Lord of the Wolfyn – Jessica Anderson

This was an ebook preview of a book to be released October 25, 2011 received from Netgalley – thank you.

I’ve always been baffled by books that are put out with spoilers in the blurbs – like mysteries telling who the victim in chapter 5 is going to be – or even in the jacket art. Putting one in the title, though, is even less wise than having a title which actually means little to the story (thinking of Across the Nightingale Floor here – review coming soon). On page 172 of Lord of the Wolfyn (about which title I wondered, since the main character is many things but not Lord of the Wolfyn), something happened which made my eyes flick up to the title, and I thought “Ah. Well, I know how that’s going to come out, now, don’t I.” At which point I rolled my eyes and skimmed for awhile.

Apart from that, it was an, I think, above average paranormal romance (PNR), though surprisingly undersexed if anything. That is not, I should add, a complaint. It has an interesting premise, and interesting worldbuilding – I actually love and am intrigued by the concept of the three worlds linking, intrigued enough that I may one day seek out the other books in the series (one for each sibling – this was #3). Each seems to be a take on a different fairy tale, this one being Red Riding Hood.

It has a cop (or former cop) for the female main character, which is not so successful: I don’t buy it. She’s one of the tiny-and-damaged breed of romance heroine, and I simply don’t believe that the character as presented would have met either the physical or mental health requirements for the job even before the incident that damaged her further. In the story she is a former cop because of a terrible incident in which she froze in the middle of a crisis and cost a life (and, incidentally, let a criminal get away), and that for me doesn’t make it easy to either warm up to her (she shouldn’t have been on the job in the first place) or believe in the near-miraculous turn-around she undergoes when her new beloved needs her.

There are three worlds: ours, the dull world of science and no magic; Dayn’s, the one with magic and no science; and the wolfyn world, with borrowings from both. Dayn was a “guest” in the halfway world for 20 years, and picked up some earth-y slang. However, throughout the book there are references to “another fitting human saying” (that one was “Damnation” – which I suppose he shouldn’t even understand the meaning of) or “a particularly fitting human idiom”. Yet shortly after these there’s a mention of “the deer-in-the-headlights freeze” … considering the man’s never, unless I’m very much mistaken, seen a car, that’s careless. I don’t even want to get into “bad fur day” or “You’re it for me”. *shudder*

It was cute. I used it as a diversion from a larger, denser, more difficult book, and it sufficed. It was, as I said, a great over-arching idea, another one (rather like Alchemy of Desire) which I can only wish had been written as a straight fantasy, without the concentration on mating rituals. But it is what it is, and it’s adequate for its intended purpose.

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