Wolf’s Blood: Plague of Snowbrook is paranormal fantasy novel with a bit of mystery and suspense thrown in, which is part of what makes this book a pretty decent read. The main character, Clair, and her family move from an apartment in San Diego, where her mother works as a microbiologist and her father is with the police department, to Snowbrook, Oregon, a small, remote town with a bit of a secret. Clair’s mother has been hired by the town to help Samantha Wolff, the Park Ranger who oversees the wildlife reserve, to help solve the mystery of a plague that has been killing off the animals, and hopefully to find a cure. At first, Clair is reluctant to move and leave behind the life she was used to and the boyfriend she is in love with. At the age of 19, it seems like she should have a choice, but, as the story explains, she is unable to stay behind, mainly for financial reasons, and is somewhat stuck tagging along. Soon after moving in, she is introduced to Aidan Wolff, who lives across the street. Aidan is asked to show Clair around town, and a friendship develops. The two begin to spend more and more time together, and their small-town adventures swallow up most of the first 1/3rd of the book. To explain any more of their relationship, their adventures or the storyline would mean I’d be spilling out spoilers left and right, so you’ll have to read it to find out more.
Overall, I wound up giving this book a 3.75 rating. Here’s my take on it.
Believable: The primary characters were well designed and well written. Some of the minor characters were not well described or introduced, and it was a bit confusing remembering who was who. But, since they were minor parts and didn’t contribute to a lot of the storyline, I gave this part 4/5
Likeable: Again, the main characters were crafted in such a way that you wanted to root for the hero(es) and smack down the villain(s). Markus Wolff, who is the Chief of Police for the small town and is also Aidan’s Uncle, was my least favorite character. My overall favorite was Aidan’s younger sister, Mia. In fact, the relationship between those two characters is wonderfully written! 4/5 again.
Villains: In terms of the villains, they were definitely nasty (5/5) and acted in ways that I kept hoping they would meet their demise. 5/5 here.
Stayed in Character: Overall, the characters mostly stayed in character, though I felt some of the dialogue given to Mia was too mature for her age, and Markus at times was all over the place. 4/5 for this part.
Creative: The characters were creatively written and the interrelationships between all the characters was well thought out. 4/5
(Overall 22/25 or 4.4 stars)
Believable: Yes, this is a story that asks the reader to suspend disbelief, but there was never a time when I was rolling my eyes or thinking ‘that would never happen’. So, well done here. 5/5
Relatable: Early on I had trouble understanding some of the story, like, in one part of the story it describes the town as being unreachable during winter, and yet, all winter long new characters keep arriving in town, and some of them leave for periods as well. Otherwise, everything seemed relatable to an isolated small town environment. 4/5
Flow: The author appears to have spent time plotting out this story, as the way the story unfolds, there really weren’t any parts that felt sticky or clunky or weird. It is, however, a bit long, and should probably have been trimmed a bit during the edits. 3/5
Creativity: Other than the part mentioned above about the town supposedly being unreachable, but yet it is, I liked the environment and the creativity of the locations. 4/5
Length: As already mentioned, this story is long. In my opinion, it’s too long for the type of story that it is. A more streamlined story would have been far more enjoyable, and it wouldn’t have taken as long for the action to begin, or for each new dramatic encounter to start. 3/5
(Overall 19/25 or 3.8 stars)
Overall Style: I liked the style of Poetschlag’s writing. For the most part it’s clear and easy to read, though there are a few sticky parts where I had to go back and re-read a few paragraphs to ensure I understood what she meant. 4/5
Dialogue: This was one of my least favorite parts of the book. The characters just didn’t speak very well, there were parts were two different characters were speaking in the same paragraph, and there were parts where the dialogue and the scene did not mesh. 3/5
Perspective: To be honest, this needs work. The story was told from a multiple viewpoint perspective, but there was not always a good indication that the perspective was changing, which was the main reason I found myself going back and re-reading parts. 2/5
Pace: Each chapter, or portion thereof, had decent flow, the issue was in the overall length, and the time it took for each new development in the story to begin. 3/5
Enjoyment: Even with the issues with the style of writing, there was never a point where I wanted to give up reading or felt bored. 4/5
(Overall 16/25 or 3.2 stars)
Comma usage: Yikes! This book needs an edit. Far too many places where a comma was needed and not used, or wasn’t needed and was. 2/5
Spelling: Very minor instances of misspelled words. 5/5
Punctuation: Other than comma usage, again, very minor instances 5/5
Correct Word Usage: This needs a serious re-edit as well. Far too many instances (like 10-15 at least) of wrong words being used throughout. And just their/there/they’re, but teeth/teethe, breath/breathe, etc. 2/5
Era/Location Appropriate: Very minor instances were a word was used that didn’t fit the story/location/characters 5/5