Wen Spencer is really stacking up to be my favourite author. I don't usually read books with male protagonists as I really can't relate to the character enough to be in a state of suspended disbelief. But Wen Spencer has several series with male protagonist who I can relate to. Mainly because they aren't mucho men who kick butt and take names as they do. Instead she has men who are struggling to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world.
The Black Wolves of Boston is about a young werewolf who a few days before was a normal though a bit weird kid who was bullied by the locals in a small town. Then one day he wakes up and all his friends have been brutally murdered around him and he has run off to Boston because he is scared that now that he is a werewolf he'll hurt others.
He falls into it when a Vampire discovers him in a forest knocking down some trees. Things get complicated very quickly from there as it is revealed that Joshua our young werewolf has some secrets of his own. There are evil wickers after them all and they have had decades to set up their plan and it all rests on the shoulders on one scared and weirded out baby puppy werewolf.
Wen does a lovely job of expressing the feelings of weird and awkward moments of trying to fit in and new relationships and broken families. Joshua reminds me a lot of her Alien taste book and little Kitt and his dad/clone Ukiah. If you haven't read that series than I recommend it. Wen doesn't hide that things can be awkward and strange on the best of days. There is some love interests for those that like a bit of romance but it is clean so you can enjoy the story without being bogged down with clinical descriptions.
One thing I'm starting to look for in books is stories about families. We all have messy complicated families and I'm tired of authors who tie up their protagonists by making them orphans with no family ties. Joshua has family coming out of the wahzoo and I love it because it is also messy and complicated.
I must say I felt a little awkward over Joshua's feelings for the vampire but it also made me think about where that awkward feeling came from and Wen also carefully doesn't rub your face in this awkward feeling. Wen also doesn't turn away from spirituality. Which others might find awkward just like I did Joshua's feelings but which made me feel warm with acceptance that it all could be in the same story.
Anyone from teenagers up would love this book but beware it is also gory with snitches made from human eyes and people being skinned alive. So you can't be squeamish. But what good is defeating the bad guys when they aren't really evil. I'm really hoping this is the start to a new series but also I hope Wen finishes Tinker's story first because listen up Baen I want more and I want more now.
5 stars all round. At the moment you can only get this book as an eArc at Baen.