So excited to have fellow blogger and newly minted virtual tour organizer, Carmel, of Rabid Reads, on the blog today. I've been following her book review blog for quite some time now and have heeded to a few of her recommended reads (which always worked for me, BTW) and really enjoyed the content of her reviews and other discussions.
What works and doesn't work for you in as far as werewolf/shifter series are concerned?
Each author’s approach to the various key werewolf elements that make up a furry series can be extremely different, and most writers choose to focus on a few canine specific traits rather than the animal as a whole. As a general rule, my favourite aspect of shifter fiction is the alpha (sometimes alpha couple) because this character is the epitome of what it means to be the top dog. I can’t say for sure where the dominating personality that’s prevalent throughout the paranormal genre originated, but if I had to hazard a guess, it would be the wolf. So, the next time you are mooning over your latest fictional crush, remember to thank this ultimate alpha, because without him your man-candy wouldn’t be what it is today!
Being the top dog isn’t just about being the strongest or the most assertive within a pack; it’s also about putting your family first, doing what’s best for the group, and making tough choices. The alpha werewolf is personally responsible for the survival and well-being of every single member under his care which makes this character one of the most complex and difficult to master in any shifter series. And, when an author does manage to successfully capture the very essence of what it means to be the leader of a pack, it is something truly magnificent to behold.
I have a love/hate relationship with the mate bond that can be found in pretty much every werewolf book ever published. I adore the concept of everyone having “one” fated partner, and when done right the connection between two soul mates has the potential to turn even the biggest cynic into a hopeless romantic. However, this is where things get tricky, and why insta-love is also one of my biggest pet peeves; too many authors have difficulty grasping this concept and take shortcuts which usually result in a lack of chemistry and just an overall non-credible relationship. Paranormal Romances are especially guilty of this mistake because each installment usually revolves around one central couple that changes from book-to-book which means that the writer only has one novel to convince readers of the authenticity of their characters’ connection.
Another crucial element in furry series that’s often times overlooked is the wolf POV. I absolutely love experiencing a story through canine eyes! In my opinion, when your character has two sides to his/her personality, it’s extremely important to demonstrate that by ensuring that there are at least a few scenes or chapters that are told from the animal’s perspective. Nothing annoys me more than an author who omits their protagonist’s other half. I read werewolf fiction specifically for the primal bits so when a writer somehow manages to “forget” what their character is —that’s a HUGE oversight on their part.
The pack is yet another aspect of this genre that I adore; I like the idea of having a family that would die for you—one that has your back no matter what. I love it when an author incorporates detailed shifter mythology into their world-building, and pack hierarchy and dynamics are huge parts of that. And, last but definitely not least on my long list of werewolf must-haves are primal sex scenes. I’m sure you all are familiar with the saying “to fuck like animals”, well in this case it’s actually true! I’m also not opposed to the occasional furry romp, but I do have to draw the line at bestiality. That’s just too out there, even for me!
Ultimate Rabid Reads
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is of course, my all-time favourite werewolf book, but The Women of the Otherworld isn’t a werewolf series which is why it didn’t make this list. But, if you only ever read one shifter novel, this one should definitely be it!
Riley Jenson Guardian series by Keri Arthur: I read these books before I ever even started blogging, so the fact that they remain in the number one spot after all of this time is a testimony in itself. Arthur nails all of her wolf-y elements while still delivering top notch action, mind blowing sex scenes, and a story that’s in a league of its own.
The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater: Whenever I get asked for werewolf book recommendations, this series is always at the forefront of my mind. Stiefvater’s beautiful lyrical writing style is mesmerizing, and the relationships between her characters are downright magical.
Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: I brought up the mate bond earlier in this post, and no author does it better than Briggs with Mercy and Adam. This series’ plot lines never disappoint and the shifter lore is first-class.
A Wolf’s Pride series by Cat Kalen: This author has mastered the art of writing from a wolf’s POV; her heroine is unforgettable and her story telling is without equal.
Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper: You can never go wrong with a book by this author; her sense of humour is unmatched and, if you’re tempted to go the audiobook route, you won’t find a narrator more suited for her quirky characters than Amanda Ronconi.
If you want even more recommendations, see my top 10 werewolf books of 2013 & 2012.
Thanks so much for having me on Talk Supe, Braine, writing this post was a great refresher on the many reasons as to why I love werewolves!
Carmel is the owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. I also offer virtual assistance to authors and webmaster services to bloggers. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!
Rabid PR offers a wide range of administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services designed to meet the individualized needs of authors, both published and pre-published.
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