Reviews

Wolf’s Bane and Wolf’s Curse by Kelley Armstrong

# of Pages: 260 and 283

Time it took me to read: 2 days each

# of pages a day to finish in a week: 37 and 40

Rating: 5 out of 5 for both

It’s been sixteen years since Clay and Elena became parents in the sixth installment of Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld. Now Kate and Logan are all grown up, teen supernaturals in a community that is working hard on diversity and inclusion. So when Elena sets her children up to attend a teen leadership camp for supernaturals of all races, the twins think that it might be a good way to show other kids their age that they aren’t the big bad wolves.

But from the moment they arrive, things are not what they expect. From angsty roommates to fake boyfriends, this is looking like a tough weekend for the twin werewolves. But it isn’t long before the camp takes an even more sinister turn, and suddenly Kate and Logan are fighting for more than just acceptance, they’re fighting for their survival.

Don’t you just love it when authors put out sequel series to books you love? I thought I’d read just about everything in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series, so imagine my joy and surprise when I found out she’d written a duology about Clay and Elena’s children, sure to be packed full of familiar, beloved characters and chock full of surprising references.

I was not dissapointed.

Kelley Armstrong isn’t the number one best writer in the world, but she is one of my favorites for a number of reasons, and all of these reasons were present here: she’s a wonderful storyteller, and these books are full of the big build-ups and surprise endings of all the previous Otherworld books. Though not as sexy as her adult books, I feel that these books have just enough romance, and an exploration of gender and sexuality that is wonderfully modern, particularly after reading Women of the Otherworld in the past six months (the first of those books was written before everyone had a cell phone, so they can occasionally come across a little dated). But there are gay characters, bi characters, a trans character, and even a character that was on the asexual spectrum that I really connected with personally. None of them are caricatures, and I feel like this is a cast that isn’t only diverse in their supernatural races, but it’s not overly whitewashed or heterosexual, and this diversity is where YA is going and I was glad to see that Kelley was keeping up.

Something that I did NOT expect, but was stoked to see, were characters that showed up from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series, which is YA and Otherworld adjacent, and I had pretty much completely forgotten about, having only read once years ago. Having some of those characters show up just made me desperately ready for a re-read of those books, so I’m very excited about that.

My one criticism is that while the diversity of this cast was on point, you can tell it’s been a while since Kelley was a teenager, and some of the dialogue felt a little like something that a middle-aged woman thinks that teenagers sound like, but they don’t really. This is coming from someone who, granted, hasn’t been a teenager in a while either, but I think as people age, they forget that most teenagers don’t necessarily have a stylized way of speaking. But though a few lines made me cringe a bit, it was such a little thing that I couldn’t manage to knock off even a half-star. Because I’m pretty much a sucker for anything Armstrong writes, so they’re all going to be five stars from me.

If you’re a fan of the Otherworld series, I certainly recommend picking up these books. They’re terrifically short and delightfully readable, with an ending you won’t see coming. If you’ve never read Women of the Otherworld (which has 13 books and a few novellas), you can certainly start with these two for a more bite-sized taste and you won’t feel lost. I do recommend reading them chronologically, but I’m not here to tell you what to do.

If you liked Wolf’s Bane and Wolf’s Curse, try:

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld Book 1)

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers Book 1)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast (House of Night Book 1)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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