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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: Black Wolves of Boston 
9th-May-2017 01:21 pm
Summer
Black Wolves of Boston, by Wen Spencer. Urban Fantasy. Hardback, 480 pages. keeping it.

Joshua was trying desperately to fit into his social group at high school in a small town in upstate New York, so volunteered to join the prom committee prior to the Halloween dance. He regained consciousness in the hospital with questions from the police about weapons and violence. He broke out of the hospital and ran to Boston on the force of a nightmare, there to figure out how to be a werewolf and control his new fight-flight-feast impulses.

This was a cute book. Yeah, pretty much. Spencer went out of her way to use "cute" and "adorable" and "puppy" to describe the hero, 17-year-old Joshua. I could also just call this a shallow book. Despite having a traumatized new werewolf, a resentful young-but-experienced werewolf, and a divine protector, the strongest emotional motivation really radiates from Silas Decker, a lonely vampire who lacks both glamour or remarkable accent (yay!).

I enjoyed this story, but there were multiple places where the story would have benefitted from editorial tightening and smoothing. If green is going to be an important color, shouldn't we see it more of it at the beginning? Why do we only know Bethy as a hater when she obviously cares? What's up with the drop-in mention of cross-breeding angels and werewolves? Why was Joshua's PTSD so conveniently postponed until Thanksgiving? And at the end, why should we care that Decker swore never to feed from Joshua again? And on that similar theme, why the hell do we have a sexy subplot with Elaine and Cabot when 1) it doesn't forward the plot and 2) it's not even entertaining? (I have more complaints. This is just a sample.)

On the other hand, there were a lot of free details that were fun and helped lighten the plot. It was nice that sometimes, details were just details and not designed only as plot levers. For example: a werewolf who is intimidated by kittens, a werewolf who can change size at whim (rather than really "at will"), a group of werewolves who spend an evening trying to magically keep their clothes with them as they transform from human to werewolf and back again, a not-so-exotic spirit guide named Fred, and so on.

I picked this up as a recommendation from IndigoRose99 and recommend it to Kate Daniels fans who don't want to have to think today.

This entry was originally posted at http://reedrover.dreamwidth.org/2069405.html and has comment count unavailable comments so far. Please comment there using OpenID or here if that is your preference. I'm still reading both journals.
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