Review: Dreaming of the Wolf by Terry Spear

    Dreaming of the Wolf
Terry Spear; Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks CasablancaTerry Spear’s debut Heart of the Wolf was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Known for her research into how wolves live in nature, Spear writes her werewolves as they would behave realistically, including pack dynamics, mating behavior, and hierarchies.
Werewolf pack leader Jake Silver is an acclaimed photographer. He sees a beautiful woman at the art gallery where his photos are on display, and his intrigue turns into wolfish protectiveness. Alicia Greiston has never met anyone like Jake-he’s sexy, alpha, and totally irresistible, and he calls to something primal in her soul.
Goodreads on Dreaming of the Wolf

I’ll start by saying this is book #8 in a series, and I haven’t read the previous ones. So there’s a lot about the characters that I simply have no clue of. That being said…

I enjoyed reading the book. It wasn’t quite gripping, for some reason. But I was calmly enjoying it; it kicks off with a very intriguing scene, and the mystery and adventurous feeling that gave off made me feel quite enthusiastic about the rest of the read. However, the excitement level went steadily down from there on for me, though of course the action got more and more elaborate.

The relationship between Jake and Alicia was interesting, and I was very curious to follow it through, see where it went. I’ll say I was happy with the ups and downs of it, and I liked the end. No spoilers, never fear, my dears, you can enjoy it fully spoiler-free!
Though I have already made mea culpa of not reading previous books in the series, I will say that the characters didn’t really grip my attention as much as they could have. One thing that did was the take on the chemistry between them; it felt to me like the animal magnetism werewolf characters can easily have was somehow less magnetic, and more like a sense of purely animal. I mean, there was the pack dynamics, and the wolf-ish tone to it all, but the in-between part of the being, the metamorphoses between human being and animal per se wasn’t there for me. In werewolves, that’s the part I like the most. The ambiguity of gliding between two rather different worlds, the multifaceted perception of things, the struggle…I don’t know, there was just something missing for me, an element of magic, of wonder. All the wild was there, all the heat, all the sexy. But not the magic, and when I’m in the PNR zone, I want magic. I want sparkle, if not fireworks.

The book has a steady pace, and all kinds of action going on, and it is entertaining. I didn’t feel like putting it down or anything like that, but I was constantly hoping for that sparkle of magic to happen, and it just didn’t for me. Of course, that’s a very personal thing, it’s about book-reader chemistry, a wonder all on its own. With some books that happens from the first few words, with others it takes a few pages, and with some it happens around the middle or towards the end. Here there was a tiny bit of chemistry that I just hoped and hoped would become more intense, and it didn’t. I’m not sure if I’d like to give it another try, sometime later.

The writing is good, the author’s voice feels very mature, and considering I read it as a stand alone practically, when it’s book #8 no less of a series, where the basics are all built, the characters all fleshed and loved by their readers, it works to the book’s disadvantage in my case. Will I read books #1-#7 to gain perspective? I don’t know, I might, but I’m not feeling the urge to.

All in all, I say this is a good book, and it’s worth a try, even if you haven’t read the rest of the books in the series. It might give you the craving to devour the rest of the 7 books, I mean, we’re talking hunky werewolves here (and the couple-stuff is very hot, that’s for sure :D). And a hot cover, in those beautiful purples, yummy.

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