Thursday, October 22, 2020

TJ Klune - Brothersong

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him
the entire time. And then it—he—was gone.
Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity.
But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.
Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.
What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett.
And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

Comment: This is the much anticipated final installment in the Green Creek series by TJ Klune. For the past years, the stories about the group of characters we met in book #1 have amazed and touched the readers who have loved this world. Now it's time to end the series and, although for me this was not the best book, the goodbye was emotional enough to leave me with fond memories.

In this book we keep following Carter in his quest to find Gavin and bring him back to the care and bonds of the pack. He feels angry he didn't recognize what was linking him so much with the timber wolf who ended up helping the pack in a previous story. Now that he does, he needs to try to look for him, even if that is taking its toll on his mind, by being so far away from his beloved family and pack. 

When Carter finds him, though, he isn't certain on how to proceed. Will Gavin even want to return? Will he be able to escape the control of the beast that is now their enemy Livingstone? How can the pack win the fight without losing who they are in the process?

Like many other fans, I was quite eager to read this story. The fact the last one had ended - not in a cliffhanger per se - with a scene promising new emotional content, it was quite a wait. Whether or not the majority feels this was a well achieved ending to everything that happened, or if it matched the emotional level the other books had had, the reality is that it does feel a little weird to say goodbye to these characters. Of course the beauty of books is we can re-read them (or in my case, for a matter of lack of time, more often I re-read favorite scenes) but that feeling of facing what's to come for the first time while we root for the characters....well, that is not possible to regain.

The plot of this book is pretty basic, Carter is looking for Gavin and what results from his attempt will change the outcome. I don't think it's a spoiler to say of course Carter finds Gavin and that the enemy will be defeated. I won't say, however, which steps, which scenes, which price can be in the way until that happens. That is the fun of this, how the journey shapes things and makes her feel the emotions along with the characters. I should say there's a HEA, so rest assured that even with some darker situations, the most important things end positively.

The author has penned quite a series, very emotional, very strong in how the feelings and the personality of the characters are driving forces behind the actions they take. This means the action is slow paced and we have time to bond or not with the characters and their struggles. Sometimes, the way things are written can be brutal to one's emotions too. Of the four books, the 2nd, Ravensong, called the most to me. Some parts were really hard but so much more rewarding. In this one, while the touching scenes, the conversations, the tone, all suit what we've come to expect, I think the attempt of solving all loose ends and adding little things made for a "meatier" story and not as romantic, for instance.

I mean, the romance is cute, Carter is as clueless and silly as ever, but we all know that's a facade for his fears of not being a good enough pack member, etc. Well, one can infer stuff. Of course, this is all in his head for we know and we see in his actions how worthy and special he is. Gavin, on the other hand, was not as developed as I imagined he would. I think the author used too much the fact Gavin was raised as an omega since he became a wolf and this made him more aloof, scared, lonely, independent... I wish the bonds with pack had been more obvious since he joined the pack and that his relationship with Carter had been even more physical than just the cute/funny scenes they often shared.

Like I said, the important plot things were solved as expected... nothing really surprising happens, in my opinion, when it comes to the way the enemy is defeated. Ok, something interesting does happen and it might cause some emotion on how it affected the pack (and the faithful reader) but I wouldn't say it ends up being such a big deal. The emotional closure for this series is there and I believe this is what truly validates the series: the fact things progress according to the rules and the bonds between the characters. It's really a series for those who like complex characters, werewolves and strong emotional content.

Grade: 8/10

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