All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Who’s Afraid by Maria Lewis

on January 13, 2016

Who's AfraidWho’s Afraid
Maria Lewis
Hachette AUS
2016, 352p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world’s most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi’s journey as she’s thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies – this is the start of a series – and a world – you will fall in love with.

Tommi lives in Scotland, having been raised by her mother and her grandparents. She’s never known her father, only been told that he didn’t treat her mother well. After her mother’s death, Tommi decides to travel to New Zealand, where her father lives and find out what she can about him. He may not be what she’s looking for, but she’d like to know about him. And so she flies across the world on her own to track him down.

What she doesn’t expect, upon meeting members of her extended family, is for strange things to start happening…. to be told that she’s a werewolf and now the proximity to her family, other members of a pack is enforcing her change. Tommi flees into the forest, away from her family after getting some pretty bad vibes. She’s alone, she’s halfway through something she doesn’t understand and she doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately (maybe?) it seems as though the universe has lent a hand, sending Tommi a guardian to help her through her transition and to adjust to her new role as a supernatural being. Upon arriving back in Scotland, Tommi discovers that someone seems to have followed her back….a rogue werewolf hunts her, killing savagely and threatening to reveal an existence that is kept hidden. Tommi needs to train – her guardian will help with that – because she might just be the only one that can end the murder.

Tommi is a pretty amazing character and one thing I loved about this book was although she needs to train in order to improve her strength, fitness and fighting ability, she’s the sort of character that is never going to be the damsel in distress, the one that needs someone to come and help her. Tommi is the sort of woman that can handle herself, that will fight her own battles and win. She’s had a lot to deal with – her mother dying, attempting to track down her father and discovering that not only was he a werewolf, but so is she. And her mother took her away to protect her, the time isolated from others of her kind delaying her first change into wolf form.

When she does change, Tommi quickly learns that she seems to have some remarkable talents, such as total awareness when in wolf form. Her guardian is surprised and it definitely seems like something certain people would be interested in. The relationship between Tommi and her guardian is well developed and evolves nicely throughout the course of the novel. Tommi starts off very wary of him, escaping him in New Zealand not quite sure if he can be trusted. Slowly they do develop a bond, a bond that deepens into something more. I have to admit that although I enjoyed the burgeoning romance, I feel as though I could’ve written the script for what would happen between them. This is the first in a series and so often, the end of the first book is always the same….they agree to just ‘be friends’ or ‘guardian and mentor’ because anything else is too complicated. That frustrated me because it was something I could’ve picked from the very first time the two of them met on the page.

I loved the descriptions of Tommi’s change into a werewolf – they are definitely no holds barred and takes you right there with her, almost like experiencing it yourself. It’s violent and messy, everything that you’d think bones changing and reshaping into something else would be. I also really liked Tommi’s mental character, the way she deals with and processes this new information about herself. She’s strong but she has her moments of utter terror and misery and questioning not just who and what she is but everything around her. Her thought processes felt really genuine and believable and I also liked her friendships. Fair warning though, this seems like a series that might take no prisoners. There are some pretty big shocks at the end of this book, and the final ‘fight/showdown’ is pretty damn awesome. But I did not think that the author would take the steps she did.

Overall – good fun. Promising start to an interesting paranormal series and I’ll definitely read the next one to see what’s next for Tommi and her interesting abilities.


Book #205


Who’s Afraid was book #91 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015

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