Wednesday, December 11, 2019

TJ Klune - Ravensong

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.
It should have been enough.
And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won.
Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.
But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.
Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.

Comment: This is the second installment in the Green Creek series by TJ Klune. I was really surprised by how much I liked reading the first book in the series and I had all the intentions of reading the following ones. This is the second one and I can say I liked it even more than the first.

In this second book we have the story of Gordo Livingstone, the witch of the pack and the person who links what happened with the pack before the events in the previous book and how the situation is now. In this book we get to know what happened to Gordo while he was a boy, how the pack life and the repercussions of that affected his family  and, of course, inklings of his relationship with Mark Bennett, which we know is complicated as they barely speak to one another.
However, no one is meant to be alone, much less those belonging to a pack, even a pack made out of friendships and caring if not blood ties. In the end of the day, will Gordo be able to put aside his fears and the things he has been conditioned for to finally forgive and be forgiven?

Thinking of this book makes me want to sigh. You know, those moments where you just rest your body posture and exhale?
I really liked this one. It's not a perfect story (some situations went on for a long time and some others lacked a more spectacular effect) but it had all the feels and angst and cuteness that I truly didn't mind the, again, around 400 pages of story. I loved being immersed in this world and spending time with these characters.

Just to get it out of the way, my biggest complaint with this book would be how some situations regarding the happiness of the characters seem to be challenged very often, not just because this is an angsty and serious story; the anticipation is good sometimes but others it feels as if it didn't have to be but because it suits the tone of the book and to add some shock value... I'd change a few details here and there to my preference but those could be totally different from another reader.
Also, in this book we don't have a scene where the possibly biggest problem occurs
 (spoiler!:  no one from the main nucleus of characters dies, like in the first book) 
so that settled me in the end, even if not though the novel, due to anxiety and expectation with the "what if" possibilities.

So, thankfully, this was a very well thought novel, and agreeing with other readers, so much better understood and cherished if one reads the first book too.
I liked getting to know Gordo (this is told from his POV) and understanding why he is so distanced from some people, namely Mark his mate, why he feels so much sadness and why he is unwilling to forgive some elements because of past situations.
I think his personality is very complex, his evolution towards the positive things he needs to accept and accomplish is well done and realistic, considering the personality traits he shows.

I was also so very eager to see how the HEA would happen and, as per the author's style, it was a slow burn thing, with both Mark and Gordo having to go through many issues before finally accepting where they are in life now. Some scenes were just so... strong, even before they got together in the end. The emotional aspect of the books is certainly one if its best features and just the anticipation of what could happen, how could they be sharing things (even if not sexual) to better increase the time they were in each other's radar so that those feelings had to be considered... I mean, I really like how the author does this.

I also loved how this book seemed to have more comic relief situations/scenes. The secondary characters played a very important role and it was great to see everyone was important in the pack, even those not in key positions, how everyone mattered to the health and love of the pack, human elements included. I laughed too, with some commentary from the peanut gallery!
I especially liked hints and very little tidbits about the incoming romances. Nothing is said out loud but, really, the apparently innocent comments here and there makes it so hard to wait to see what happens.

The overall plot is not solved here. Gordo finds his inner carer, goes through emotional roller coasters to be who he needs to be (for himself and for the pack) but the big event, I would say, the big show down i guess will only happen in the final book. So many interesting surprises on going, I can't wait to read the other two books and I will certainly do so next year.
I loved every scene and every moment spent reading this novel. The author was able to convey all the emotions, all the ties that can unite the pack, the family between those not blood related but connected by the most important things of all: love and friendship between them.
Grade: 9/10

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