This is the author’s first novel, and as such it’s technically well done. The paragraphs and concepts are well composed and laid out, and the story moves along at a good pace. Ideas are clearly communicated and not repetitive. The author has a nice grasp of clean word use, using imaginative and evocative phrasing to bring her characters to life. For example, I rather enjoyed her vivid descriptions of the wolves of the Pack playing with each other in their wolf forms. She also gives consistently sensual renderings of the brutal pragmatism of predatory life.
The background caused me quite a bit of perplexity, but the story itself was not bad. The author had a nice ear for dialogue, as well as a very good understanding of human psychological issues. Her demonstration of Elena’s emotional projection of her own issues onto others was convincingly done, as was Elena’s slow emotional growth. I could appreciate Elena’s increasing maturity as the story progressed.
Indeed, several rather petulantly self-centered characters appeared to grow up quite a bit, and that was enough of a pleasure to read that it kept me involved. I’ve always despised the “brooding asshole loner” as a character type, especially when they stubbornly refuse to ever buy a friggin’ clue. To have the protagonists decide they cared enough to grow up was refreshing.
In the end, the story itself (if not the story’s background) was imaginative and interesting enough that I’ll keep an eye out for the author’s other books. I expect she’s learned and improved rapidly, and I look forward to reading what she came up with next.