Way of the Wolf by E E Knight
EARTH, 2065: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Welcome to David Valentine’s world. It is a world where conquered humans occupy a role somewhere between livestock and slaves. A world ruled by unearthly monsters of such dark intent and limitless hunger that they can only be called Vampires. Violently orphaned at the age of eleven, Valentine’s aimless life changes when he meets a group of men bearing arms against the vampiric invaders and their human allies. These men are Wolves: elite guerrilla fighters engaged in an ongoing battle to win back the Earth. The Way of the Wolf is not an easy road to travel. Few men or women can master the disciplines involved, and those who do rarely survive for long. But for young David Valentine, compelled by the losses of his past and the dreams of his future, there can be no other choice. It is a choice that will lead him to adventures beyond his wildest imaginings…and to horrors worse than any he has ever faced. (From Amazon.ca)
The format in which this book is done is interesting. I haven’t come across this until now. For a good part of the novel, you get what looks like short stories of Valentine’s life before the actual plot begins. I understand how some readers thought this wasn’t the most perfect way to introduce the story. However I thought it was not only different but a good way to introduce the main character, and his background, with background information about the setting in this way. You follow Valentine throughout his youth, then you follow him through the period on where he first starts training to become a “Wolf” (a special elite unit). It’s not until a good later part of the book is where the actual plot begins. I liked this kind of introduction. It made getting to know Valentine easier. It gave Valentine a three dimensional form and it chronicles his development in good detail.
The setting is also interesting, however it took me a while to finally get the hang of it (without consulting the glossary at the back). The vampires here are ruthless and evil, so you will definitely not find the romantic stereotype anywhere in this book. There’s a blend of post apocalyptic characteristics, with dark fantasy, and science fiction elements. So really you have a good mixture of just about everything in here. Personally, I like the dark fantasy and post apocalyptic parts. Earth really is a bleak place to be and the descriptions, and characters enhance the setting.
Valentine is all right as a character. He does seem like your most awesome hero and at times it could get a little annoying. I wish he could have a bit of a darker edge to him (ie: he could be a jerk once in a while) but he seems to be your average good guy with a troubled past. I suppose that’s not too bad although it could be considered cliche and overdone by other readers.
What I did enjoy most about the novel is the overall plot. The pace was good although certain areas did experience a bit of a bump here and there. However all I will ask is for the author to not do any more romantic scenes and I’m shuddering to think if there will be more romance in the other books to follow. I read a particular romance moment and I just about nearly choked. Really? a man would do what Valentine did?? that’s just gross! after having a fit for about a few minutes I resumed with the story (Apologies for not being specific. It is detailed and explicit so I won’t go further than that). After finishing the book I still found that particular passage to be still unnerving. That’s the only part that I strongly dislike in the book. Seriously, just take the romance out of this. It wasn’t necessary and the plot was fine without it!
This was a nice interesting start to what looks like an action packed series. I’m definitely going to follow this series for sure. If you like dark fantasy with sci fi elements in a post apocalyptic world try this. Plus, the vampires aren’t sparkling. You might just like it!
I give it 7.5 out of 10.
SIDE ORDER: Here’s the quote (for those curious to know)
“She reached between her legs and brought up her fingers. A smear of blood coated her forefinger and thumb….He (Valentine) kissed away the blood from her hand”
Seriously, guys do that? that’s pretty gross if you ask me it’s one of these moments that make me go WTF is that and WHY is it in this novel that I am trying to enjoy?. For my sake, Mr Knight, please no more romance scenes…please?????