Series: Green Creek #1
Published by BOATK Books on June 20, 2016
Genres: Werewolves, Shifters, Fantasy, Gay, LGBT, M/M Romance, Magic, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Source: I Bought It
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 little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little 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 little 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 first read Wolfsong by T.J. Klune a couple of years back. It wasn’t my first by the author (that would be Bear, Otter and the Kid – his debut) but it was the one that really spoke to me on a deeper level. No knock on BOATK (it’s a great book and if you haven’t read it yet please do so at your earliest opportunity) but I tend to lean towards books with a high degree of angst so this one was always going to be catnip to me (probably a bad example since this books is about wolves but I couldn’t think of the equivalent and you get my drift…)
I am not going summarise the plot too much (it’s better going into it with little to no knowledge) but the story is about a young man called Ox, who has been told all of his life is is nothing special. Ox has an abusive father, a devoted mother, and a father/brother figure in Gordo – the man who gives him a job when his daddy walks out of his life for good.
And then there are the Bennett’s – the family who move (back) into the big house at the end of the lane from Ox and his mother when he turns sixteen.
And then there is Joe, the youngest Bennett, who takes an immediate shine to Ox. But the Bennett’s are a very different type of family. They welcome Ox (and later his mother) into their ‘pack’. Soon, Ox will realise that the Bennett’s have a secret, one that will have far-reaching consequences for everyone he holds dear.
And it turns out Ox is something special after all…
Gah, this book. It kills me with feelings. I tried writing a review when I first read Wolfsong but nothing I could put down in words could do it any justice. I’m not sure I will be able to do it justice now but I will do my very damndest!
I love the setting of this book. Green Creek, a small town that has magic flowing throw its very soil. The home of the Alpha of all werewolves – Thomas Bennett, who inherited the title after his father was brutally killed by a Hunter clan called the Kings. Thomas Bennett, his wife Elizabeth, brother Mark, and his three sons: Carter, Kelly, and Joe, return to their home after many years away.
Ten year-old Joe will develop a special bond with Ox. Joe, the boy prince, who was abducted and brutalised by a man once as close as a brother to Thomas. Joe is broken in heart and spirit. Yet, there is something about Ox that brings him back and encourages Joe to give Ox his ‘wolf’ (read the book, this will all make sense!)
Wolfsong is a book about werewolves but greater than that is the theme of ‘family’ both the one you are born into and the one you make for yourself. Ox finds the friendship and family he always craved in the Bennett’s and they adore him in return. They help bring him out of his shell and give him and his mother a place to belong.
However, old enemies lurk and bad things happen which tears Ox and Joe apart, just as they were finally becoming something ‘more’. Joe becomes Alpha at the ripe old age of seventeen and leaves Ox behind to chase the monster from his past. Without an Alpha to protect the territory and the remaining pack members, Ox has to stand up and take charge.
When Joe finally returns, it remains to be seen whether Ox and Joe can reconcile and repair their fractured pack.
Now, werewolves/shifter stories are not usually counted among my favourites. I like a lot of paranormal stuff (vampires, witches etc.) but it’s usually kinda difficult for me to get into series about werewolves (Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series notwithstanding). However, that all changed for me when I read Wolfsong. I went into it not knowing it was going to become a series (but was so happy when I found out it was because it has my favourite set of secondary characters ever!)
Ox and Joe, and their messy, complicated relationship stole my heart. I was intrigued by Gordo and Mark and their turbulent past, Kelly and Robbie’s burgeoning connection, and Carter’s general awesomeness. I also adored Elizabeth and all of Gordo’s friends and work colleagues (Rico, Chris, and Tanner). Even Jessie, the rival love interest for Ox, was a fully realised and well-defined character who I grew to love. Thomas, for all of his mistakes, was a great leader and father-figure to Ox and his own three boys.
T.J. Klune has a gift for writing quirky and funny characters but isn’t afraid to get serious and when everything hits the fan? Yowza. Angst-central. I’m not kidding – keep tissues near. This book will run you through the emotional gauntlet. It is not an easy book, by any means, but it is oh-so-worthwhile.
to sum up
The Green Creek series is one of my all-time favourites and I’m so glad I decided to revisit these earlier books before delving into Brothersong, the last book in the series (which I was so super-lucky to get an ARC for – so look for my review in the next couple of days after I put up my reviews of Ravensong and Heartsong).
Please, please, please do yourself a favour and read this amazing series. You will not be disappointed. It is at times side-splittingly funny, heartbreaking and hopeful, and has one of the best cast of characters you will ever find in any book series. Ever.