Wolves of Black Pine by SJ Himes was a werewolf story that went far beyond my expectations. The book follows the story of Kane, the future pack Alpha, and Luca, the werewolf that comes back into his life after being missing for many years. Conflict is rife within the pack as an evil organization keeps stealing werewolves to harness their power for military purposes. Kane and Luca/Ghost must unite the clan against this threat.
The thing that hit me the most with this book was the level of emotion. I honestly was expecting a typical urban fantasy novel with werewolves. Instead, the story was raw and real with its emotions. Kane and Luca’s reunion nearly had me in tears. It was just moving and the read could feel what each one was going through. When Luca goes missing as a child, you can tell how it haunts Kane for years. Luca’s years spent in wolf form give him a naivety and gentleness that balances out Kane’s harsh edges. The relationships each character builds with their wolf family also give this book an important level of depth.
Himes builds a complex and close-knit world of werewolves. The packs protect each other and try to have only a certain amount of interaction with the human world. There is chaos within the clans after an attack kills several of the werewolves and the Shaman’s grandson goes missing. The clan has struggled to rebuild and protect itself since the incident. Readers get to know the struggle the werewolf clans are going through. You can feel their fear and determination through the pages.
Another interesting aspect in this novel is the use of magic and the connection to nature. Luca/Ghost is a shaman with incredible powers. Shamans, next to alphas, are the most powerful members of the pack. The reappearance Luca/Ghost and his soul bond with Kane foretell some dramatic changes within the clan. This book made me feel more in touch with nature.
Overall, this book was great. I’m really looking forward to the sequel, which is regretfully put on hold for a few months. I’m eager to know what happens with Kane and Luca/Ghost. If you want a different type of werewolf romance, then I suggest checking out this book immediately. Let me know if you enjoyed this book review.