August 2010 BotM: Wolfbreed by S.A. Swann

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    This month's book is a fairly recent publication, published in August 2009.

    [​IMG]

    From Rob's review in November 2009:


    It's sequel, Wolf's Cross, has just been published (and I know Rob Bedford's reviewed it and liked it.)

    So: here's your chance to catch up - discuss!

    Mark
     
  2. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    For those interested my reaction and a bit of discussion went on in this thread:
    http://sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25483

    I'll try to discuss the sequel there too later on this month.

    Hopefully some of you will give this book a shot, though looking at the nominations thread it doesn't seem like there's anyone is showing any interest.
     
  3. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    I'll definitely be reading it. It looks like a quick read, so should be done within the week. I need to finish up Kraken first, which should be another day or two, if all goes well with my free time.
     
  4. Aurian

    Aurian Dragon Lady

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    I have read it previously. I enjoyed the book for the most part, but I had trouble with the ending.

    Specifically, I felt it would be hard for Ulf to forgive Lily for killing his family and ripping his arm off, especially since while I could see Ulf loving Lily, I couldn't see them building up love in the face of the lack of time and the lack of intelligent conversation from Lily, in order to withstand such a shock. While Lily isn't dumb per se, she doesn't seem to say much more than "Ulfie" a lot. While I can see Ulf forgiving Lily, I couldn't see him feel loving towards her again.
     
  5. Quimby

    Quimby yep

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    picked it up at lunch.
     
  6. beniowa

    beniowa Registered User

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    I read Wolfbreed when it came out last year as I'm a big fan of werewolves. It was good. Not great, but decent. I'll admit I was slightly disappointed as I was hoping to like it more than I did, and then it failed to grab me. That's just me though. And I would still recommend it to others.

    I already have Wolf's Cross and I plan to read it soon.
     
  7. Roy Ryders

    Roy Ryders The Magnificent

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    haven't read it, when do i have until?
     
  8. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    Probably until you die.
     
  9. Roy Ryders

    Roy Ryders The Magnificent

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    The book club's that long?
     
  10. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    It says Book of the Month. What does that indicate to you?
     
  11. Bastard

    Bastard Jack Bauer

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    What failed for you? I thought that the inclusion of a couple of point of views detracted a bit from the book, particularly with the pace. Also, I expected more from Udolf in the book and in the end he didn't end up being much in my opinion.

    With all that said, I loved how the book ended, it had quite a bit of action, and although the romance was a bit weak, I liked the relationship and interaction between the characters which culminated for me with the ending.
     
  12. AndyLavigne

    AndyLavigne Registered User

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    If you end up liking this book and want to check out more of S. Andrew Swan's work, I would recommend his sci-fi: The Moreau Trilogy or the Hostile Takeover Trilogy. They're both available in omnibuses for the price of a single paperback, so it's a solid deal for two pretty great pulp sagas; one is about genetically modified animals and people getting used to society after their programs dry up, and the other is about the head of an arms corporation in a super capitalistic future getting betrayed and deciding to join a revolution against his company (note: both trilogies take place in the same universe, but hundreds of years apart, so that's pretty neat as well).

    And that's the best thing about Swan, really: he knows how to write a very fast paced tale with lots of twists but give it just enough character and world building that it's not completely meaningless fluff.

    Glad to see we're checking out some of the lesser read authors, Hobb, and hopefully this Wolf series of books gets him more readers.
     
  13. Sfinx

    Sfinx Life's a riddle

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    Finished Wolfbreed today. The book has an interesting premise, but in all honesty i was glad when i finished it. And not because i could then start on the sequel...

    It's not all bad, mr. Swann is a capable writer and some of his action scenes and a few of the more emotional ones are quite enjoyable. As said, the premise is interesting and the main characters are well chosen. But it quickly goes downhill after that. The storyline feels invented at every turn - and not invented in a good way; it felt events were linked just because it would make for a neater 'everything is connected', self-contained story - which is one of the reasons Wolfbreed could never draw me in: no 'suspension of disbelief' ever occurred.

    But the largest flaw, and by far the most irritating one, is the compulsive need for explanation in the book. EVERYTHING is either explained in full, or by a busload of very obvious hints. Be they events, feelings, or a state of mind, one is left in no doubt whatsover what is going on. Or what will happen. I found myself skimming entire paragraphs and even pages because it was so darned obvious what would happen next. And even when he does throw in some stuff with 'emotional impact' (Lilly throwing herself of the wall to save Hilde) - taadaa, in the next chapter it turns out, thank god, Lilly has survived after all. Bells and white doves all around. Soap operas stretch out tension longer than that. Sorry, just venting now :)

    In short, not my cup of tea. How did you guys fare?

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.
     
  14. fybonacci

    fybonacci Registered User

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    I didn't like it. I mostly agree with Sfinx's reasons. There was zero suspense, and everything -- I mean EVERYTHING -- is incredibly predictable. One of the joys of the fantasy genre are the puzzles the writers set. What are the sides? Who will betray whom? Who killed Asmodean? This book just doesn't have any. And the whole punchline mystery that should have been a revelation was obvious from, like, page 1.

    It's a good world. Compelling and brutal. There could have been a good story set in it, but the characters are just too weak, too generic. And the moral of the story very transparent. Treat someone cruelly and unjustly, and they will turn on you.


    SPOILERS



    Now I'd be happy if things were a bit more complicated. For instance, if, say, Lilly had reconciled with her master, and both of them were left alive at the end. Or if she were to have escaped for more than just this one very simple motive.
     
  15. beniowa

    beniowa Registered User

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    Hard to say. There wasn't really any one thing I could point to. I suppose the issue was more that the level of writing was just competent enough to be enjoyable, but not much more. That's just me though.
     
  16. Raule

    Raule Registered User

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    I felt very neutral about it, and I did find it mostly predictable. I did like how he handled Lilly's split personality and the slow journey to discovering her human side. But quite frequently, I did find myself wishing he had exploited the historical setting more than he did (I think there is so much potential with the Northern Crusades, which tend to be overshadowed). I also found myself wishing he had made Lilly's master, Erhard, more complex and conflicted than he did.