Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Review and Giveaway: The Wolf's Cry (The Semei Trilogy, #1) by Natalie Crown


For a while I didn’t find a book that gave me so much pleasure reading it! And that's not because I like the shapeshifters / wolves, young adult or fantasy genre, but because the author manages to tell a good story, in which the happiness and the terror are intertwined, the despair and the hope coexist, your friends can be hostile and your enemies act like friends, in which the growing-up of the characters occurs gradually. I like to think that the starting point of this maturity is introduced as a tribute to Alice in Wonderland. (There is another subtle parallel regards the existence of another world, but I leave you to discover it for yourself).
'Could a human...dig deep enough to find this place?' 'I don't think it would work that way. The divide between the worlds is more than a physical one.'
It’s a believable fantasy world that makes you wish to be a part of it. A world whose presentation does not bore you during a lot of pages, but it is ample enough for you to perfectly imagine it while leaving your imagination to color it at will.

And the author's imagination was also at its peak when she created the characters. Frustrations and hopes, the uncertainty and determination of the main characters are handled with mastery, the extremes being found in each of them, drawing strong characters whose vulnerability makes them real... human. The author manages to create tension in their relationship and will make it remarkable through suggestions and actions, nothing overt, nothing provided for free to the reader whose interest will be kept alert by the existence of other relationships...
The run had brought a glow to her cheeks and he found himself wanting to smile just looking at her. There, again, loomed Ania in his mind.
The secondary characters are varied and treated with the same attention as the main ones. They highlight the main characters without losing themselves and without diminishing their importance. Their past and experiences bring consistency to the main line of the story, motivating it and also bringing new and new possibilities. Possibilities that can change the story or alter the fate of the heroes and that are successfully used by the author.
It does not matter how our lives came to be, it is what we do with them that is important.
Unknowns and mysteries, secrets and contradictory statements, danger and confrontations, unexpected actions and violent ostensive, prejudices are shown in light and shadows, and lofty goals can hide personal, mean interests, the wrongdoing may mislead, and the love (not just for power) plays a decisive role. We find love at every turn. Whether it is between two lovers, or it’s the one for friends, family, for country or for the world you belong to, and even for the righteousness, whether is already lost or it is just rising, it is one that affects everything.

In conclusion, The Wolf's Cry brings in a fast pace: love and friendship, unexpected and twists, hope and despair, risky adventure, petty or noble goals, handling and real feelings, fantastic and real .. and a subtle environmental message.

I could say much more, but the risk is high to give spoilers, so I will just recommend it to you. I cannot wait the next two volumes!
‘Remember to purr next time

The rain had stopped which was a welcome change. Kammy turned her eyes upwards and thought that the sky even looked a little brighter. It was cold though, colder than it had been for a while. Kammy pulled on her coat and stuck her hands into her pockets.

‘I thought you said you had to get home,’ Kammy said lightly.

Jamie folded his arms. ‘I said I was going to go home, not that I had to.’

‘But your mum…’

‘She has a cold. She’ll be fine to wait a little longer. I’m concerned for you.’

Kammy shook her head. ‘Don’t be.’

‘You’re not meeting my eye.’

Kammy stared at him.

‘Now you’re just being stubborn.’

‘I’m always stubborn.’

‘But you’re clearly keeping something from me, and you never keep things from me.’ Kammy saw the flash of hurt in his eyes and felt a bud of guilt.

She glanced around, looking up and down the narrow street but there was nobody about. It was the middle of the afternoon and most people in the village were at school, on the farms or working in Erinsdale, the only town on the island. Kammy gnawed at the inside of her cheek. ‘It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, it’s just that you’ll think I’m insane.’

‘I already think you’re insane, have done for a while. So hit me with it.’

Kammy shot him a look but his smile in response was half hearted. He was trying his hardest be flippant but he really was worried. First it had been her Gran, now Jamie. If Kammy did not have such a strong aversion to her own reflection, she would check and see what all the fuss was about. Her eyes drifted over the village, the rooftops that dipped and rose with the rhythm of the earth beneath them. She could see her home on the top of the hill but she saw the trees too and felt a chill despite her coat. The forest had never scared her before but the thought of walking towards it alone made the sick feeling in her stomach that much stronger.

In a small voice, she said, ‘Walk me home?’ She did not tell him that she wanted him there because she was afraid; she knew that she did not need too.

Jamie fell into step beside her.

They walked away from the pub and the flowered vines that crawled along its walls. They walked down the road in silence, past houses of all shapes and sizes, painted in a rainbow of colours. The only sound that they could hear was that of the distant waves, running across the stony beach. They trod through dirty puddles , past the crooked paths that zigzagged up towards the largest houses. One of those houses was Jamie’s and Kammy flinched when she looked at it, imagining that Helen was watching them and hating the company that her son was keeping. The smell of fresh bread filled the air and Kammy kept her gaze averted from the bakery. She did not need to see Esme on top of everything else. She took a deep breath. Her mouth was dry and she had to swallow a few times before she could speak.

‘Last night I went into the forest for a run…’

Jamie’s voice went up a few octaves. ‘In that storm?’

Kammy ignored him. ‘There’s this spot there. Mum used to go there and I…I like it, so…’ Kammy glanced at him. She had never told him about the mouth but if he cared that she had kept it from him, he did not show it. He nodded for her to continue. ‘There’s this burrow. At least, I thought it was a burrow but then it was a tunnel. It was big enough for me to fit inside so I went in,’ Kammy could feel her face burning. It sounded ridiculous.’ I kept walking and walking for…I don’t know how long. I came back out into the forest but it was…warm, the sun was shining.’

Jamie looked up and Kammy knew what he was thinking. He was feeling the heaviness of the air; he was looking at the expectant clouds. Daleswick had not seen sunshine for days.

‘Were you high?’

About the author:
I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk, England. There wasn't much around, other than farms and fields, but for the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to the MAX.

Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing - it was my dad that played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn't push me towards books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and princesses in.

I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn't reached double figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have loved alternate universes…)

When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return. Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing. There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.

I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but even if you don't agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more than that.

These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can't complain. The dream is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn't matter if I never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.

I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective opinion of course). I just can’t.


ilookfamous said...

Entertaining and informative post today. I esp. enjoyed the author bio. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I love paranormal books and this one sound awesome. Thank you for the chance to win it.

Candace said...

GORGEOUS review! So well said! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for hosting a tour stop!

Unknown said...

This is a really wonderful review. Thank you so much for taking part in the tour and I hope book 2 lives up to your expectations!

Kai said...

I just love the book cover. Thanks for the book description and interview.

Donna Reynolds said...

Great review Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

Unknown said...

I love the cover! Can't wait to read the book, thanks for the review, the post in general and the giveaway :D

Kiku said...

Thanks for sharing & for the giveaway!
I like the cover (:

Unknown said...

WOW! cover! Thanks for the giveaway

michie2003 said...

Thanks for the chance.

Silver said...

The cover of this book caught my attention immediately. I have to have this on my shelves!

nurmawati djuhawan said...

i love the blurbs..
thx u for hosting ^^

Joseph Hawkshaw said...

This cover looks awesome i love wolfs so this book would be cool.

Torialeigh said...

thanks for the giveaway

ionutzk said...

Great giveaway

CCAM said...

@all: thank you - I really liked this book!