The Wolf Gift By Anne Rice
Release Date: February  14, 2012
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 404
Genre: Adult
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Synopsis (from Goodreads): The time is the present.

The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

Rueben, a young reporter, narrowly escapes a wolf attack and soon finds himself experiencing a change that transforms him into a man wolf. Soon after this he begins to take on the role of a vigilante by taking the law into his own hands. As a result the police scientists being looking for him, as well as others with the same gift...

I really wanted to like this book but I found certain things problematic. For one, the protagonist was very one dimensional and flat. Rueben is a 23 year old with a Porsche who recites poetry and philosophy... how realistic is that. It didn't seem very believable and this took away from the possible deeper layers of the character.

Secondly, Reuben randomly has a love connection with a women who appears in the woods. No reason is given for why she lives so reclusively or why she isn't horrified by the man wolfs appearance. But soon after spending the first night together they fall deeply in love and we don't get to know more about either character other than their love for each other. I am not a big fan instant. I find it dull and in this case thats what we get.

The rest of his family are also underdeveloped. Reuben's mom, a doctor, is defined by her job and it is the only light we see her in. And similarly so is his brother who is a priest.

Despite these criticisms, Anne Rice is great at myth building. The back story to the wolf gift (chrism) is fascinating and the strongest point in the book. Her descriptions of the old house in which Reuben lives as well as the redwood forest is so vivid its breathtaking and there is something to be said for that.

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