Raised by Wolves: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

February 21, 2016 by Betty

I loved this trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes so much! Not too crazy about those covers but oh well. I finished the entire trilogy in five days (less actually, since for a day and a half I was so busy I didn’t read a page).  I found the first book on a website where there are a bunch of books for free to read online. What caught my attention was the title, “Raised by Wolves”. Without any sort of idea on what the book was about I decided to dive right in. The story follows Bronwyn (Bryn), a  fifteen year old human girl trying to find her place among werewolves who adopted her. It is a coming of age story as Bryn finds herself having to grow up and leave her childhood behind. Here is the summary for the first book in the trilogy:

Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two. 

But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?

I died reading this trilogy. The last book killed and shattered me into a billion tiny pieces. I was left not knowing how to feel. I was just overwhelmed by the conclusion and thought…

oh my stars

Although a lot of people complain about Bryn’s age and her “possessive” relationship with certain characters, it’s part of the bond she has with wolves in the pack. I mean, they are a pack and she doesn’t refer to people as “hers” in a love interest kind of way. Rather they are so close it is like the belong to one another.

Bryn also faces so many challenges and ordeals, yet she fights to overcome them for the sake of her loved ones. As Callum, the alpha who adopted her tells her: “In the end, it all comes back to you.  You protect them, you love them, you live for them, and someday, you die. That’s what it means, Bryn-girl, to be what we are.  It’s lonely.  It’s impossible.  It’s all-consuming.”

Everything Bryn is facing is for the sake of her pack and everyone she loves. She feels a fierce, overwhelming, all consuming need to protect her pack and make them feel safe and happy even though she is just a 15 year old human girl. She is willing to put her life on the line and sacrifice herself for the greater good.

Upon finishing the trilogy, I decided to go through some of the reviews other readers had left after on Goodreads. There are a lot of really mixed reviews on the first book. Equal parts one-star-I-hated-this-book-it’s-not-even-professional-writing and four or five star this-is-my-favorite-werewolf-series-I-need-it-to-be-longer-and-never-end, but once you check out the reviews on the second, they are almost ALL four or five star reviews. Just saying. The conclusion to the series, Taken by Storm killed me slowly in increments and I was left feeling nothing. Ok, fine, not really, but Jennifer Lynn Barnes held no punches when she wrote this book. The deaths, the impossible situation, the despair that Bryn is CONSTANTLY feeling. Life for Bryn  is not idyllic. This book has her face so much more severe tragedy. I just wanted things to work out and for her to be happy, but life doesn’t always work that way. Not for us and not for Bryn. I died inside with her and felt my soul shrivel up in agony. There is no happy fairy tale ending, even though I wish there was. The way it finished left me feeling like

No no no

Still, it is so worth the read. One of my favorite werewolf series ever! Let me know if any of you have read it or if you might give it a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a “practice book” and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright to do post-graduate work at Cambridge, and then returned to the states, where she is hard at work on her PhD.

 

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