Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review - The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group is Catherine Jinks' newest young adult novel set to hit US shelves April 4th.

Blurb from her site:

"When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale Wildlife Park. In a dingo pen. He assumes that his two best friends are somehow responsible, until the mysterious Reuben turns up, claiming that Toby has a rare and dangerous “condition.” Next thing he knows, Toby finds himself involved with a strange bunch of sickly insomniacs who seem convinced that he needs their help. It’s not until he’s kidnapped and imprisoned that he starts to believe them—and to understand what being a paranormal monster really means."
I really enjoyed this novel.  Catherine Jinks is a new author to me; however, she is well known for her Genius series (Evil Genius, Genius Squad, and The Genus Wars).  She has also written a vampire novel: The Reformed Vampire Support Group; one I will be quick to look into adding to my TBR pile.

Toby is a very strong and likeable character.  Once Toby is faced with the possibility of being a werewolf; he enters a full fledged stage of denial.  His friends help him cope with this new turn of events by engaging in chuckle worthy antics aimed at discrediting Reuben's claims.  Reuben is persistant and hell bent on forcing Toby to accept his new plight and take responsibility for his new condition.  Toby and his mother are of course resistant...until Toby is kidnapped.

The action is full speed, pedal to the metal.  The motivations of the kidnappers are frighteningly plausible.  I was working through escape plans and possiblities right along with Toby, Reuben, and the crew.  I even found myself with a decent sized crush on Reuben...not quite sure if the author intended for him to appeal to readers this way...but heck, I am not complaining.  I'd like to see Jink's write a paranormal romance with characters as strong and emotionally scarred as Reuben. ;p

I found Toby's mother to be a tad irritating; but her resistance to the plot situations are very believable and true to character.  The world building is adequate; the reader gets a sense of all surroundings without being bogged down in extra details.  This allowed the action and character development to take center stage and shine.

If you are looking for the traditional, werewolf transformations and killing sprees then this novel is not for you.  Jinks shows us the human side of the werewolf; the underlying electricity that bristles right below the mask of humanity, the constant struggle of worrying that you may hurt your loved ones if you get out of control.

I am trying hard to avoid spilling any plot points.  Let me just say, I would definitely recommend this to fans of young adult paranormal action thrillers. There are a couple plot twists and turns you just may not see coming; until they creep up on you!

Rating: 4/5



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