For the Wolf
- Author: Hannah F. Whitten
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publication Date: June 1, 2021
- Publisher: Orbit Books
- Series: Wilderwood #1
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.
CONTENT WARNING: blood, gore, self-harm, death of parent, violence, death
For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.
This was one of the books I was really looking forward to reading, but it just didn’t quite meet the high bar that I had set for it. There wasn’t anything specific that wasn’t good about the book, it was more that it just wasn’t a great fit for me as a reader. Here’s a little bit about why:
I went into this expecting a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but found out that it was definitely more of a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Beauty and the Beast, but I was looking forward to reading something different from the usual. I haven’t read as many Little Red Riding Hood stories, and was super hyped for it. It was more than a little misleading.
The story was super slow paced for a significant portion of the book. The beginning got me intrigued, but then once Red went into the forest, time slowed down exponentially. Any momentum was lost, and it felt like the story dragged. I stopped getting excited to pick up the book, because it was just more of the same, waiting for things to happen. The biggest break in the monotony was finding out what was going on with Neve, Red’s sister. It felt like there was so much that could have been left out without even missing anything.
Normally I don’t mind some romance, but I just didn’t truly feel a great connection between Red and the Wolf. Red’s character felt so closed off, that it was tough feeling her connect to anyone other than her sister. It was surprising to see how much of an emphasis there was between Red and the Wolf, especially when it became a main plot in the book. I had more questions about the magic and the Kings and what the priestesses were up to and the way the religion worked, but nope, instead we focused on the romance.
I guess it just boils down to the fact that I wanted … more from the story and just didn’t get it. The writing was beautiful and atmospheric, and the idea of a sentient forest was intriguing. There were a bunch of plot twists that I never saw coming, and it ended on a cliffhanger that I did see coming.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 11
Categories: Book Review