Wolfsong, by TJ Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
No, you’re not imagining things. Yes, El did indeed already review this book. But after much rhapsodizing, absolutely no crying on my part, and possibly some arm twisting on hers, here we are with my review of TJ Klune’s Wolfsong, written in the Ox-pack narrative:
The book. The wolf book. I’d heard people talking about the new book about wolves. By that writer who writes happy things. I’m not much for wolves, but I like happy things. So I checked it out.
Someone told me once that the light we see from them is hundreds of thousands of years old. That the star could already be dead and we’d never know it because it still looked alive.
I thought that was a terrible thing.
That the stars could lie.
Time stood still. I’m not what you would call a fast reader, but time stood still from the moment I picked up this book. This book about wolves. Wolves and magic.
Oh Ox poor Ox boy tears strength fierce don’t cry it’s okay to cry man boy boy boy.
This book taught me that it’s okay for men to cry. And that family is pack, and that pack is family, and that pack always comes first. I learned that there are bonds much stronger than blood, stronger beyond my wildest imaginings. This book, this wolf book reminded me that magic exists. That an ordinary life can be extraordinary when you’re surrounded by love family friend brother mother mate alpha pack pack pack.
This book, this book about wolves and magic and family, taught me that some things are meant to be. That there are many things that can’t be changed. That certain things in life are inevitable. That there are people words forces feelings things that are unstoppable. But that there’s always a choice.
I said, “And you? Do you have a choice?”
He said, “It’s you. I would always choose you. I don’t care if it’s a biological imperative. I don’t care if it’s some destiny. I don’t care if you were made specifically for me. It doesn’t matter. Because I would choose you regardless.”
I thought of kissing him then. I thought on it quite a bit.
But I didn’t. I should have.
And oh, the narrative. The narrative in this book that is so beautiful in its simplicity. The anecdotes that capture moments in Ox’s life, from hilarious to heartbreaking. The economy of words that captures Ox’s strong and silent personality to perfection, then switches so fluidly to wolfpack stream of consciousness. Yes, the book is long, but it never once felt lumbering. And as evident by my stream of consciousness while I was immersed in reading it, this book was quite a ride.
Oh my poor heart. Why are my eyes leaking?
OMG this book is hilarious.
Where did all my tissues go?
Damn this book is long.
Please god I don’t want this book to end!
Damn it Joe Ox Kelly Carter Gordo friend brother mate alpha pack pack pack.
Oh. That was beautiful.
I need more more more.
I need more now now now.
I’m not one to insist, but you should buy buy buy this book. It’s all candy canes and pinecones and epic and awesome.
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.