WOLF BOUND by Theo Fenraven
Details: ARC received from the author
Own / Kindle
“A year after suffering a disastrous end to his relationship with his partner, teacher Jon Anderson trades his apartment in the city for a lake house in the country. Told there is an author living nearby, Jon, who dreams of being a writer, goes in search of him and finds the attractive older man in a small, rustic cabin on a tiny island on a neighboring lake. Harrison Kalmes shows Jon around, but makes it clear he’d rather be left alone. Jon respects that wish until the night he and his friend, Suzie, drink a little too much scotch and impulsively decide to visit the island.
What happens then is the start of an incredible journey that will eventually take Jon all the way to mysterious and seductive Transylvania in Romania, where he searches for the answers that will save someone’s life while setting him on the road to rediscovering his own.
Beware the woods. Transylvania isn’t only about vampires.”
There’s so much I would love to say about this story, so many details I would like to describe and then rave about. I’ll restrain myself though. This story should not be spoiled for any reader. Every person picking up this book should have the same opportunity I had; to fall into Wolf Bound and discover all the delights it holds without (any) expectations beyond those the blurb provides.
Paranormal is a mostly unexplored genre for me. I may have read books and stories featuring werewolves or other shifters but they are few and far between. So I may be wrong when I say Wolf Bound didn’t read like a typical paranormal/shifter story. This, for me, was more a story about how characters deal with an unexpected, and on many levels, horrific change in their lives.
I liked this different approach. I was fascinated by the rawness of the emotions the characters go through because I could relate to those feelings even if I’ve never found myself in a similar situation and never will.
Theo Fenraven is a magician with words. He paints the clearest pictures with only a few, carefully chosen and evocative words. Characters, their surroundings and the turmoil they go through are tangible without long descriptions or repetition. The reader is in Wolf Bound’s world with Jon and Harrison to such an extent that the smallest gesture or half a word is enough to feel what they are experiencing.
While this story, by its very nature, is a fantasy I was impressed by how realistic it felt while I was reading it. There was no need to suspend disbelief. The characters reactions to the situations they are facing may not always be beautiful or charming but they are exactly what I imagine they might be should I find myself up against what they have to deal with.
Regular readers of M/M romances may be surprised at how little ‘graphic’ sex they encounter in these pages. And, if I’m perfectly honest, I have to admit that I was surprised that I didn’t miss it; I enjoy a hot scene or two as much as the next person. I didn’t need them in this book though. The glimpses we got combined with the overall interaction between the characters gave me enough detail to imagine exactly what these two men would be like together without the author having to spell it out for me.
Once again Theo Fenraven has managed to take me by surprise and impress me. He is a masterful storyteller with an imaginative and versatile mind. I count myself lucky that I haven’t read all his previous books yet. I’m sure there are a few more ‘Fenraven’ gems patiently waiting for my attention.