shifter genre.

It started off rather slowly, but there was no feeling of boredom or dullness, just the ever increasing flickers of excitement and anticipation, and speculation of what would happen next.
The world-building was superb, the narration, especially in the descriptions of the wild, evocative, and the pacing spot-on, deceptively slow, yet building momentum and anticipation.

I'm not a fan of first-person narration, finding it rather limiting both for the narrator as for the reader, but in this case it worked beautifully as we got to explore the Pack's territory, the woods, the animals, the secret places, and the Pack's relationships and hierarchy through Quicksilver's eyes. We got to experience everything as she did; the difficulties she faced due to her disability and status, the joy she felt in the wilderness, the budding emotions for Tiberius, and her devotion to both the man and her Pack causing the deep conflict inside her.

The first-person POV also served in heightening the suspense that blinked to life from the moment the stranger appeared on the Pack territory. With a third-person omniscient narrator it would not have worked as well, since everything would've been revealed early on; with looking merely through Silver's eyes, the reader learns the truth slowly, and it packs quite a punch.

This was truly an amazing story with a wonderful heroine that more than proved the old adage of never judging the book by its cover, a wonderful hero, especially in protective mode, evocative narration, amazing world-building, spot-on tempo, and loads of lessons to be learned.


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