A Whisper of Wolves by Kris Humphrey
|A Whisper of Wolves by Kris Humphrey|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: An excellent concept that's squashed into a page count not long enough to do it proper service. The younger fantasy reader with a love for animals will probably enjoy, but might find the lack of development of characters and ideas a little frustrating.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: March 2015|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
Alice is a Whisperer, able to communicate with her animal companion, Storm the wolf. It's a gift that inspires awe and fear in the villagers she serves. A Whisperer is a guardian of the wilds, protector of nature, and the only ones able to fight back against the demonic Narlaw.
No one has seen a Narlaw for years, but when an entire hunting party from her village goes missing, Alice starts to wonder if they've made a return. Unfortunately, people are reluctant to believe the terrifying creatures have returned, which means Alice and her fellow Whisperers will have to use all their strength to save their friends and families.
The first thing that struck me about this book was how short it was. I really thought that a book with a concept like that would be a bit longer, a meaty read for ambitious tweens looking for a Harry Potter-esque story. A Whisper of Wolves is a thin read, and won't take a strong reader more than a couple of hours to rattle through. And though that can sometimes be a good thing, I do think it's a little to the detriment of this book.
There are loads of great ideas - it's filled with all the ingredients that should make any budding fantasy fan excited: animal companions, magical powers, underdogs rising to fight big bad guys, princesses, castles... I could go on. But it's almost as though Humphrey has tried to get everything on a checklist into his writing. All these elements are squashed together, lacking real development. And it's a shame, because as I said, there's loads of potential here.
The characters are underdeveloped, though there are loads of female characters in positions of power, which I always like to see, especially in books for young girls. They were just fairly interchangeable. I'm struggling to remember most of their names as I write this.
If you know a ten year old who's a fantasy enthusiast with a love for animals, they will probably enjoy this. There's enough action to keep the pages turning, but they might find the lack of development of the good ideas a little frustrating.
My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.
Check out Bookbag's Top Ten Books for Confident Readers 2014 for some great books for the younger reader.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Whisper of Wolves by Kris Humphrey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Whisper of Wolves by Kris Humphrey at Amazon.com.
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