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Monday, October 3, 2011

Review of Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling

Title: Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf
Series:  Wereworld Series
Author:  Curtis Jobling
Genre:  YA, paranormal, werewolves, shifters
Format:  Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publication Date:  September 20, 2011
Published By:  PenguinViking Children's Books
Source:  Received ARC from publisher.

Synopsis from Goodreads

'You're the last of the werewolves son. Don't fight it...Conquer it'. When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a vicious beast invades his home, his gums begin to tear, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms ...Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan's men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy. Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him - and master the animal within?

My Thoughts

This review has been sitting in my saved list for awhile. It's not because I don't know what to say, or that I disliked it, it's that I liked it so much I am afraid of not doing it the justice it deserves. I find often I am able to explain very easily what i didn't like about a book, but when it comes to sharing what I do like about a book, it sometimes comes out sounding so fake and juvenile. But it has to be done, so here is my gush review.

First of all, let's talk covers. When I first opened the package from the publisher, this is what stared out at me:

To be honest, I didn't know quite what to think about it. I think it was meant to be kind of scary and creepy in a good way, but it didn't have that effect on me. It felt kind of cartoony and forced. Luckily, that was just the dust jacket (which I am unsure why was included with a trade paperback anyhow). Once I peeled off the above disturbing cover, this is what I saw underneath:

A much better cover, in  my opinion anyhow. Although the one listed at the very top of this review beside the book details is actually my favourite one, but not one I was able to see physically.

Other than the covers, the author description also threw me through a loop a bit. Curtis Jobling apparently is the designer of the children's television show, Bob the Builder. Now don't get me wrong, I love Bob the Builder...that show granted me hours of peace and quiet while my son sat transfixed in front of it during his much younger years (of course I still have "Can we fix it? Yes we can!" stuck playing in my head every time I even think about it!)...but for some reason, once I read that in his bio, I was worried about just how good this book could really be...

But other than the covers...and the whole Bob the Builder thing...I honestly don't have a bad word to say about this book. It was amazing. Honestly, this will most likely be more of a gush that a review...but's my blog right?

I don't think I realized this about myself before, but after reading Wereworld I discovered that I love me a character who can get his ass thoroughly kicked, and either run away or luckily win a fight because someone who cared about them helped them out...not just because they are the main character, and they are uber, and have super powers and are God-like. I seriously hate when a main character wins just because they are the main character and so you know they must. It takes the suspense right out of it for me. But with Drew, the main character of Wereworld, you never lose that suspense. That poor boy sure does take his beatings, and takes the time to heal from them afterwards. He doesn't just jump up, all better, and save the world. I respect that.

I also respect the fact that Drew is a true chivalrous character. He does what is right, because it truly bothers him when people are doing wrong. He doesn't want fame and fortune, he would much prefer to hide back at his family's farm herding sheep, but fate won't let him. Half the time he doesn't even mean to be all chivalrous and heroic. When his temper gets him all riled up he steps in to block the punch on the little guy just as quickly as most other men lose their tempers and swing out at whatever is near them. It just comes naturally to Drew to protect and stand up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. Have I mentioned how much I adore Drew?

A large portion of the characters in this book are what I refer to as shifters, in some form or another. It was quite entertaining to see all the types of shifters, known as Werelords, in the book. The shifting process seemed quite involved and I found myself squirming as characters shifted completely, and sometimes just parts of their bodies. I loved how Werelords broke out their shifted paws, jaws and claws whenever it came time to do battle. 

I have to admit that as much as I love werewolves, in this book the wereshark won me over completely. Count Vega of the Cluster Isles was like a Captain Jack Sparrow meets Captain James Hook meets Jaws. He was awesome.

The world building was phenomenal. Everything was so realistic and lively. It reacted to the characters and the characters reacted back in turn. It wasn't just a colorful scene painted in the background merely just to be there. The swamps, the woods, the seas, everything was just so alive! It was easy to immerse oneself deeply into the world around them as they journeyed right there beside Drew every step of the way.

And the story, let's not forget about the story itself! Although not overly unique, the Jobling did such a wonderful job with the story-telling it's almost as fresh as a newly written, never heard before story.

I can't wait for the second one to come out! Rage of the know what is coming...and it has to be good!

My rating?

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