Reviewed by Dan
AUTHOR: T.J. Klune
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 400 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2016
Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
I’ll be honest, when I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I didn’t like the short, kind of choppy sentence and paragraph structure, and the random and rapid changes of subject. Once I got into it though, it made more sense when it becomes clear that it is written from the perspective of the main character Ox, a boy described as being just a little bit slow, with an abysmally low self-esteem caused by his father’s comments before he abandoned Ox and his mother several years before the events in this story. Suddenly the way the story was told kind of clicked and I flew through it. I will warn you, this one holds your attention. I had a very hard time putting it down and taking a break to do other things!
Ox meets a boy on the road by his house when he is sixteen and the boy is ten. The boy and his family have just moved in, or as it turns out just moved back, to the house down the road from Ox and his mother. Right off we clue that there is something different about Joe and the rest of the Bennett clan.
As the book proceeds we move through time as the two young men age into adulthood, and interact through the years. Along the way we have teen angst, drama, evil doers, witches, shifters, murder, kidnapping, references to prior torture, and an overall very well put together story. It would be sooo easy to do spoilers on this book, but I’m not that kind of reviewer. I’m going to have to just tell you that I really enjoyed the author’s take on shifters, and leave it that. I hear you…yes you…groaning. Stop groaning, go pick the book up and give it a read!
I’m highly recommending this one. I briefly considered lowering my rating by a half a point to 4.0 because of those odd sentences and storyline shifts. I didn’t because I don’t want to appear churlish. I’ll end by saying that I liked the book and characters a lot. One final note, this is a really long book, so be prepared to have plenty of time to read it!