I'm going with four stars for this one. It was better than a three, as I really loved the story. But not a five star, as I had some small problems with the writing. But oh, it was such a great book even so. And I am so glad I read this stunning book. Can't wait to own a finished copy of it too when it comes out for real this summer.
This is a book that takes place in a village surrounded by a dark and dangerous forest. It felt like this was set far back in the past, when they were still burning witches. I liked the setting. It was so creepy and good. I had some trouble with the writing, but it was good too. I just never fully loved the main girl. I did like her a lot, but she was also blind to many things. But I couldn't fully blame her for that either. The summary says that Adele and her family are guardians. That the women in her family can change into wolves. That they are protecting their village from harm. But it does not mention that Adele does not know about this. At all. Until she gets attacked by a wolf inside the dark forest, and she turns into one herself. And I enjoyed reading about it all a whole lot.
First there was the dark forest. Normal people can not see into it at all. Their village was fully surrounded, except for a small river. Whenever people had to travel through this forest, they needed to bring lanterns with them. As fire was the only thing that could keep the werewolves away from them. But this forest was full of other monsters too. And I loved getting to know more about them all, haha. This book was dark at times and I liked it very much. This forest was the very worst and I so loved when Adele would enter it.
We get to read about her learning about being a guardian, about being a different type of werewolf than what lives in the forest. Her kind do not kill people. They are able to stay themselves when they turn into wolves. And so her mother and grandmother have protected their small village as best as they could for years. And now Adele is meant to do the same. But all she can truly think about is how she was meant to marry her sweetheart, Grainger. I did not really like him. Oops. But she seemed to love him, and him her.
But this was impossible, after she turned into a wolf. As he was on the village watch. And would burn her and all her family if he found out what she was. And then, of course, there was another boy. Max. Whom Adele had been engaged to since she was a baby. Without knowing it, until the day before he showed up in her village. She promises her mother to give him a chance to try to earn her heart. But that wasn't easy either. Sigh. Sort of a triangle. But I never liked the village boy. And I loved Max, so yeah. I did not mind.
And it wasn't a big deal either. As Adele was more focused on the werewolf part. And I sadly did not fully love Adele either, as I found her to be a little naive about some things, and blind about others. But I liked her a lot. And I liked getting to know her family history and all that they could do. Her grandmother and mother were both amazing. And I adored her little sister too. And I loved her growing friendship with Max. And how she started to grow apart from Grainger, as he started changing more too, in a bad way. Hmph.
There was a lot going on in this book, and yet it felt pretty short too. Adele ended up saving a lost child in the forest. No one knew who he was and he did not speak. I liked how the plot was somewhat about him and what happened because of him. I liked the monsters in this book, though they weren't there much. I loved reading about Adele as a wolf. I loved how Max could fight too, though only women were guardians and could turn into wolves. I did not like most of the villagers. They never knew who was protecting them.
Red Wolf was just as incredible as I thought it would be. Fully creepy and exciting. I loved the werewolves and the story behind them. I loved the setting. I loved the family part of this, how they loved each other. I even loved the ending, though it was dark and depressing as well. While this book was not fully perfect to me, I enjoyed it so very much. And I think you should all read this one too. That cover is gorgeous. Huge thank you to the publisher for letting me be auto-approved on Edelweiss, so I could read this book early.