Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 432 pages
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Wereworld series
Rating: 3/5 stars
I read this book out loud to my son. It was an okay fantasy story. I did have quite a few problems with it. My husband and son both listened along. My husband said 3 stars and my son 4 stars.
When Drew’s mother is brutally murdered Drew finds out he is a werewolf, but not just any werewolf. Drew is the long lost heir to the murdered Wolf-King’s throne and he will have to survive a whole bevy of enemies if he is going to claim his inheritance…or at least just stay alive.
This is a complex world with a lot of action and politics. However, some of the language was pretty awkward (which we all especially noticed because I was reading it out loud). There are a lot of archaic terms and a lot of very stilted sounding language. It just sounds clumsy at points. And the length of sentences…OMG…buy me an oxygen tank here…some of them were nearly a paragraph long.
This is a very violent story. It is marketed as middle grade and my son (at 7 years old) is just starting to read middle grade books like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I would recommend for older middle grade readers only. The injuries the characters get are incredibly explicit and numerous.
There are also many scenes where characters are beaten into unconsciousness and tortured. It was a bit intense for a middle grade novel and we almost stopped reading it because it was upsetting to my son. He just didn’t understand why someone would be so cruel. He is a very enthusiastic reader, but he wants nothing more to do with this series. Maybe when he gets older he will revisit it.
My last complaint is the lack of strong female heroines. This is more apparent at the beginning of the book. In the beginning of the book there is Drew’s mother (who is quickly slaughtered to death) and a noble girl named Gretchen who is a really obnoxious and nasty girl (pretty much your typical spoiled princess). I didn’t appreciate the portrayal of women as generally helpless and conceited. Gretchen does gain more depth as the story continues and we do meet a couple other women characters towards the end of the book who have stronger and more interesting personalities.
I guess just be aware that this is a very male oriented world and the story was in general very chauvinistic. I probably think about this more than most because I have a young boy in the house who is already under the impression that girls wear glitter, lots of pink, and are silly and helpless. I would rather he see girls as people who are just as capable as he is.
Okay enough ranting. I guess I had a lot to say about this book. It’s not an awful story but there are much better middle grade books out there. Check out Harry Potter JK Rowling, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven and Five Kingdoms series. All of those series are much better middle grade reads.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge