I read, sometimes, then like to blab about what happened.
This was an odd experience for me. The final in a two-book cycle, Wolf's Brother in its entirety felt like a conclusion. And because I'm god-awful at explaining things, let's see if I can do better:
Reindeer People and Wolf's Brother combined are like a hill - the first book is the climb up, and the second is like the climb down. I'm used to books having a short introductory period (about 15-20% of the book, depending, or more if it's part of a series), a much more sprawling conflict-n-problems period in the middle, and another small chunk at the end for finality, tying up everything and concluding the book, regardless of whether it's in a series or not.
These two books didn't feel like that. Reindeer People felt like that initial set-up period, and Wolf's Brother felt like the final concluding bit. The entirety of the books felt like that. And that essential Middle Bit seemed draped over both of the stories like a semi-transparent veil you have to read through. It was an unusual reading experience. Maybe it's just me, I dunno.
In any case, an interesting thing to note was that the villain was known to us this entire time. Throughout both books, almost from the moment they were introduced. The tension in the book wasn't caused from "whodunnit?" but rather "when is all of this neatly-stacked shit going to hit the fan?"
It was a little frustrating. I knew who the bad guy was, I knew that everything was going to come to blows about everything, it was just a matter of, essentially, waiting it out. Wolf's Brother was a much slower book for me (despite the tension) because the matter of how Tillu and Kerlew were going to survive was no longer an issue. We didn't have to watch these two struggling with survival and their own personal issues quite as much, due to them settling with the herdfolk.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love slow-paced books. Love 'em. But this book felt altogether too short to be as slow as it was. Not that it felt rushed; it just didn't feel as if there was enough content-to-pace stuff going on. If that makes sense? (I'm in the middle of post-pizza stupor. Forgive me.) ((Edit: 'ratio' was the word I was looking for. Well done, Cat.))
Tillu make some decisions and revelations towards the end of the book that seem rather out of character for her. She's wry, paranoid, suspicious to a fault, and constantly on the watch for everything around her and Kerlew that could possibly, maybe be dangerous. Constantly. I think her learning to let go and let Kerlew develop into his own person without her being a helicopter mom was a good thing, but she seemed to just...not do certain things I'd have expected her to do, or just plain act in ways I wouldn't have thought she would do.
It's not the worst example I've seen, but it did make me side-eye at my Kobo just a little bit. Otherwise, it's a good conclusion to a quick two-book series that honestly has a wonderful, rich-feeling world.
...I'm not entirely sure what I was doing with this review, but I suppose it's better to write out some thoughts than none at all, right?
Honestly, this is a difficult one for me to write about. I know it won't be some people's cup of tea - it's slow-paced, a little confusing at times, set in a first-person PoV, and isn't afraid of exposition.
But I loved it. It was just a good read that I thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover, especially as I picked it up entirely on a whim, thanks to a Kobo sale. I got into the book without knowing what it was about, having only barely skimmed ratings for it to see if it might be worth the money.
I'm glad I got this. It left me rethinking my life and the choices I make, and whether those choices are entirely my own or not. That all sounds awfully heavy and life-changing of course, but it was more like taking ten minutes with a cup of tea, no telly, no book...just ten quiet minutes to think and reflect with something warm to drink.
Normally historical fiction isn't really my beef, but this surprised me and left me wanting to read more books like it.
The fact that I am within spitting distance of the end of the book and still have to put it down to sleep really grates on me in the most weirdly amusing way. I will take the opportunity to say that if my notes are anything to go by (well over triple the amount for The Great Hunt, compared to EotW), I'm getting into Wheel of Time fairly decently.
Even at the 200-page mark I felt that The Great Hunt had picked up a lot more momentum from the first book, which now is definitely feeling like a cornerstone, a foundation rather than a very strong stand-alone novel. I'm getting into this one a lot more than the first, I'm pleasantly surprised to say.
Also, gotta say how, again, pleasantly surprised I am that Moiraine and Lan are played as very good, very old friends and not potential romantic prospects. Or, at least, I'm not getting that feel at this point. There are definitely not enough male/female platonic relationships in any kind of media these days, not without them being forced down a more romantic path.
...I hope Selene falls in a hole.
Longer review coming when it's not late, hopefully. A quick run-down of my end-of-book feelings:
...etc etc. On to The Great Hunt!
This is exactly everything I have never, ever wanted in my life.
I love filling out questionnaires. I have such a weakness for it. I couldn't resist this at all.
1. Are you named after anyone?
Not that I'm aware of. My middle name follows a long and irritating tradition of Anns, but my mum decided to break the cycle with me. Can't say I'm not pleased about that.
2. When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday, when the trailer for Jurassic World came on before Mad Max.
3. Do you have kids?
I have a bearded dragon and some house-plants, do they count?
4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
This is a good question actually. To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm usually very closed-off at first with people (thank you, social anxiety disorder) until I'm quite comfortable around them. I can go from very quiet and rarely speaking to getting very excitable and not shutting up about things pretty quickly, and I'm prone to irritability at times. To give myself some credit though, I do try very hard to be the kind of person I'd want to have in my life. I try to keep up with my friends, look out for them, support them when they need it, etc. So, maybe I would be, so long as I had the patience to put up with me crying far too much about fictional characters.
5. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
From time to time, but not to make fun of anyone (unless it's poking fun at friends/family). If it can be funny without being hurtful, then yeah.
6. Will you ever bungee-jump?
Honestly, I'd love to, despite the fact that I'm not exactly a twig! I'd love to sky-dive as well if possible.
7. What’s your favorite cereal?
Granola loaded with different types of seeds, fruit, and honey.
8. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
Whether or not they're like me. And by that I mean "Do they have tattoos? Piercings? Rad hair? Unusual clothing?" (Of course, I don't have any tattoos yet, and can't afford the clothing I'd like to wear. Go figure.) I also tend to take note right away if they seem to have an open and outgoing personality.
9. What is your eye colour?
10. Scary movie or happy endings?
Scary movie! I'm iffy with happy endings. If it was well deserved or a favourite character then yes. I like to feel like the characters I'm reading/watching went through absolute hell for that happy ending. If it's half-baked, it's not as interesting to me.
11. Favorite smells?
8pm in the summer, new book smell, my lizard (very mild wet pavement smell), ocean air, horses and general barn smells, camp-fire, lavender, etc.
12. Summer or winter?
Colder months completely. I absolutely wither in the heat and can't get enough of autumn.
13. Computer or television?
Computer. I haven't actively watched a tv in over a year, and won't be getting satellite of my own.
14. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
Well, I was born and raised in British Columbia, and then moved to Ireland when I was fourteen...so I'm not entirely sure how to answer this? I'm simultaneously the farthest I've ever been from home, while sitting on my couch in my apartment typing this. *shrug*
15. Do you have any special talents?
When I was a kid, I was exceptional at changing the channel back to the show just as the commercials were ending. These days, though, I'm a dab hand at making the bed while I'm still in it.
16. Where were you born?
Vancouver, BC. Grew up in a small town to the north of it, though.
17. What are your hobbies?
Trying to think of something fun to do while still managing to waste an entire day, video games (Monster Hunter, World of Warcraft, Pokémon, Animal Crossing, Minecraft, etc), catching up on trashy shows (I watch a lot of anime and cartoons), reading (mainly epic fantasy or sci-fi), crocheting, hanging out with my lizard.
18. Do you have any pets?
Aforementioned lizard; my six-year-old bearded dragon, Draco. He celebrated his homeday a couple of weeks ago ♥
19. Favorite movie?
This really depends. I'm very bad at picking singular favourites, so I tend to have a pool of movies/books/shows/etc of things that I really hugely love. Favourite feel-good movie is Kiki's Delivery Service, favourite rad-as-hell movie is Fifth Element, favourite movies to get pumped about are Pacific Rim and Mad Max: Fury Road, favourite movie to watch when I'm sick is Howl's Moving Castle...it keeps going, really.
20. Do you have any siblings?
One younger brother.
21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A velociraptor. I'll settle for a t-rex if that's not possible. Failing that, a writer of terrible SFF books or possibly an editor.