Title: The Wolf Gift
Author: Anne Rice
Read By: Ron McLarty
Listening Length: 17 hours and 19 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: February 14, 2012
A daring new departure from the inspired creator of The Vampire Chronicles (“unrelentingly erotic . . . unforgettable”—The Washington Post), Lives of the Mayfair Witches (“Anne Rice will live on through the ages of literature”—San Francisco Chronicle), and the angels of The Songs of the Seraphim (“remarkable”—Associated Press). A whole new world—modern, sleek, high-tech—and at its center, a story as old and compelling as history: the making of a werewolf, reimagined and reinvented as only Anne Rice, teller of mesmerizing tales, conjurer extraordinaire of other realms, could create. 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 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 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 threatens 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 may be others like him who are watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time who 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. From the Hardcover edition. (Goodreads)
I have been having such a hard time with this review. I actually finished The Wolf Gift days ago and have been struggling with how I feel about it. This is Anne Rice. Anne Rice. The woman introduced me to vampires. Honestly who would I be without her? But I digress…Lets talk The Wolf Gift.
Reuben Golding is an early twenties upper class reporter. Reuben is the golden boy in his family, ten years younger than his priest brother, very handsome, he has been going from one thing to the next in life without a care. I liked Reuben but I did have a hard time connecting with him on an everyday level. Come to think of it I had that same problem with all of the characters that had major roles. I don’t know what it’s like to have the bulk of my income inherited to me, this is how the world works in Reuben Golding’s life and people he knows. Yes, these characters work, but they were established to start with. Reuben also falls in love rather quickly. He sees a woman, she shows him affection and bam, he loves her. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but Reuben was with three women in The Wolf Gift and claims to love them all. I do like all the growth that happens in Reuben’s character. He has to go through so much on his own without any guidance that I did connect with him on an emotional level. Who of us have not tried to decide what was the right decision to make?
I did love Anne Rice’s take on the werewolf, it was new. All the history and depth Rice put into her version of the werewolf was amazing and very different from all the urban fantasy I have read. I enjoyed the small amount of time that I got to have with the other werewolves, who are much older than Reuben, and hope that there will be more of them one day. Because even though they all seem to have a lot of power, they also have this fun mischievous glee to them.
Let me warn you The Wolf Gift starts out S L O W, if I had been reading and not listening to it I would have put The Wolf Gift down a few times in between the first four chapters or so. All the descriptive writing is beautiful but there is just
a bit too much of it. Ron McLarty was wonderful to listen to. The audio book was the better choice for me on this one.
I really want there to be a sequel to The Wolf Gift! I would like to know what happens next to the characters. I know I haven't given a lot in this review but I don’t want to spoil things if you do pick it up. I will say if I had read instead of listened my rating may have been a 3 instead of a 4. But Ron McLarty really helped to push the flow for me when I would have been bored with over description.
Awesome! Reread worthy.
Adults: For violence, language, and werewolf and people sex.