BOOK REVIEW: ALONG CAME A WOLF by Adam Dreece

So I may have mentioned that I’m using 2019 to catch up on all the billion books I have on my Kindle and/or Nook. And since I haven’t used my Nook nearly as often since I got my Kindle, I figured I’d fire it back up and pick out the last few books I had on there that I hadn’t read yet. And first off was one I picked up ages ago from an author on Twitter I used to see around. Since I’ve been off of Twitter for a good chunk of time, I’ve fallen away from the crew, but that was just more reason to finally pick it up. (Sorry, Adam!)

What I’m really sorry about is that I didn’t enjoy the book more than I did. I’d be interested to know where this book falls in Dreece’s timeline as an author; if I remember correctly, it’s one of his first. If so, it would explain a lot. It seems a bit rough around the edges. I also think I would have liked it more if I’d known that the fairy-tale tie-ins were intentional. From the blurb I’d read, I hadn’t seen any indication that there was a crossover element, so when I ran into names like Nikolas Klaus, LeLoup (which in the course of the story we are reminded means “the wolf”, and he’s certainly bad)….there was some groaning and eye-rolling. By the time I’d realized what was happening, it was too late to fix the initial impression.

There’s a lot introduced and little explained, which frustrates me and it happens all the time in fiction. Why are our three protagonist amigos in yellow cloaks? Did they give themselves the name–since they do treat it as similar to the Three Musketeers–or did their parents give it to them? Why does Tee have a “catch-phrase” and why does she use it? It’s used and never explained–and it’s not really used consistently. While on Dreece’s site we’re given the fairy-tale explanation of it, we’re told literally nothing about “the Tub,” an apparent secret society that Klaus is part of. Also, apparently Tee is related to the baker from said rhyme. (Butcher, baker, candlestick maker?) That’s mentioned in a blurb but nowhere in the book that I can remember.

ALONG CAME A WOLF feels a lot more like a prologue for the series at large, which is one of my personal pet peeves about serial writing. Combined with the relatively simplistic writing–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as this is aimed at a younger age group primarily–it just never grabbed me. When the series description indicates that it’s meant to be enjoyable for adults as well, I hope for a little something more which this never quite manages to deliver.

It’s an interesting story, regardless, and could have some potential–and I hope that it’s expanded on in the future books in the series. Particularly if they reflect a growth in Dreece’s writing, it could really turn into something cool. Unfortunately, it’s not quite enough to save this book 1.

Rating: ** 1/2 – Almost Worth a Look

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