Book Review: I Am Wolf by Joann H. Buchanan

I Am Wolf
The Children of Nox Series #1
Author: Joann H. Buchanan
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Supernatural
Released: January 12th 2012
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) Angel, hero, monster, devil--we all become what we really are. I Am Wolf --The journey of a boy about to become a man who inherits his ancestors gift and must learn the right way to use it. He falls in love with Alaynee and begins to feel like he is normal again. When their world is shattered by the kidnapping of Alaynee's little brother, Jonah breaks the cardinal rule of his gift and bites the kidnapper, creating a creature called the unnatural. This sends him and all his friends on an adventure across the states to a place in Tennessee. There they find not only must they stop the unnatural creature, but they must save Cara--the girl the creature is after. Jonah must ask himself the most important question of all, would you sacrifice yourself to save another?

I Am Wolf is a fresh new werewolf story. The main character, Jonah Greywolf, moves to Sisters, Oregon at his parents request. They basically kick him out of the house to go live with his grandparents. Jonah is very upset with his parents and starts to believe his parents are getting a divorce, after all, why else would his grandparents not tell him why he's really been sent to live with them? But, Jonah wasn't sent to Sisters for a divorce between his parents ... he was sent to this small town because he is a descendant of Tibolt's clan. Jonah is about to go through the biggest change of his life, his first transformation.

He meets up with old friends that he hasn't seen since he stopped visiting his grandparents. He quickly finds his rhythm as a part of the youngling pack in Sisters. The youngling pack is led by Daniel who has a twin sister, Alaynee. Alaynee is Juliet to Jonah's Romeo. It's love at first sight. It's that love that will change Jonah's life forever. Jonah's love for Alaynee and his compulsion to protect her and her little brother, Squeaks, allows Jonah to change without the full moon. It's not the change that will rearrange Jonah's life though, its the bite he places on a human, thus turning him into an Unnatural.

Ralph, the evil redneck poacher, is a disgusting, repulsive, irredeemable character. He's a drifter living in the woods of Sisters, Oregon and is searching for "the white wolf". It's the trophy he wants to give to his overly voluptuous and very imaginary girlfriend, Gracie. Gracie has been popping up in Ralph's life since his marriage to Jeanne (or "the ball and shackles" as he frequently refers to her), started going south. In addition to the white wolf, Ralph is also looking for a way to get his "flesh of my flesh" back. His daughter Cara, was taken in the divorce by Jeanne and he's never forgiven her.

Overall the story is entertaining and new and that's what I liked about it. Joann Buchanan did not draw on the traditional werewolf lore that most authors use. She created something new and fun to read. There are some chapters in the book which were particularly hard to digest, most having to do with Ralph. Buchanan has succeeded in writing the most disturbed character I've read about to date. When reading his bits of the story, you are reading from the point of view of a psychopath who commits crimes which are very vivid and violent as he transforms into the Unnatural.

I love when authors share varying character's points of view in stories. However, I felt that Joann Buchanan often shared too many points of view which caused me to have to re-read passages to make sure I was understanding that particular character's voice. Some scenes seemed too drawn out and at times information was repeated time and time again throughout the story. All of this aside, the story was definitely enjoyable to read and had me in tears before the end of the story. I am already looking forward to reading the next book in the Children of Nox series to see where Buchanan takes Jonah and the rest of the youngling pack.

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