Frostbite by David Wellington

Frostbite: A Werewolf Tale - David Wellington

3.5, almost a 4. Or a 4 with a few issues.

 

I could actually see this making a good movie, it has that kind of structure, and overall I really rather liked it.

 

The plot is actually rather fun. The title is in fact "Frostbite: A werewolf tale" so that there's werewolves in it isn't actually a spoiler, although saying much more about the rest of the plot would be so I'll just write myself a pros and cons list after the break.

 

Things I liked:

  • Actually wolfy werewolves. They think wolfy thoughts when in wolf form, aren't particularly logical (at least not by human standards) and they eat things. Including people (I know wolves do not normally hunt people, that is in fact covered in the book, however these wolves are cursed and part of the curse is a severe hatred of humans) However, I really liked reading Wellington's imaginings of how a wolf might think, rather than just humans in new skins.
  • A strong Canadian flavour, and not just dropping mention of mounties and Molson here and there (although both are in fact mentioned).
  • Dzo (a character). It takes the heroine a long time to figure out his nature, but by then, he just is what he is, and she rolls with it. And he's lovely.
  • Werewolves are a thing. Lots of people know about them. The police flat out tell one character that's what attacked her and her father. Because she famously survived the attack (few do) as an adult she's victim to "werewolf groupies" who want to just come look at her... while she's working. In a bar. For some reason I found that hilarious.
  • The reason nobody hunts them is not because they don't know, but because there aren't very many, possibly only one or two in all of Canada and the government is too busy making committees to "look into the matter more".
  • It has an ending. There's more books after this, but there's no cliffhanger in this one, I'm starting to really hate cliffhangers. And if you don't want to read more, the ending to this is enough. (I want to read more. I like this world, overall)

 

Things that didn't work quite so well

  • The heroine is a bit unlikeable at times. I guess she has good reason, and she gets a lot better.
  • One of the other characters, who happens to be her boyfriend, is a douchecanoe on a major scale. And she *does not see it*. Doesn't see that he is nothing more than another of the werewolf groupies, although he wants to do more than look at her, he wants to use and manipulate her, and because she can't see it, she lets him.
  • The emotional side is a bit.... underwritten. Chey (the heroine) has almost no emotional range. The werewolves, in wolf form, are deeper, and their idea of a good time is actually munching a bunny and falling asleep in a pile. At least you *know* what they like though, I never quite get even that much of a handle on Chey. We see a lot of what is being experienced through her eyes, but very little of how she actually feels about it.
  • Re the last two points: There's really no motivtation for Mr. Douchecanoe to be involved in this. I'm sure he had a reason, but I don't know it. And he is definitely really motivated, he's spent a ton of money, time and effort, not to mention romancing Chey for 6 months just so she'll do what he wants. He has a helicopter for crying out loud, you don't have your own helicopter without some serious funding or backing. By the end of the book, I still don't really know why or who he is.