From the blurb:
Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
RAWR! T.J. Klune writing a shifter book? I'm soooooo there!
First of all, I'm a total T.J. Klune fan-girl, so when I saw that he was writing a werewolves book, I just about died. I know what you all want to know: does this book deliver? The answer is YES! Do you also want to know more about the story, the really relevant things, not just a plot summary? If the answer is YES, then read on!
T.J. Klune has two main writing styles: serious (Withered + Sere, Into This River I Drown) and hilarious (Tell Me It's Real, The Lightning-Struck Heart), with some intersection in between (How To Be A Normal Person). Wolfsong falls squarely in the serious camp, with little moments of levity, but lots and lots of angst.
I like T.J. Klune in all forms of his writing. I like it when he writes his really light-hearted stuff, and I like it when he writes his heart-breaking stuff. This book also had a particular style of writing that T.J. Klune often uses, mostly with his heavier stuff. There is a lot of repetition of important lines and text, over and over again throughout the story, and a lot of imagery that is very evocative to the reader. The style is also more poetic and less "He went to the store and bought chicken. Then he went to the park." T.J. Klune is very deliberate and conscious of his word choice in this story, and it reads more like fantasy than most paranormal/shifter romances that I'm used to. That is a good thing, and I'm always grateful that T.J. shows us different stuff than any other author.
This book is also, dare I say it, sexy. T.J. Klune is known to be a lot of things, but a writer of really down and dirty sex scenes... yeah, not his bag. I'm a lover of the sexy parts of romance novels, but I never mind the lack of sex in a T.J. Klune book. Wolfsong, however, was pretty freakin' hot at parts. I mean, we only get a couple of scenes here or there, but I was impressed , man! I think it will be a pleasant surprise for some readers who aren't expecting T.J. to really turn up the heat.
What excited me most about this book, however, wasn't the really special writing style or the plot line, which was interesting but not anything particularly mind-blowing in the world of shifter romance. What impressed me was how completely awesome the romance was between Ox and Joe. I swear, T.J. Klune can write chemistry like no other.
I often struggle with romance books where there is a lot of telling about the connection between two MCs but no showing. SHOW ME THE LOOOOVE. I love an EPIC romance, and so many authors give me a friends-with-benefits vibe. That is NOT a problem in this book. Ox and Joe have a romance for the ages, and not because of some silly shifter-book "insta-love" mates thing, which I see all the time. We really get to see Ox and Joe grow and change together, overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and getting stronger and more complex as a couple.
Now, on the topic of Ox and Joe as a couple, I did feel a little like, "wait, haven't I seen this before with a T.J. book?" The big age gap, the crushes, the childhood friends thing. It felt SO familiar. Then I realized what it was: I had been getting a BIG Tyson and Dominic vibe (The Art of Breathing). Now, that isn't a bad thing, even a little bit, but it did feel a little familiar to me and it might also to you.
Onto a slightly different topic, there are... things that happen in this book that made me feel VERY frustrated and mad. I was frustrated along with some of the MCs, and one of the things I am most grateful for is that T.J. Klune didn't let ANY characters off the hook easily. It is one of my biggest pet peeves when a character does something that makes me mad, and the other characters just let it go like nothing ever happened, like they weren't ever upset. NO. I LOVE that T.J. let his characters be resentful and petty and frustrated and emotional and annoyed, just like real people. There are a lot of emotions there that really rang true for me.
I also loved T.J.'s secondary characters... and there are a LOT of them. In fact, I had a hard time remembering who was who in the beginning. All of those names... it all jumbled together! By the end I had it sorted out, but I was lost for little pieces at the beginning. However, the characters that he does write are very, very strong. They all felt well-rounded, and I have high hopes that a number of them will be getting their own stories in this series in the future.
What this book didn't do for me, that it seemed to do with every other reader, was make me cry. I sat there not crying like a callous beotch during some really sad scenes. I'm not sure why I wasn't quite touched on that level... but I wasn't. It isn't a bad thing, especially considering the emotional wrecking that I went through with Withered + Sere, but I just wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, I felt a LOT of emotions during this story, but it didn't destroy me.
I'm going to wrap this review up, I swear!
Basically, all of T.J. Klune's fans will love this book. It was fabulous and well-written, just like we've all come to expect from T.J., with the added bonus of some sexy-times and some light brushes of humor. I think shifter book fans, and those who have never tried one, will eat this one up, and I know that this series had some AWESOME things in store for us.
**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**