Source: received for review
The time is the present.
The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.
A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.
As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.
I was so excited to read this book from the moment that I heard Anne Rice was embarking on a new series and this time it was about werewolves. I was hooked from the first page and finished this novel in just under a day.
The start of this novel was beautiful and well thought-out. It set the scene well for the rest of the novel. This novel has all the makings of a great Anne Rice novel however I feel it lacks a certain passion that the vampire chronicles novels had. Be warned though that this novel contains a lot of gory scenes and is not for the faint hearted. Also I would not consider this to be an Anne Rice novel if it did not contain a love interest concerning the man/werewolve.
I found the religious preachiness that is present in this novel more towards the end to be a bit off-putting. It was mainly used to help the reader understand certain characteristics of the werewolves. However I feel this could have been done in a different way.
Rice is a master storyteller and I would highly recommend this novel as a must read for 2012.
A copy of this book was received for free and all opinions expressed are my own through reading it.