The theme for this month’s TBR Challenge is Backlist Glom (author with more than one book in your TBR.) I chose Wolfsong by T. J. Klune. This is a difficult review to write because while there were things I liked about this book, there were also things I really did not like. It was an interesting spin on werewolf shifters, with a bit of M/M romance thrown in, but I found myself disappointed overall. (There are lots of rave reviews of this on Goodreads, so your mileage my vary, but I did not enjoy it as much as those reviewers did.)
This book is narrated in the first person by Ox, who at the beginning of the book is sixteen and written as someone with learning disabilities or possibly on the autism spectrum, who it is implied does not do well in school, yet ends up with As and Bs in all of his classes. By the end of the book, even though only about six years have passed, he does not appear to have these issues to the same extent he did in the beginning, which I found a bit unbelievable. He just seemed to exhibit the characteristics the author wanted him to have at certain points in time, but I didn’t really see any journey to those changes, just the result the author wanted. I did not buy those changes and it made Ox feel fake. The book is also written in Ox’s voice in an odd way. I never really warmed up to, so I encourage you to read a sample first. If I had done so, I am not sure I would have bought this book, and the next one in the series. The writing style did not appeal to me at all.
Wolfsong is also overly long. As I said before, it starts when Ox is sixteen, and starts when the person he ends up in a romantic relationship with at the end of the book is a child. Not a typical romance novel, especially since Ox does have a relationship with someone else during the course of the book. I know this can be a big no no for some romance readers, so if this describes you, this is not your book. Also, the romance really only appears near the end of the book, which is not something I expected. If you are reading primarily for the romance, I don’t think you will find this book satisfying.
If you like paranormals, this does have an interesting take on werewolves and their society. It is very violent, but it fits with the world of the book. The family of werewolves that Ox meets and is befriended by has some interesting characters, particularly the patriarch Thomas. I just wish the book had been a bit less repetitive and spent more time on character development, particularly with this family. This book could have been better, and I think that is why I finished it feeling disappointed. There is potential here, and I might read the next book in the series, Ravensong, which I bought at the same time I bought this one, but I think I will wait a bit.