Brothers in Valor (Man of War #3)

Published Post author

Brothers in Valor Book Cover Brothers in Valor
Man of War
H. Paul Honsinger
Sci-fi
47North
June 30, 2015
Paperback
382

Sometimes Captain Max Robichaux fights by the book—and sometimes he throws the book away. This makes him one of the Union Space Navy’s rising stars. It’s also what has kept him and his green crew alive…thus far.

When Max and his ship—the twenty-fourth-century space destroyer USS Cumberland—are boxed in by eight enemy battleships, the odds are against them at a million to one. It takes all their skill and guts just to escape…and surviving won’t get easier. Sent on a covert mission behind enemy lines, Max and his crew are poised to strike a blow so hard that, if successful, it could turn the tide of the war. But if they fail, it will cost them their lives…and the lives of every human in the galaxy.

 

This review will contain spoilers for the previous two books.

Brothers in Valor really ramps up the action compared to the previous Man of War novels. The first book had a fair amount of world building and character development, with little bits of action in-between. The second novel used that pre-established information and focused more on fighting, just adding more lore as needed. This third book is closer to full-on war with Robichaux and his crew jumping from one battle to the next. The near-constant warfare does make this book feel shorter; and it is shorter too, with a noticeably lower page count than the other two.

Character development was a bit weaker here than in the previous books. Robichaux still gets developed further as the central character, but other crew members are not as at the forefront. Dr. Sahin, for example, felt more like a plot device than a character in Brothers in Valor. He serves the role of inexperienced military personnel, asking questions that the readers need answered in context. But for character development, he does not do a lot this time around. The same is true for most of the rest of the crew. There is one chapter though that takes place from a Krag commander’s point of view. This gives a lot of insight into the culture and the way they think, making it one of the best chapters of the book.

With so many battles, the overall plot of this series does not advance too much either. The way Brothers in Valor is lain out is almost like the season finale of a television show. We have had slower developments leading here and now we are at the big action scene at the end. Because despite this being the end of the trilogy, it does not end the story as a whole. This wraps up the current story arc, but there will still be more to come.

While some elements in Brothers in Valor are weaker than in its predecessors, the action is top notch. Since the Cumberland tends of operate independently, many of the previous battles in the series were skirmishes. This is where we get into full-on war; the turning point that could decide the final outcome for all humanity. We do get a climax but only for this first portion of a much larger story. With Honsinger working on another trilogy, I cannot wait to see where Robichaux and his crew go next.

August 12, 2018

Meg

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Meg (MEG #1) Book Cover Meg (MEG #1)
MEG
Steve Alten
Horror
Tsunami Books (originally Deep Terror)
September 1, 2005 (originally June 2, 1997)
Paperback
438

Revised and Expanded. On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he's sure he saw but still can't prove exists - Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds. Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub. Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he's never imagined. MEG is about to surface. When she does, nothing and no one is going to be safe, and Jonas must face his greatest fear once again.

 

Sharks are pretty terrifying as far as predators go. They have been around since the age of dinosaurs without changing all that much. Sure, they have gotten smaller; but beyond that their biology is mostly the same. Because in tens of millions of years sharks have remained the top hunters (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). So, let us take an animal the Steven Spielberg made everyone afraid of and make it bigger. To put this in perspective, Bruce (the shark in Jaws) measured about 25’ long. Our titular Meg in this book measures at 60’ long with a lot more body mass. Bruce would pull you under while the Meg can just swallow you (and your boat) whole.

Meg on the whole is a bit of a Crichton-esque book. It is that type of sci-fi that is just one step ahead of actual science. Just far enough to still be believable. The Meg’s origin and escape into open waters is plausible. As are the massive effects such a predator could have to ecosystems. The book also has the Crichton-level of science, being science-y enough for interested readers but not so much that general audiences get lost.

Jonas serves as a solid main character; a man trapped in the past suddenly thrust into an adventure that could finally move his life forward. A few of the other characters are cliché, like Jonas’ greedy, scheming wife. But this book is ultimately about the Meg, so Steve Alten gives us time to focus on the shark. Everyone who reads this book is reading it for the shark; we do not need a lot of minute character development soaking up time that could be spent on the Meg itself. When you read a story about a big monster, you want to actually see the big monster.

On the whole, Meg is cheesy. Great literature this is not, being closer to Sharknado than Jaws. Ok, maybe not Sharknado; not quite that far off the rails. Closer to maybe Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. With the film version of The Meg right around the corner, we will see how the theatrical version compares. Since most of the shark movies in the last six years have been Syfy Channel Originals, it will probably be great in comparison. If you enjoy those types of cheesy Man vs. Shark movies, you will enjoy Meg.

August 5, 2018

The Equalizer 2

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Poster for the movie ""

The Equalizer 2 is more of a thriller than an action movie. There were plenty of action sequences and Denzel Washington does kick a lot of ass. But compared to a full-on action movie, the action was tame. It was not crazy over-the-top Mad Max level action; like the first film, the action was down-to-earth and felt like it could happen in real life. The actions scenes were a bit spread out but not so much that the film felt slow. Some parts were borderline on feeling slow but managed to stay on the line instead of stepping over it.

Denzel is certainly a badass in this movie. He is still able to take down a roomful of men single-handedly. The Equalizer 2 focuses less on what he can do and more on who he is. We already know his character’s backstory from the previous film. This time around it focuses more on who he is now, after the previous movie partially come out of hiding. He is more actively helping people from the beginning of this film but, like in the first Equalizer, his hand gets forced and the situation escalates.

It is not very common to see an action hero who is also a person. While Denzel’s character is very skilled and methodical, you do not get the sense he is invincible. He is extremely intelligent and constantly two steps ahead, but he is not Rambo. On top of his intellect, he cares. He genuinely cares about other people, even people he does not know. At one point in the film someone he saves asks, “Why me?” and he simply responds, “Why not you?” The scene where Denzel and the young man get off the elevator (to keep this vague and spoiler free), particularly shows what kind of man he is. He has a gentle soul but also the heart of a warrior.

While I still hold that Denzel’s best film is The Book of Eli, The Equalizer 2 turned out very good. It is on par with the first film, which similar but not identical structuring to the story and characters. The story is extended from the first film but also left open enough that they can make The Equalizer 3 if they want to. While not necessarily one of the top action films ever, The Equalizer 2 is solid enough to be well worth the watch.

July 29, 2018

I Kill Giants

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I Kill Giants Book Cover I Kill Giants
Joe Kelly, J.M. Ken Niimura (Artist)
Graphic Novel
Image Comics
September 1, 2009
Paperback
184

Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story called "Best Indy Book of 2008" by IGN.

 

I Kill Giants starts off as a bit of a peculiar story. Readers are dropped right in front of Barbara, a 5th grade girl who very openly says she kills giants. She is a girl with a difficult homelife that affects her personality dramatically. Throughout the story she lashes out at people around her, behaving very hostile even towards people trying to help. But her flaws are the reason the story is so interesting. We are slowly introduced into what shaped her into the person she is now. Ultimately it is not what this story is, but the way I Kill Giants is told that makes it special.

At its core, this is a coming of age story. Barbara is dealing with the problems that come with being a pre-teen and then some. She is the weird kid whose personality makes other kids not like her and adults see her as a troublemaker. Granted, to a degree she is a troublemaker. Writing about Barbara without spoilers for the story is next to impossible, but as I Kill Giants progresses she grows. Not necessarily at a steady pace as large parts of it are readers seeing explanations for her actions. Both in the sense of why she is ready to kill giants and how she plans to do so.

Being a graphic novel, the artwork is a large part of what makes this story work. The drawings are not so cartoony that it becomes hard to take the story seriously. At the same time, it does not hit the epitome of sharp and serious either. The art is soft enough that it does not feel 100% real, which is in line with how Barbara does not fit in with everyone’s expectations of her. And despite having soft edges that are a bit cartoony, the lighting makes some of the scenes very dark. Dark in both a literal and figurative sense, which again fits Barbara’s character.

Ultimately this story reminded me a lot of A Monster Calls. Although, I Kill Giants did come out before the A Monster Calls book and I have not seen the movie adaption of this story at the time of this writing. Despite the premises being so similar, the stories are very different. Part of it is the main characters different personalities and another part is their different situations. Many of the little details in their lives are different as are their responses to their duress. Giant monsters are still involved in both stories and both hold powerful, similar messages but their intricacies and dynamics hold some major differences. Enough that both stories stand out as great despite any happenstance similarities.

July 22, 2018

Synod

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Synod Book Cover Synod
Dan C. Gunderman
Historical Fiction
Zimbell House Publishing
January 9, 2018
Paperback
396

The year is 1829. The gruff, self-reliant Goldfinch, a veteran of the War of 1812, has become the anointed leader of an idyllic religious community named Synod, nestled in the Ramapough Mountains of northern New Jersey.
Thanks to the advice of the village's Founders, Synod will become a stop on what would soon be called the “Underground Railroad.” Goldfinch oversees this transition, bringing in a broken runaway family. As southern bounty hunters follow their path and seek to reclaim stolen property, Goldfinch meets a shadowy abolitionist with close ties to the federal government.
As the man recruits Goldfinch into a wider crusade against slavery, Goldfinch also contends with recurring visions—both fiery and prescient. He’s also pitted against Nance, a corrupt politician whose lone pursuit is to eliminate runaway slave dens.

Will Goldfinch return to his roots and take up arms as this conflict reaches the Governor's desk? Will he be able to protect his village from destruction and damnation?

 

Synod was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synod is a piece of historical fiction revolving around the Underground Railroad. From that, the book has a Free State of Jones/Hell on Wheels type of vibe. It is a bit earlier in American history and takes place in New England, but those are the things this story reminded me of. On the whole Synod stands up, but partway through things do start to get a little weird. Part of the dynamic shifts somewhat suddenly and in an odd direction and this change proved fairly distracting.

The name Synod comes from the settlement that most of the story takes place in or around. It is a small Protestant community that decides to become a waystation on the Underground Railroad. Their community is small with around a dozen people, but they are all hardy survivors constantly ready to work hard. Having a small community means there are few secrets and the lack of privacy makes for many challenges. Emotions run high throughout the story as the added tension of helping runaways is added to the already tense hamlet. The dialogue and characterization are solid, with the speech and character attitudes fitting the era.

Assisting runaways is a noble cause but also a dangerous one and residents of Synod no disillusions about that. Synod is set up with defense in mind and they have armed themselves against both the wilderness and bounty hunters. And the bounty hunters do not care who gets in their way or if their bounties are brought in alive. On the flipside, there are various people from the North involved with helping the Railroad, from churchmen to politicians. But this is where things in Synod (the book) start to get a little weird.

While the story starts out as pure historical fiction, a supernatural element becomes more apparent partway through. It influences characters and events pretty heavily, but never really feels like it fits. If it had stayed subtle that probably would have worked out fine. And in the beginning, it does start that way. But the level of supernatural involvement keeps getting more and more obvious until it is directly affecting the story. It never goes into full Harry Potter type magic, but more of that low-key Stephen King level. That inclusion just drug an otherwise good historical fiction novel down with too much confusion. Beyond that one pothole the story was fine, but it felt like a fairly big pothole.

July 15, 2018

The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1)

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The Red Knight Book Cover The Red Knight
The Traitor Son Cycle
Miles Cameron
Fantasy
Orbit (originally Gollancz)
January 22, 2013 (originally September 1, 2012)
Paperback
672

Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.

Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern's jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men - or worse, a company of mercenaries - against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.

It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.

The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he's determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it's just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can't deal with.

Only it's not just a job. It's going to be a war. . .

 

The Red Knight is one of those medieval fantasy books that just gets everything right. Miles Cameron’s “About the Author” page mentions he has a BA in Medieval History and it really shows. Everything in the book just flows together beautifully. People from all walks of life (farmers, soldiers, royalty, etc.) have their place in the story. There is no one who knows everything about everything, so the characters can explain things to each other. And in turn, to readers. The world building, characters, and story are all built up well in this way.

If you have read a high fantasy or epic fantasy before, you roughly know what to expect here. This is a land where great battles were once fought but the power of man has diminished. Creatures of evil are now seeking to take advantage of that weakness. It has a very War of the Ring vibe to that aspect of the story. The magic system is also subtler than many other fantasy stories. Only a select few people have magic and even then, it is pretty tame outside of giant battle sequences. The array of magical creatures is also impressive as well; some are common, well-known beasties while Cameron puts his own spin on a few things as well.

The story jumps between perspectives, so we get to see quite a bit of each character firsthand. The titular Red Knight is a mercenary leader with a mysterious past, one not fully explained in this first book. His mercenaries are fun too, particularly Bad Tom (the living definition of “battle lust”) and Sauce (tougher-than-nails kickass woman). The villain Thorn, being not human, makes for an interesting perspective for more reasons than I have room to write about here. There is a slew of characters that a whole review could be dedicated to and they are really the best part of The Red Knight.

As for the plot itself, it is more a war story than anything else. The mercenaries start thinking they need to catch a murderer. Events quickly build from there and soon after they are defending a fortress from a siege. In a lot of fantasy books, you see a big battle and when it is done, it is done. This is a full-blown siege; days of the enemy attacking and then defenses being shored up for the next attack. A book this long is very hard to sum up in a little review like this. So I will just say it: If you have any interest in epic fantasy, The Red Knight is well worth the read.

July 8, 2018

Overlord, Vol. 7: The Invaders of the Great Tomb

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Overlord, Vol. 7: The Invaders of the Great Tomb Book Cover Overlord, Vol. 7: The Invaders of the Great Tomb
Overlord
Kugane Maruyama
Fantasy
Yen On
May 22, 2018 (English); August 30, 2014 (Japanese)
Hardcover
288

A group of "workers" whose better judgement has been clouded by hopes and expectations have descended into the unknown depths of a mysterious tomb.
These trespassers include the small but elite team Foresight, the storied warriors of Heavy Masher, the crew lead by a legendary elder worker, Green Leaf, and the invincible swordsmen of Angel.
They are some of the best that can be hired, but as more and more vengeful residents of Nazarrick appear, will any make it out alive?

 

Note: This review will contain spoilers regarding the previous Overlord light novels.

Overlord Vol. 7 is great overall, but a little bit of a mixed bag. After three books that (mostly) put Ainz in a more secondary role, we finally get to focus on him again. In some ways, Invaders of the Great Tomb is still weaning off the format seen in volumes 4-6. In other ways, the layout is closer to volumes 1-3. This book is more of a developmental step forward than its own thing. Multiple events here are certainly going to be important later, even if they seem like little cliff notes now.

Of all the previous books, Vol. 7 most resembles Vol. 4. Like with the Lizardman story, we see Ainz and his group in an almost purely antagonistic role. These other characters are built up and most of them are good, honest folks just living their lives. Despite that, you know that these people are doomed. Not for personal or even particularly malicious reasons. They are pieces in the game Ainz is playing; not so much people as they are mere tools. Maruyama has no problem channeling his inner George R.R. Martin with his characters, often in brutally gruesome fashions.

On the flipside of that, we do get a good portion of the book from Ainz’s point of view. There is more of him as the adventurer Momon, now establishing the persona outside the Kingdom’s borders. Readers also get to see more of Ainz as the ruler of Nazarick, as well as everything that role entails. Going from being a normal Japanese salaryman to the supreme ruler of an evil army is a bit daunting. Seeing Ainz attempting to run an empire a bit like a business while balancing how his minions view him is awkward but humorous.

The majority of the key events for Invaders of the Great Tomb happen towards the end of the story. To put it shortly, this is all a test. Nazarick is still experimenting with how the New World works in comparison to YGGDRASIL. Maybe this will be important in future books; at some point they are likely going to make enemies so maybe they will be invaded and need to know about how their defenses operate differently now. The “test” also sets up some political machinations that will obviously be important within the next book or two…

July 1, 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Poster for the movie ""

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The park is gone

20182 h 08 min
Overview

A volcanic eruption threatens the remaining dinosaurs on the island of Isla Nublar, where the creatures have freely roamed for several years after the demise of an animal theme park known as Jurassic World. Claire Dearing, the former park manager, has now founded the Dinosaur Protection Group, an organization dedicated to protecting the dinosaurs. To help with her cause, Claire has recruited Owen Grady, a former dinosaur trainer who worked at the park, to prevent the extinction of the dinosaurs once again.

Metadata
Runtime 2 h 08 min
Release Date 6 June 2018
Details
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Very good

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is at a point where Hollywood is doing their own thing with this franchise. All the relevant material from the two books is used up and Michael Crichton is dead, so what are you going to do there anyway? This new trilogy seems to be doing something similar to what Disney is currently doing with Star Wars. They are stepping away from the source material to do their own thing. That is not a bad thing; a transition period is better than jumping into the deep end. A lot of people are going to complain about this movie because it is not Jurassic Park. They want Jurassic Park but that is not what Fallen Kingdom is trying to be. There are a lot of shout-outs to it, but Fallen Kingdom is its own film in an evolving franchise.

Some parts of Fallen Kingdom do fall flat. The villains are generic evil corporate bad guys who make bad decisions due to greed. Character development is actually pretty weak overall. Claire was an exception, having changed from a by-the-books corporate type to an animal rights activist. Plot-wise, the film shifts part way through to more of a horror film than action-adventure. The new bad dinosaur, the Indoraptor, is absolutely terrifying. It looks (and acts) like something out of a nightmare. A huge gaping maw of savage teeth, almost human shaped “hands” for claws, and a small enough body that it can fit anywhere you try to hide. And on top of also being intelligent, it comes off as malicious. Like the Indominus Rex, it seems to kill for the sake of killing and not just for food.

Is Fallen Kingdom groundbreaking? No; it is not on par with Jurassic Park and let’s be frank, no dinosaur film ever will be. This film is blunter than the original; as are most films today. It has been 25 years since Jurassic Park and Hollywood has changed over time. You would not expect modern music to be exactly the same as songs that topped the charts 25 years ago, so those same expectations should not be lain on cinematography either. That is not to say this film is disconnected from the originals. A big question in Jurassic Park is: What happens when we let this genie (genetic engineering) out of the bottle? Well, in Fallen Kingdom that bottle is opened. These actions both shape the story of Fallen Kingdom and set this world up for future movies. Overall, Fallen Kingdom is no Jurassic Park; but the franchise uh…finds a way.

June 24, 2018

For Honor We Stand (Man of War #2)

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For Honor We Stand Book Cover For Honor We Stand
Man of War
H. Paul Honsinger
Sci-fi
47North
February 12, 2013
Paperback
492

In 2315, the Earth Union is losing a thirty-year-long war with the Krag Hegemony.

Having encountered the Krag before, Space Commander Max Robicheaux now faces daunting challenges aboard the USS Cumberland: the dangers from the enemy without… and clashes with crew and superiors within.

Meanwhile, Doctor Sahin receives a coded message summoning him to a secret meeting which aims to forge an alliance that could change the balance of power in Known Space. But first, he must circumvent the fighter ships and heavily armed troops of the traitorous emir bent on killing him before he reaches the negotiating table.

Both men must call upon their developing skills and growing friendship to bear the burden of carrying between the Krag Hegemony and the Earth Union a fateful ultimatum and the shocking answer: an answer that could spell eternal slavery, or even extinction, for all humankind.

The second novel in the Man of War series, For Honor We Stand continues the galactic naval adventures of Robicheaux and Sahin.

 

For Honor We Stand picks up not too far from where To Honor You Call Us left off. Everything that was done in the first book picks up in this next installment. The world building, characters, and storytelling all continue in spectacular fashion. With the pacing and layout, For Honor We Stand is much more of a “part 2” than a separate book. It felt more like a film that distinctively shows itself as a sequel (a la The Two Towers). If you have not read To Honor You Call Us beforehand, you will be a little lost in this one.

The world building is not as heavy in For Honor We Stand as in the first book. We have already been around the block once here, so a lot of concepts are already established. There are some new alien races mentioned and referenced in this section of the story. A little history linked to that also explains a bit of galactic history, particularly why most of the races are at the same level of technology. As well as why technology is so similar between various races.

Each character grows a bit more in For Honor We Stand, as does Honsinger’s writing of their dialogue. On the whole these books are excellent, but Honsinger is a newer author and it shows a little. Some of the characters fit their tropes a bit too well, like Dr. Sahin’s ignorance of the Navy. On the flipside of that, the characters play their roles extremely well. Captain Robicheaux is a young but brilliant military leader, shaped into a warrior by life’s circumstances. The Admiral is more reminiscent of a drill instructor, but he is as intelligent as belligerent, and it shows. Each character, major or minor, gets a good amount of attention to showcase who they are as people. At least on some basic level. The aliens too; the different ways the various species think is a bit stereotypical but also portrayed well.

With the first book having built things up already, For Honor We Stand can focus a lot more on action. The majority of the story here is the characters going from one battle to the next, with just enough time to prepare for the next conflict in-between. Surviving by the skin of their teeth using one crazy plan after another, the war against the Krag rages on. Things do get slower towards the end with an almost-cliffhanger. The last part of the story will have any reader on the edge of their seat, ending this book masterfully while setting the scene perfectly for the end of this trilogy.

June 17, 2018

The Wolf/American Wolf

Published Post author

The Wolf (Alternate title: American Wolf) Book Cover The Wolf (Alternate title: American Wolf)
Nate Blakeslee
Non-Fiction
Crown Publishing Group/Random House Canada
October 17, 2017
Hardcover
300

The intimate, involving story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the fabled Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her. For readers of H is for Hawk, captivating works of reportage, and iconic books on the American West.

Before humans ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in the United States, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves from Canada back to Yellowstone National Park, igniting a battle over the very soul of the American West.
With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six. She's a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. Beloved by wolf watchers, particularly Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre, O-Six becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.
But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is being challenged on all fronts: by hunters and their professional guides, who compete with wolves for the elk they all prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who resent her dominance of the stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.
These forces collide in The Wolf, a riveting multigenerational wildlife saga that tells a larger story about the clash of values in the West--between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country's most vibrant landscapes.

 

Wolves are an animal deeply ingrained into our culture, especially for us Westerners. Occasionally we see them portrayed positively, like in A Song of Ice and Fire, but more often they are depicted as evil like in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The wolf is commonly an animal that is either respected or hated, depending who you ask. The Wolf/American Wolf leans heavily on the pro-wolf side of that fence. In modern times this is understandable, as most wild wolves do not threaten most people today. There is a lot to be said for the history of wolves, but this book deals with a specific section of recent history in Yellowstone National Park.

The Wolf starts out with a partial history of Yellowstone, particularly the hunting season in the area. Before the mid-90’s, wolves had been long since exterminated in that area. As a result, there were a lot of elk with their main natural predator gone. Hunters could see and shoot them from the road, there were just so many. As wolf packs were reintroduced into the ecosystems, huge changes started to be seen. The elk population going down was the most blatant result, but not the only one. There was also an increase in bears, who could case wolves off and claim their kills. Also, a decrease in smaller predators, such as coyotes and foxes, who unsuccessfully tried to sneak food from wolf kills.

A good portion of The Wolf talks about wolves in general, but the main focus later turns to O-Six. Readers may remember her story from 2012, when her death made the national news. This book goes into great detail about her life from a young pup to an old, grey mother. A common sight for wolf watchers while alive, she was an extremely skilled animal; a pinnacle among wolves.

Despite being a non-fiction book, The Wolf is written as a narrative. This gave the book a sense of life that more academic texts do not possess. Even though the book is mainly about O-Six, it does address the wolf history in Yellowstone as well. The story starts before O-Six was even born, with the relocation of Canadian wolves to the park. As the narrative goes on, it talks about the legal battles in the various states around Yellowstone regarding wolf hunting. There is much more to this book than can fit in this little review and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in national parks, nature, and of course, wolves.

June 10, 2018