#Review: Wolfbound by Jane Bailey
A 2 Star read
This is a story of two halves: the one in which a pack of werewolves feature prominently and the other where a young woman’s anxieties about her lack of attractiveness to the opposite sex are foremost. The protagonist, Eileen, has always felt there’s something other about herself. She’s battled long and hard to push this side of her nature aside. I was engaged. When the plot brought her and Zachariah together I got the sense he was going to either bring her otherness to the fore or help her rid herself of it completely. The opening chapters of the book are solid in their descriptions and the writing style easy to read.
However, this is where the plot unravels. Once a failed attempt at understanding Eileen’s true nature is described, the story loses its way and lingers far too long on her anxieties. The link between her relationship with Zachariah and who she truly is, is lost. Furthermore, I was very troubled by descriptions of the domestic abuse situation being described. I hoped the author was planning on extricating her character from this and wondered how she would achieve this. It was done clumsily. Two characters were added to further the plot and their inclusion felt forced. The attention given to the opening of this tale was missing further down the line and the ending felt rushed and cobbled together.
There was another disappointment in this reading. Initially I was very excited by the first few pages as it is set in Salford University, Manchester and environs nearby. As a Salford alumni I felt I was about to recapture a bit of my youth. But there is very little description of the campus, no mention of the Irwell or any of the iconic buildings. There is no real sense of place. The story could be in any university anywhere in the world. This can lend universality to the story but for me the lack of place was significant. Why bother mentioning the story is set in Salford if there is going to be very little sense of it during the story? I also feel the author missed a trick as it would have been the ideal opportunity to utilise sensual description so crucial to any writing which involves animal-human transformation.
Unfortunately, a disappointing read.