Sunday, March 5, 2023

Review: The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

This is a book I have wanted to read since it came out; since I saw so many people read and love it. At last, I have given this a try too. But oh, I am so conflicted about this book. And I do not know how I will manage to write down all of my thoughts. I shall start by giving it three stars, as I did not love this story. But I did not hate it either.

I have way too many feelings about this book. And I will not share all of it, because this book was all kinds of complicated, and I will fail at trying to describe it all. And so I will only talk a little about the story and the plot and this world. Will do my best, but not sharing everything. At first I really liked this. It seemed exciting and creepy.

But it changed pretty fast. I liked the writing at first, but the more I read, the more I started to dislike it. I did not like the way the main girl talked at times. Or thought, I guess. Everything was way, way too much described. That put me off too much. Which was pretty disappointing. I get wanting to describe certain things, but when every thing that happens is compared to something else, it is too much. That bothered me. But more later. Will share first about the things that I did like about this book. Because I did enjoy a whole lot of it. I may not know anything about what this book is based on, the history and the religions. I know there were Jews, but everything else felt like a fantasy version. I will say that the religion parts were written well and I liked that, for the most part.

But religion has never been my thing, so it was a little much as well. I do now know where to begin, what to say. This book tells the story of Évike and Gáspár. They are both twenty five years old, making this an Adult book. Though I did not find it nearly dark enough for that, haha. I wish it had been darker and more brutal, to be honest. I guess there were some bloody scenes. But I just did not care enough about any of it. Oops. Anyway. Main characters. I guess I liked getting to know them. But I did not love either of them.

I sadly did not love them together, either. Which is what this book was about, at some point. With them starting as sworn enemies and turning into friends or more. But I did not feel their beginning romance at all. Probably because of how very terribly Évike spoke to Gáspár. All the time. And that drove me nuts. I suppose some would find it fun or whatever. I did not. She was cruel to him. All the time. And I hated it, to be honest. Didn't feel like she made up for it either, with kind words later on. She did not have those. Ugh.

Anyway. I need to talk about the characters a little, I guess. But I do not want to recap this whole book, so only mentioning a little. Évike comes from a very small village in the woods of wolf-girls. All the men are regular humans, but the girls born are not. They all have one of four types of magical power. And so the girls are almost worshipped, in a way. Until Évike. Who does not have any type of magic in her at all. She has been bullied and hurt her whole life by the other girls. I did feel for her, a lot. She did not deserve that.

But other than that, I just could not bring myself to care for her very much. Because of her bad temper. I do not mind angry girls at all. I liked how she was not sitting still. But I did not like how she was cruel to everyone when she was angry. There is a difference between mean and angry and angry and cruel. And I do not do cruel. So, yeah. I liked Évike, somewhat. But I did not love her. I liked reading about her story. How her village sacrificed her to the Woodsmen, when they came looking for a new wolf-girl to take away.

And how it was Gáspár who came to take her away to the king. Him and a few other Woodsmen, whom all ended up dead. I liked the beginning of the book. I liked the monsters of the forest. But I wanted more of it. And there wasn't much more. Which was disappointing. As this book was pretty long and pretty slow most of the time. It took me days to read and I got bored easily. Anyway. Gáspár. He was the prince, with a complicated story. I guess that I liked him. But I also felt like I did not know him nearly well enough. Oh.

There is much to say about this book. And I have already written more than I was going to, without really saying much at all, haha. This book tells the story of two people meeting and having to survive together. Having to figure out a plan to save the kingdom and the people within it. They are truly enemies. But they slowly turn into something more. Which I wish I could have liked more. Sigh. But the romance was small; too small. Not enough nice words. Especially at the end. She had him kneel, yet she said nothing. Hmph.

Anyway. This book is a whole lot about religion. Which is not my thing at all. But I found some of it to be interesting even so. The magic part was pretty good too. And the different religions and beliefs. And their different stories too. I liked some of them, but there were too many at times. I am not going to say much about this, but the story about all of this was done well. Some people had it so horrible. Others took what they could from them. It was very real, with our history. I think that it was written well, from what I know.

Enough written about this book now. I have shared too much yet not enough too. I have many conflicted feelings about this book. I did like it at first. I liked the world, the magic, the creatures. But I wish there had been more about that. I felt like this was more about the king and kingdom and I found that to be a little boring. I wish the romance had been better. I wish the girl had been less cruel. I did not mind mean. But yeah. The Wolf and the Woodsman was an exciting story, not as good as I had hoped, but good enough.

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