Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Wolves of Midwinter

Title: The Wolves of Midwinter
Author: Anne Rice
Published: Knopf, 2013
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Synopsis: Now in her new novel, as lush and romantic in detail and atmosphere as it is sleek and steely in storytelling, Anne Rice brings us once again to the rugged coastline of Northern California, to the grand mansion at Nideck Point—to further explore the unearthly education of her transformed Man Wolf.

The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.

From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits—centuries old—who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed by this book. It is my first experience reading anything by Anne Rice, and I think I misunderstood her writing style. I was expecting more Stephen King and less Danielle Steele.

But first, the good. I wanted to read this book because it completely fit into my theme of a Supernatural Christmas, and it was exactly what this book was. There is a whole part of the book where they explain the overlap between our current holiday festivities and how they relates to ancient pagan traditions. It was a really unique perspective and a topic that has always interested me.

The takes place during the holiday season and as the title may lead you to believe it is about werewolves, but as the protagonist of this story the wolves, or Morphenkinder, are less like the Big Bad Wolf of old and more like superheroes. The world that the inhabit is full of other immortal characters including some interesting ghosts, and a character that is so interesting that I want to know much more about them (I'm still unclear as what species they are).

Whatever my dislike of this book, the writing was very good. It was ominous and poetic. The imagery was incredible. Anne Rice does an amazing job of setting the scene and allows the reader to effortlessly imagine themselves there. The problem however was that I felt like she relied entirely too much on this imagery and didn't really take much effort on an actual plot for the story. It was two-thirds of the way over before something interesting happened but it was over so quick that I was left dissatisfied and honestly confused. The book took too much time explaining things and asking questions that it never really answered. I know that this is only one book of a series but it felt like a very early book, and it did not capture my interest enough to want to read more of the series.

Did you yawn after seeing this?

But I really only have myself to blame for my dislike of the book. I knew it was the second book in a series and I tried to read the first one but I couldn't really get into it and never. Instead of deciding to read something else I was stubborn and told myself, "I said I would read this and so I will read this!" But I also didn't really read it, I listened to the audiobook. That may have also been my second mistake. I love reading audiobooks, but if there is not a lot of action then I generally don't enjoy the book as much.

On the whole the book wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was generally just... MEH! I give it a 6 out of 10.

Have you read this book or anything else by Anne Rice? Did I pick the wrong book? Should I try something else by her? Leave me a comment and Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. If you are still interested in reading something by her, you might want to try Interview with a Vampire. I can't remember how much romance is in it, but it is quite good.