- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
Brethren: Raised By Wolves, Volume One: 1 Paperback – 1 Jan 2006
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
The author's attempts at seventeenth century English result in over-elaborate verbiage which at times is nonsensical; for example, "I didn't think he'd be so conducive" (to what?) and "I will endeavour to try" (try to try?) Pepys never wrote like this! There are also elementary spelling mistakes - "miniscule" and "supercede" for "minuscule" and "supersede".
In the afterword to the book Hoffman speaks of having studied the subject of pirates in depth, which is commendable. Unfortunately she is too anxious to share her research with us at length and devotes several passages to aspects of pirate life we would really not know - the butchering of pigs, the origin of words and other irrelevant details. Despite these shortcomings the reader still wants to know what happens to her amoral characters. It is a pity that more pruning and checking wasn't done at the editing stage. Reading "Raised by Wolves" would have been even more enjoyable then.
One warning : if you don't like the idea of 2 men falling in love, you may want to give this one a miss...
(It must be said that this was originally part of a trilogy, and now the author has announced that this has expanded and will be a quartet.)
At its core it follows the traditions of a typical love story - an arranged marriage which isn't consumated and a long long road in which the two protagonists learn to love and trust each other. Layered on top of this is a healthy dose of piratey action with some good secondary characters and some obvious hard research.
The author tries a little too hard, and she's guilty of "doing a Dan Brown" from time to time and info dumping hard about buccaneers and filibusters and the history behind it all - and mostly that was ok, as I didn't know a lot of it, but I also shook my head at times and said "And I should care about this over-richness of facts WHY exactly?" Too much of it and I was pulled away from the story itself. It is the same with the interractions between Gaston and Will (of which there are legion.) Granted, I admit there are boring bits in a sailor's life, but all these two seem to do is yak; chapters and chapters of it, and it got rather boring at times.
As for the actual daily life of the seaman, it was disappointingly absent for much of the book, replaced by the conversations. Only at rare points did I get the tang of salt in my nostrils and feel the rigging beneath my bare feet. They sailed around without the crew doing very much except shag and talk.
There is a over-arching plot, though and eventually it kicks in and starts to progress, but it takes too long getting there, and I had lost interest, both in the love affair and the backstory. I didn't like Will much - he didn't catch my imagination. He was a murderer/mercenary, and although Hoffman attempted to show me he was a "Good Egg" at the beginning by getting him to look after his bondsmen, and rescuing a sailor who was being abused, he lost any sympathy he gained there by promptly sailing off and leaving the bondsmen to rot in the hands of his overseer without a backward wave and never bothering much with the rescued sailor again.
As to the "Wolves" motif: it was overdone - He's a nobleman, he considers himself a wolf, being on top of society and he's always explaining about the wolves and the sheep (those who take orders.) I understood the concept after half a page, but the point was rammed home so often I was screaming at Will not to treat me like an idiot. The repetitive "hook" at the end of each chapter discussing "the Gods" too affected me like a dripping tap after 10 chapters, and I was dreading the last line of each one.
There were a few confusing or inaccurate details that I noticed. Right in chapter 1 Will says "I was not a Protestant" and then later he refers to "You Papists" so I'm all confused and thinking "well, what are you, then? Jewish?" No matter what he considered himself to be, he'd be one or the other. Then he celebrates Mass with his family so he must have been a Catholic. But even in the Restoration, I am fairly sure that Catholics weren't celebrating Mass so openly. But feel free to contradict me, I haven't checked this.
However, it's not a bad read. The inaccuracies didn't make me want to throw it against the wall, and as an adventure story it's well researched and not horribly written. Some of the speech is a little too modern and there are some typos, but that's to be expected in a self-published novel. Where the self-publishing REALLY lets Hoffman down, however, is the bloated size of the book itself. She would have done the book a favour to let a professional editor loose on it and rip out large sections; all the unnecessary chit-chat and scenes where nothing happens. It could have been reduced to 350 pages without losing any of its flavour, and would have been a much better, tighter book for the reduction.
Fans of seafaring tales will love this - and they do by all accounts but it wasn't for me. After the cliffhanger ending, I don't care enough about the characters to find out what happens to them next and the emotional involvement in reading a book 2 or 3 times the size of the average novel wasn't repaid, as the book, in essence, contained no more actual content than a book of 200 pages.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
A rowdy, yet believable, romp. Four volumes chronicles the relationship between two high-strung, young men, an emotionally wounded and disenchanted English...Read more
Look for similar items by category