First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin. I saw this over at Kristin Kraves Books. First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
For The Wolf is going really well for me so far! I will not be spoiling anything in my discussions, which is hard because this novel starts out nothing like what I expected. I hope you enjoy the post and I will hopefully be posting my impressions on upcoming releasing every Friday from now on. Hopefully anyway!
The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.
As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose – to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.
Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.
But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood – and her world – whole.
My Thoughts So Far
When I picked up For The Wolf I wasn’t completely convinced about the obvious Red-Riding Hood influences but Hannah Whitten has done a fantastic job with it. It is clearly inspired by the tale but so subtle in its use at the same time. Instead HW has taken the story of the fate between Red and the Wolf and turned it into something so original and engrossing to see play out. I am thoroughly enjoying For The Wolf, I had to stop myself at chapter eight. So much happened in the first 80ish pages!
There is no messing around here. HW is quick to plunge both Redarys and the reader into the depths of the Wilderwood and the legend of the Wolf within. Red, as the second daughter, has always been fated to the Wolf and she accepts her path. Not for the reasons one might presume though. Despite pleas from her sister to abscond from her life before the sacrifice is complete, Red believes her path is the safest option, for everyone. Red had barely escaped the Wilderwood once before during an unfortunate visit, and eventual attack, that left her corrupted and dangerous. Red wants to distance herself from those she cares about and also to learn the truth about the Wolf and the gods he keeps imprisoned, even if it ends with her demise.
As I said before, this book kicks off hard and barely stops for a second. Hannah Whitten writes with detail and intensity, focusing on nature, human interaction/emotion (or lack of) and dark, magical corruption that is desperate for blood. Narratively speaking For The Wolf has a impressively strong start. I instantly wanted to know more about Red, her situation and the legend that decided her fate centuries before she born. I like her as a lead, a great mixture of fortitude, vulnerability, determination and attitude. Saying that, so far I am not that hyped about the cast of characters beyond Red. There are some potentially cool secondary characters but I’ve barely had any time with them so far so too soon to tell.
The setting is awesome though, really dark and compelling, gothic mixed with fantasy. Hannah Whitten has quite a few surprises straight out of the gate that already has me on the back foot that I am intrigued to see what happens to Red beyond those trees. There is a bit of cheesiness creeping into the dialogue and plot here and there but nothing I can’t handle so far. I am hopeful that the dark themes and atmospheres that HW has crafted in glorious detail continue to darken as I am unsure how unsettling or disturbing For The Wolf is truly going to be. I am hoping for ‘super dark’ with a side of ‘unbearably intense’ but it’s a bit early for that yet. It is undoubtedly beautiful and chilling so far and I am eager to know what other tricks and traps HW has up her sleeve for me. I imagine it’s going to be a lengthy, hopefully unbelievable positive, review and I am almost tempted to start recommending For The Wolf to everyone right away.
Thanks for checking out my first first impressions post. I liked the idea of having yet another opportunity to talk about my current reads and impressions of great books coming up for release. For The Wolf is creative and daring enough to keep me invested, I am just hoping I warm up to the characters in the coming chapters otherwise it might drag the atmosphere down a little. I am always ready for a new take or re-imagining of classic tales and lore so keep them coming! I hope to have my review ready for the week before release. Thank you to Orbit for sending me an advanced copy!