After reading Joann H. Buchannan’s first novella, Soulless Light, I was anxious to read I Am Wolf. I Am Wolf is such a unique book that it could be marketed for Young Adult or even Adult, and almost needs its own category as a Paranormal Fantasy Horror Novel. Magic, it has it. Werewolves, it has that too. Horror, oh yeah, there is definitely blood and gore in this book enough to make any head bashing, limb decapitating monster happy. If you love all of these things, then you will love I Am Wolf.
While the characters in this book are high school students, anyone can relate to the tales of Jonah and his youngling pack. Jonah is a typical teenager filled with angst and when he is sent to live with his grandparents in Sisters, he is in for the surprise of his life. He soon learns that the wildness he had been feeling inside is something much more deeper than normal teenage hormonal issues. He and his friends are actually part of a youngling pack of werewolves who have a keen sense of comraderie that serves well to help them become a close-knit pack.
When a crazy, well there are probable better words for Ralph, like lunatic, deranged, homicidal, when this foe wants to hunt down the white wolf he becomes even more fixated on learning the secrets of Sisters. To protect his first love, Alaynee and her brother, Squeaks, Jonah attacks Ralph creating an Unnatural beast that no longer sees the line between right and wrong. Ralph goes on a killing spree that would make your regular mask murderers stand back in awe.
I don’t want to give away the rest of the book, for there are quite a few twists and turns that make this book so unique. The Native American lore and poetic beauty of the writing make this book stand out among many that I have read. Since this book has been marketed first for the young adult audience I was quite pleased to find that Ms. Buchannan does not feel the need to make her book any less mature, that she did not have to dumb it down for her audience. I greatly appreciated this for it is the kind of book I hope my daughter wants to read someday. We should inspire our children to be better, and introducing them to novels that improve their vocabulary, give them a greater appreciation for the poetic nature of the written word. and perhaps even just give them a place to escape to that does not feel sparkly is nice now and then is extremely important.
I definitely recommend this book to the young adult and to the adult that wants to go down memory lane and remember how they felt when they were driving their first car, going to their school football games, and falling in love for the first time.