Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin
This is Book 1 of 6 in the author’s Curse of the Moon series (all published 2016/2017). It has a 4.3/5 star rating with over 1,100 ratings. At this time of this review, it’s around #700 in the free kindle store. These are self-published and Claflin has a 5-book spin-off series called Valhalla's Curse featuring one of the characters in the Moon series. The cover art seems appropriate for the genre.
I think I came across a free copy of this e-book via a Bookfunnel promo where you get a freebie in exchange for signing up for the author’s mailing list. It’s a ‘shifter’ paranormal romance novel of about 300 pages and relatively clean and chaste. So a sweet YA werewolf story (though a bit violent at times) and not a ‘New Adult’ novel where the subject matter is supposedly more spicy. (I wouldn’t know!)
With freebies, I usually give the e-book about 10 percent to grab my interest. Some e-books I abandon right away; definitely by 20 percent it’s off to the DNF pile if I’m not hooked. Lost Wolf almost lost me at the beginning. It starts with a female protag (Victoria) who wakes up and has no memory of her past. Not my favorite trope or literary device. The other 1st person POV is Toby, supposedly her former love.
The writing is generally fair and the set-up interesting enough, so I kept going little by little. Plus, I’m thinking about writing a PNR novel and this was part of my research. (grin) While I wouldn’t say this story was all that gripping (I read it off and on over about 6 months as a bedtime read – a few pages before I nodded off to sleep), the plot wasn’t quite as predictable as I first reckoned. So I eventually finished it, more out of curiosity than excitement.
Overall, then, I’d give Lost Wolf a 3’ish out of 5 stars. It’s a ‘book one’ structured story so not all the plot threads are tied up at the end. In fact, as I read other reviews this was the biggest complaint. It’s overly long (at 300 pages) and doesn’t really satisfy the mystery of Victoria’s memory loss or her tragic background. Too many implausible situations as well. Plus, a lot of daily life description that just wasn’t very interesting and didn’t advance the plot.
Maybe for KU readers, the length and loose strings are good things. They can binge the series ‘for free’ (monthly fee to read all the e-books you want) and they can automatically move to book 2 to find out the answers. For me, I likely will not continue the series. But at 1000-plus ratings, Claflin must have a nice sized following, so more power to her.