Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Bonds of Fenris by S. J. Bell

Expected Publication:  May 7, 2012

Goodreads Description:

Talia Thornwood's life ended one year ago, when she became a werewolf. She survived the attack, and the horrifying transformation a month later, but the life she has now is barely worth living. She lurks about in a filthy, run-down house, with too many werewolves crammed into too small a space. Every day is a struggle against the stress of human contact, the romantic prodding of her obnoxious packmate Pierce, and the gnawing hunger for flesh in her soul.

She's all but resigned herself to a dreary existence on the margins of society when she meets Corwin. Corwin is a werewolf like none other. He walks among humans as if it was nothing, and can keep his wolf under control even when the moon is full. Talia's mind is suddenly opened to the possibilities before her, and the realization of how little she really knows about lycanthropy.

Corwin claims that he can teach her how to cope as he does, even how to transcend her affliction. But it will not be easy. It is a hard education that requires her to question everything her pack taught her, and confront exactly what she has become. And, more amazingly, what she never stopped being.

Genre:  Urban Fantasy 
Publisher Type:  Indie Author
Rating:  * * * *

My Review:
To be succinct, this is a compelling read.

Well, of course I can't just leave you with that... succinct and I are really not compatible.

So... this is an urban fantasy that leans more toward a drama (but not the whiny type) than action adventure.  No crazed vampire verses werewolf fight clubs here; this is more subtle.  Think Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls rather than Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld.  Both are crazy good series, just so you know.

Bell's writing is straightforward, which is amazingly perfect for this book.  He is able to tell Talia's story in a way that you are so completely sucked into the story, but he doesn't go overboard taking us into Nicholas Sparks territory (I'm sooo not a fan of super-drama-y).  While the pace is slow, the story never drags and instead you feel as if you are walking along with Talia as she struggles with her otherness.  Each character is believable and you care what happens to each one, even Pierce who tends to be a jerk.  There's some great suspense in this story.  There were a couple moments near the end that had me holding my breath.  The ending was just what it should be.  **happy sigh of contentment**

I wondered at the name of the book and, after finding no Fenris within it's pages, I turned to Google.  Here's what Encyclopedia Mythica has to say:  Fenrir (or Fenris) is a gigantic and terrible monster in the shape of a wolf. He is the eldest child of Loki and the giantess Angrboda. The gods learned of a prophecy which stated that the wolf and his family would one day be responsible for the destruction of the world. They caught the wolf and locked him in a cage. Only the god of war, Tyr, dared to feed and take care of the wolf.

Cover Art:
This beautiful cover drew me in right away.  I love the silhouetted wolf against the stormy moonlit sky.  The typeface is clear, artistic and just the right shade.  I love a well-done cover and this is a perfect example!


  1. Thanks for the review, and glad you enjoyed the book! Incidentally, I did a brief interpretation of the Fenris myth for a guest post a few weeks ago. Whether or not it will interest you, I don't know, but you can find it here.

    -S.J. Bell

    1. So appreciate the opportunity to read your work! I checked out the post; quite insightful! I really love a peak into the writing process, especially where author's find inspiration. :)