LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF
by Terry Spears
February 1, 2010
Blogger’s Personal Property: A copy of this book was received from author after Authors After Dark conference where we met and discovered that this book takes place in my state.
Terry Spears Link to Website: http://www.terryspear.com/
In this fourth in Spear’s werewolf series, Private Eye Cameron MacPherson and forensic scientist Faith O’Malley are both on quests that lead them into the world of magical wolves, mystery and murder.
Cameron arrives in wintry Maine to search for his partners in his P.I. business who are late returning from a hunting trip, and runs into Faith, there to locate her ex-boyfriend who stole her father’s research. But Cameron and Faith instantly are attracted to one another and keeping their business on a strictly professional level doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of succeeding in a toasty fire-warmed cabin, the couple snowbound and the setting perfect for an unplanned tryst.
Together, the two tumble into an icy world of mayhem where myth, legend, and reality merge, changing their lives forever.
Terry’s book takes place in and around Millinocket, Maine, a fairly remote area. It was probably developed as a paper mill town, with it’s companion logging, and it sits at the feet of Maine’s Mount Katahdin. You can see the remains of the industry there in the size of the railyard as shown in the close up of the Satellite Map below. The town is a gateway for the wilderness that surrounds it.
Wolves are no longer plentiful in Maine although Terry’s wolves would not really be indigenous to the area as they are Arctic White Wolves. But, in the story, the wolves have come to be accepted by the locals and are thought to be hybrids.
Terry shows a dark and seamy side to life in a pack with dangerous and unscrupulous members and Alphas. The pack leader, Kintail, and the most Alpha female, Lila, are strangely amoral and serve themselves more than their pack. Then Terry introduces more upstanding folks who have no idea about wolves until they learn the hard way.
|Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I liked how Terry brings two non-wolf characters in from the Pacific Northwest and gives them enough commonality to work together. They are instantly attracted to each other, but as humans work, at first, to push away from it. When the intimate hook ups happen they are among some of the more natural and realistic scenes I have read. People put in dangerous situations away from home naturally bond over an experience. When those people are somehow destined for each other the bonding occurs quickly and quite magically, but social convention would say they don’t really know each other.
Both Cameron and Faith are in the area to find people, and in Faith’s case something stolen. Because of intense secrecy, the pack has been behaving in ways I would not expect of werewolves. The highest ranking female in Kintail’s pack, Lila, is a particularly nasty piece of work.
One underlying theme in LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF is pack and pack secrets. Almost anyone who learns about the wolves is turned or killed: If you aren’t one of us you are a danger to the pack; humans can’t be trusted. This means that the werewolves have to behave themselves by not changing in public or behaving indiscreetly. The only exception to this are the Native Americans in the area for whom shifters are magical beings.
Do you think some humans could be trusted with a secret like the existence of werewolves?
Another theme is Romantic (mating, love, and loyalty). Werewolves mate for life in Terry’s world (common in Shifter fantasy). In Kintail’s Arctic wolf pack it doesn’t seem the females have a lot of choice in the matter. Cameron is driven to protect Faith from the very beginning – before they know about wolves at all. So their story, and protecting Faith from predatory males, is quite romantic.
The book is part of a series but stands on its own perfectly well. Everything is explained and the story really depends on the characters and events in LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF. But, I was confused by the many characters in Milinockett at both a hotel and guide service office, at a lodge outside of town, and the pack themselves. I found the relationships between them all complicated. And, Cameron’s quiet confusion after an event at the beginning of the book is never explained.
I would like to know what happens next to our hero and heroine as they head off into the sunset. I will have to put the next book on my TBR. I believe at this point my TBR can be seen from Airplanes. So, I do RECOMMEND LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF!