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 four 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.
And that right there, ladies and some more ladies and probably a few gentlemen, is how you write a fucking shifter novel!
This is the tale of the Bennett pack of werewolf shifters, the oldest, most respected pack in the entire country, and how a human boy named Ox first heals the broken family at the end of the lane and then makes them stronger than they'd ever been before.
At the core of the story, though, are Ox Matheson and Joe Bennett. How they meet, how they grow up, together and separately, how they become family and eventually more. Mates.
At 12, Ox's drunken father leaves, telling his son that he's "dumb as an ox" and that "people will give you shit all your life." Ox never feels like he fits in and that he isn't worth much at all.
Then 4 years later, Ox meets a little blond tornado named Joe on the side of the road, who is convinced that Ox is his personal "everything."
At 10 years old, Joe had been kidnapped and broken by a monster. He'd withdrawn from the world and hadn't spoken a single word for over a year. Until he meets a 16 y.o. boy who immediately becomes his entire world.
The next 7 years are mostly " candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome ," with lots of humor and touching moments of family and belonging -- until Joe's monster returns and TJ gives us a huge dose of wookie cry face. Bastard.
I'll be honest, with as many books as I read, I've gotten fairly desensitized to sad parts in books and often find myself saying, "Shouldn't this be making me cry?" Well, not this time.
There in the forest, under a new moon and stars that lied, we sang our pack home.Yes, I cried. And cried. Then cried some more. Like a goddamn baby.
However, worse than the aftermath of the attack is the long separation that follows. (This part made me want to punch one T.J. Klune squarely in his junk, guys. Sorry, love you, T.J. heh)
Three years.That dividing of the pack, and our boys, is awful, but necessary, I suppose. It doesn't mean that I liked it, though.
During those 3 years, the pack not only heals, mostly, but Ox also comes into his own, becoming what the pack, his pack, needs him to be.
When Joe finally returns home, Ox is just so very angry that he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to forgive Joe for abandoning him and his family when they all needed him the most.
But TJ isn't a complete fucker, so past hurts are slowly forgiven and, as expected, Ox and Joe do get their hard-won HEA.
What I truly loved about this book was that, yes, it was a shifter story, but TJ didn't quite adhere to the same werewolf lore 'rules' found in all of the other shifter stories that I've read.
I was in awe of where TJ took Ox's character and what, as a human, he accomplished for the pack. What he became for the pack, out of necessity. Out of love. And out of loss.
Yes, there were metric tons of angst and tears in this story, but there was so much love, so much connection between the characters that it all felt like a continual lightning strike to the heart. (See what I did there?) ;- )
The decade-long story just flowed and every single one of the plot points felt natural and entirely essential. There were no drama llamas or contrivances on any of the book's 400 pages.
"Wolfsong" is one of TJ's best works to date and is easily one of my all-time favorite books.
So do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to "One Click" and get this amazing 4.75 star book ASAP, folks.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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