Dominance and submission in a YA novel? Yes, and lots of it…but not of a sexual nature. A cabin full of weaponry and ammunition in rural America? It doesn’t sound legal to my international brain, and the thought of gun-toting teens is terrifying, but it’s all here. There’s a chick-lit voice early on, but thankfully that disappears into something more mature, though Devon Macalister totally seems like a caricature. The babies grow way faster than regular tots, and the female is indeed a Speshul Snowflake. Psi abilities are among my most disliked tropes, and a lot of this novel rides on them.
And then there’s the domestic (of sorts) abuse scene, and the characters’ attempts to justify it…
By all accounts, I shouldn’t love this novel. But I do.
Raised by Wolves is a heck of a page-turner, and I scrambled to read it as fast as I could, which distracted me from nausea in the early hours of one particular morning. Bryn Clare may be the designated protagonist, but Ali is the most heroic. And the entire second half of the novel was sound-tracked by Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in my mind, which formed an emotional reading experience.
There are so many amazing and genuinely thrilling scenes that can’t be mentioned (they’re spoilers), but believe me: this is a striking novel I won’t soon forget. Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I dip my hat to you.