By David T. Valentin
By TJ Klune
Narrated by Kirt Graves
Werewolves, witches, alphas and omegas, oh my!
In Tj Klune’s fantasy romance novel Wolfsong, we meet Oxnard “Ox” Matheson who has never had much of a normal life and was always told he’d get shit for who he is by his father. When Ox’s father up and leaves one day, Ox is forced to become man of the house and ends up working in a mechanic shop with Gordo Livingstone. Then, the Bennett family—a family with rich history tied to the town of Greencreek—move back. After Joe Bennett names Ox as his new best friend, it’s revealed that the Bennett family are royal werewolves and Gordo, his boss, is their witch. As Ox gets inducted into the Bennett pack, he learns the true meaning of family.
As TJ Klune often does, the author takes his time weaving together a story with a deep history that you can tell Klune has spent much time weaving together. The tone of Wolfsong is one of an almost gothic, supernatural romance feel—a mysterious house, strangely close siblings, and, of course, the paranormal. It’s dark and melancholic even in the brightest moments of the novel, a tone that really makes you feel as though you yourself are living in this strange, mountain town.
Every character—even the tertiary ones—are fleshed out quickly with carefully crafted dialogue that reveals much about their history with the town and other characters in very subtle ways that avoids info dumping on the reader. And even when Klune decides to info dump, he laces in humor and a character’s perspective that immerses you into the narrative.
The only reason I gave this novel three stars, rather than five stars, is that it’s an incredibly, slow, slow, slow burn romance—something I wasn’t expecting out of the book in the way it was recommended to me. Despite needing that slow burn to really build up the world that exists within this series, I found myself losing interest in some scenes, and sometimes even entire plot lines at times. As a reader of other Klune books, he sometimes has a problem of—in my opinion—over extending scenes and dialogue to the point where the realistic feel of the characters slip into the mundane.