Epeolatry Book Review: Throw Me to the Wolves by Lindy Ryan & Christopher Brooks
Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.
Title: Throw Me to the Wolves
Author: Lindy Ryan & Christopher Brooks
Publisher: Black Spot Books
Release Date: 24th May, 2022
Synopsis: Some evil wants to live forever.
Ten years ago a witch sacrificed Britta Orchid’s family and turned her into a werewolf. Selena Stone’s spell failed, and she was never seen again. Until now.
Officer Aaron Labaye has discovered Selena’s remains in the house where Britta’s family died, and dragged Britta back to Louisiana to aid the investigation, hoping her past will break the case. Britta has a hard time resisting the handsome rookie, especially when he shows her a new drawing by her murdered little brother: Britta in her wolf-form.
As an unseen hand sets events in motion, Britta has to help Labaye dig into the murders old and new. The bloodthirsty ghost of her brother, a jealous member from her pack, and a former friend with a serious prejudice against wolves all stand to stop Britta as she fights to finally get the truth about that night ten years ago. But, as she looks harder than ever into her own dark past, Britta will confront more than just her own demons as she fights for peace for herself and for her family. She can’t hide anymore, but must find her place in a world she’s avoided—and discover what it truly means to be a wolf.
Throw Me to the Wolves is a fast-paced novel blending several genres—rural fantasy, paranormal romance, crime, and horror—into a highly satisfying occult thriller full of werewolves, witches, mambos, and magic. One of the book’s highlights is its fresh take on werewolf mythology. No waiting for the full moon here: instead, we get a protagonist (and her pack) who must learn to master their magic to control their own shapeshifting. Britta sees her magic as a curse, but the reader gets a glimpse into the ways in which wolf and woman coexist and how one might, as Britta does, use the power as a force for good.
I appreciate how the tale repositions the werewolf figure, and even more, by focusing on a female shapeshifter, who ended up being the centerpiece of the novel for me. Britta is a strong heroine with lots of flaws; though she’s a magical creature she is also very human and very relatable. Her narration is angsty, emotional, and full of dark humor, but the language is not tedious or trying too hard; the authors crafted Britta’s voice in a highly authentic, effective way that welcomed me in like an old friend. Told in this unique first-person voice, the narrative thrusts the reader into Britta’s thoughts, worries, and perceptions to build a strong connection to the world and characters that actually had my heart pounding in a few scenes. (Turn the lights on when Britta and her brother play hide-and-seek in the Hall House sunroom.)
Britta’s relationships are similarly multifaceted and complex, whether with human or wolf. I especially loved her friendship with Mam Byrdie, another unique, strong female character who could play the protagonist in her own series. Besides allowing the reader to navigate the complexities of their relationship and history, Ryan and Brooks offer a look at a non-western magic that further enriches the already-otherworldly sense suffusing the story. The authors must have done their due diligence with research and sensitivity readers—they skillfully and respectfully wove the supernatural into the plot without making Mam Byrdie or her belief system a crutch for Britta’s character development.
The only aspect of the story that detracted from my enjoyment was the constant, repetitive observation of Britta’s clothing, especially her shoes. I understand that Doc Martens symbolize a specific aesthetic, as do, perhaps, trench coats. But I got a bit pummeled with her oxblood shoe selections, and I firmly reside in the “less is more” camp when it comes to characters’ physical appearances and clothing (unless inextricable from the plot). In this case, Britta could have solved the mystery wearing Docs, Chucks, or Uggs. (Just not Crocs.)
Overall, I highly recommend this book as a quick, fun read. The fresh, strong heroine will attract fans of urban/rural fantasy, occult crime/thriller, werewolves, and witchcraft. I eagerly await the second book in the series.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
B. A. Kockaya writes horror and Gothic stories. She is currently working on her first novel, a feminist retelling of Beowulf with horror elements. Originally from Buffalo, NY, she lives here and there with her husband and son.
You can also follow B.A. on Instagram at @totsbels!