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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2012
Many reviews have said that they found this book disapponting as it was not like the vampire books. I dont know what they expected, but having read all the vampire and witch books i cant see what they were talking about.

For me the familiarity of Annes writing took me back to when I first read the vampire series, the writing felt familiar and comfortable, and drew me into the story as inevitably as I expected.

This is a wonderful story full of twist and turns, and yes, for readers of supernatural fictions, some of it was predictable, but not at all in the way expected. (Predictable without being predictable). Now i know that doesn't make much sense to those who haven't read this book, but I cant really expand on it without giving away a fairly important plot point. However, the way in which Anne expands upon legend and develops the charachters through it, interweaving love, trust, friendship and even faith makes this an enthralling read.

People have complained about the final 3rd of the book saying it was rushed. To me it didn't feel that way, instead it was filled with teasers, and the beginnings of other tales (much in the way of the vampire chronicles), enough for any reader to expect a number of sequels. For me I always feel a bit sad when I reach the end of a good book and often wait a day before I read the last chapter, just to delay the inevitable end, but with this there was so much going on, i didn't have to wait, because I know the stories not done, there are more to come.(Please Anne !)

Anne has a way of making you fall a little bit in love with the characters, of making you feel like you know them. Its what makes her writing so great. You can empathise with the frustation and love that Marchent feels for her brothers,the underlying moral dilema for Reuben, especially in relation to his brother, and even with the struggle Grace Golding feels in relation to Reuben. Graces emotions and fears are very understated and are felt more than read. And there is so much more to Phil (Reubens dad). Not to metion the histories and emotions underlying the wolves.

I so want to tell you all the story, but I never read the blurb on books, I think it spoils the story so I won't do that to you. Instead it is enough to say that this book is about a young man who encounters a life changing event, and his struggle to deal with it. But this book is so much more as Anne Rices' books always have been.

I wish I had the words to properly do this book justice, but the words I hold feel inadequate to the comfort and strength of feeling it raised in me.

Don't be put off by the nay sayers.

This book is a marvellous read, it is enthralling and accomplished. This book is suited to all readers. There is enough 'science' in it for people who enjoy Kathy Reichs books, enough 'love' for those who enjoy Karen Rose, enough 'thrills' for those who enjoy Stephen King, and enough 'human interest' for those who enjoy Jeff Abbott. There really is something for everyone.

If you are unfamiliar with Anne Rices works, this book will make you want to read all the others. It truly was a joy to read. Welcome back Anne Rice.
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on 14 February 2012
The reviews over on Amazon.com would have you believe that this is a 'return to form' for Anne Rice and that it is 5* addition to her work. Well, not quite.

To be sure we are back in familiar Rice territory and her skills at characterisation and world building are intact. For the first two thirds or so the plot cracks along and her recent attempts at a more economical prose style pay dividends for the most part. The problem for me was the later third or so of the novel.

I will not give away any spoilers but suffice to say that there is a substantial element of exposition masquerading as dialogue which in earlier times she would have written as a substantial historical flashback or possibly developed as a novel in its own right to good effect. Moreover this comes after a dramatic climax in the plot. This would be fine if it gradually built to a second and final climactic resolution but it doesn't. I find this strange because it is clear from her earlier work that Rice has an excellent grasp of how to structure a novel.

Conclusion? If you are a fan of Anne Rice then you will likely enjoy this. I read it quite quickly and I enjoyed it sufficiently to tip this review from a 3 to a 4* but the structural problems with the last third mean that, imho, it is not on a par with the earlier novels which made her name and it follows that it is not a 5*
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on 4 May 2012
Baring in mind that so many Amazon reviews have been written already for this compelling novel, I'm not going to set out the plot or summarize the story again, but assume that anyone reading this is already familiar with that much. Rather, these words will (I hope) provide a few new extra ponderings to add to the many dozens of imaginative and thought provoking points already made.

Let me begin by asserting that, to me, The Wolf Gift is a Yin Yang of a book - a book of deep contrasts, of immense dark and light and the interplay between them. Yet it's not dark and light in the usual sense of creating a good/bad division between hero and enemy. In this book the primary focus of the dark and light polarities exist within a single character. And, more than that, the book in fact encourages the reader to get in touch with the self-same dark and light polarity within themselves.

But more on that in a moment. First let me say this; for me The Wolf Gift was a real page turner. Excuse the pun but, from the moment I opened it metaphorical jaws I was bitten... and once bitten, then dragged helplessly into an adventure that never let me go until the very end. Rarely does a book hold me captive the way this did. It was an utterly compelling read and not simply because of the typical Anne Rice style (which, I have to say, was in top form) but because of the underlying metaphor and psychology. So, let's return to that theme of darkness, light and the human condition.

In a way I saw The Wolf Gift as an up to date Jekyll and Hyde, but whereas Jekyll (as mad scientist) determines his own fate by his quest to experiment, Reuben (our new hero) becomes what he becomes involuntarily, simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time - or, depending on your outlook, the right place at the right time! The bite and transfer of its condition is, after all, called a `Gift.' It is seen as a dark blessing, and this understanding is reinforced by the pseudo sacramental language employed. The salivary fluid that passes the gift on is called Chrism (the holy oil used in catholic rites of passage.

And here's where we're brought to our own dark and light. Anne Rice is master of re-creating age old myths and re-presenting them for a modern age. Yet she always manages to avoid the modern day tendency to clean up, water down or make pretty that we often find in other attempts to re-write the gothic horrors. However, Rice's hero in this book remains a hero even after he's taken on his personality as a Man Wolf. Rather than becoming an indiscriminate mad killer, he senses evil and destroys it. And he protects the good. Ah, I can hear you thinking, so this time she HAS sold out and done a Twilight job. This time she's made her monsters nice. I answer you NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. And this is what's so disturbing for the reader. This is what drags us down into our own darkness. The Man Wolf is brutal and wild; a lustful beast who crunches away people's heads and gorges on their soft dripping flesh, licking up their still hot blood. Make no mistake; this monster is a monster in the real sense of the word. The only difference is that he is aware of the moral state of his victims and will only kill those whom he senses as evil. And before you know it you, the reader, begin to sympathise with this violent creature. And if you're not extremely careful, by the end of the book you find yourself joining the crowds of cheering characters who celebrate the Man Wolf with an almost religious passion, singing hymns and writing poems and even selling action figures.

Who can blame them? Who can blame you? Here's the punisher of wrongdoing and a protector of the innocent we've all craved for if we're honest; not just a tough cop who throws the child molester in jail and chucks away the key, but a lethal judge and executioner who tortures them and gives them what they deserve before ripping them to shreds.

I have to say that this makes the book extremely uncomfortable reading. And so it should.
For those, like me, who like to see ourselves as liberal, compassionate, forgiving, sane, balanced and moral, this Man Wolf begins to reveal an inner wildness, even rage that we keep locked up and under control. It's what Carl Jung referred to as the shadow.

There is also a sexual element to this shadow side too. The sexuality of the Man Wolf becomes evident when he meets his mate and, written with erotic poetry, the descriptions of love making between Man Wolf and woman are both raw and sensual, wild and delicate. And we are under no illusions that, for Reuben, sex had never been as powerful before his Wolf personality took control. And again we, the reader, begin to look deeper into our own shadow!

For Reuben, as with both Louie and Lestat, his condition demands knowledge and understanding of what he is, as well as some sort of quest to find others and even to be linked or connected to a Man Wolf genealogy. Yet, unlike his Vampire cousins, the Man Wolf seems far less depressed about his condition than them. For Reuben the Wolf Gift is not the curse that the Dark Gift is for Louie et al. And, over the course of his adventure he gradually learns to gain some control and even perspective, seeing it perhaps as more than just a gift for him. But we never really get to the bottom of whether the Wolf Gift is a gift for the world or not. Like Fr. Jim, the hero's Catholic Priest brother, I (also a priest) hold that violence can never be adequately dealt with by more violence. Yet, I do hold that understanding and embracing the shadow within us is of the utmost importance for living healthy and balanced lives. As we all know only too well, when you imprison something and bury it deep down in the unconscious, it only becomes stronger and will - in the end - break free. When my own tradition (Christianity) bangs on about `living in the light,' claiming that God cannot look upon darkness, and that we must abstain, deny and (pushed to an extreme) even punish our own flesh, we only create bigger demons. I've learned from my Pagan friends, that a healthy dose of Yin and Yang, of light and dark, makes for a more grounded and far less destructive personality.

So, finally, that's what I feel the new monster from Anne Rice gives us. A metaphor for what lies deep down within us all. She offers no answers, and how can she? The question is for each of us to ask independently and of ourselves; what /who is this shadow within me? How do I tame it, embrace it, use it for wholeness and balance rather than destruction?

MARK TOWNSEND
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on 3 July 2013
I wasn't sure about this book when I first started reading it, but I pushed through the beginning and was pleased that I carried on with it. It had a slow start in my opinion, but once it got going the plot kept drawing me into the book. I loved the characters, the action was nicely spread around and it kept me entertained. A lot of the descriptive passages I found myself reading through quickly to get to the action scenes again and you find out a lot about the man wolf and the back story to how it all started. You go through the life with Ruben and how he learns about his gift and how he learns to control it.

It ended up being a fantastic read and I can't wait for the second in the series to be available as I'm left wanting to know more and wanting to find out about Laura too.

A great book from Anne Rice and for the first book I've read from this author, I'm glad to say that it ended up better than I expected. I would definitely recommend this book and am most definitely looking forward to reading more from Anne Rice.
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on 3 September 2014
Anne Rice has lost her gift? This certainly is not what I expected from someone of her standing. She used to be the master of the vampire and werewolf genre, but this is plain dissappointing. I quit reading half way through. I only very rarely do that.
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on 21 April 2014
I love Anne rice books but this was by far the least thrilling book she has ever written.
The characters are dull and lifeless, I kept reading hoping this was a slow starter, I was wrong.
Seems like Rice is now just milking her name by writing any old drivel and selling it
Hours of my life I will never get back!
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on 14 October 2013
Like the book of Love and Evil, I order this one because of the 4 starts reviews of other readers. Great mistake!! I was expecting the usual originality which is the trade mark of Anne Rice books, but she decided to go along with a very easy story plot., In which you figure out what the characters are going to do straight a\way. Even you 'know' who the pack of 'were-wolfs' are without a doubt from the very beginning of the book.
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on 31 May 2015
Really, just vampires in wolves clothing. The usual set of characters although much more shallow and 2 dimensional - extremely wealthy, awash with money to buy lovely houses, furniture, art etc; very refined; artistic; extremely intelligent, all of them gorgeously beautiful. None of them are endearing and I kept wishing that the central character would just go and jump off a very high cliff. A now rather tired and tedious format that here comes across as lazy writing from Anne Rice. In other words, it was a boring read.
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on 16 January 2015
After waiting for a time for a book from Ann Rice I was given the new Lestat Book which I highly recommend. I then decided to look for more new books and I found The Wolf Gift. I have enjoyed reading this story, but there are times when I felt it could have been reduced and made more compact. That doesn't mean I am not going to read the follow up, but Ann Rice isn't everyones ideal. To her regular readers give it a try you might enjoy.
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on 3 July 2016
Up to her usual standard. I Loved this book as I am a fan. I love the diversification from vampires to wolves and the history behind it all. Much better than her last books of vampires which got off course.Could not put it down.
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