For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten has one of the most tempting book covers out there – it screams READ ME very loudly. I love the design so much I requested the book before even really looking at the blurb. But that too is great: For The Wolf is a mix of Beauty and the Beast and Red Riding Hood, turned into a creepy gothic fairy tale all of the author’s own. It’s not a perfect book, but a very entertaining and compelling one.
Massive thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for sending me an eARC for review – all opinions are my own.
RELEASE DATE: 03/06/2021
STAR RATING: 3.5/5 ✶
SUMMARY: As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose – to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood – and her world – whole. (from Orbit)
OPINIONS: I really enjoyed For The Wolf. This is a fun, compelling fairy-tale inspired atmospheric story with a large dash of romance. I think the atmosphere of the Wilderwood was probably my favourite element of the book, as it is really immersive and I’m a dark and gloomy atmosphere kind of person. While this has clear elements of Red Riding Hood and her story with the wolf, it really is a story about human monsters rather than traditional ones. I am very happy that there are quite a lot of forest-set fantasy novels published this year, and For The Wolf is in good company.
I did feel like the book was tethering on the border between YA and adult quite a lot – it feels like a YA fantasy that is trying really hard to be adult, but really it would have been more natural to sell it as a YA novel. Red, Eammon and Neve all seemed more like characters who had to finish growing up rather than as settled adults. Especially Red and Neve, the sisters at the heart of the story, are still acting like YA characters. In general, the characters weren’t quite as well-developed as I would have liked and I felt like the book as a whole would have benefitted from some more ruthless cutting in terms of dead plot. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my reading experience a lot.