Series: Otherworld: Kate and Logan, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters
Publication Date: March 19, 2020
Warning: there are spoilers in this review for the series that take place in Armstrong’s Otherworld universe.
Growing up as the twins of the werewolf Alpha, Kate and Logan expected the “supernatural teen leadership conference” they’d been forced into to be boring and political. Instead, they find themselves taking a crash course in real life leadership.
Check out the first book – Wolf’s Bane.
Hell hounds outside; hell house inside. What more could we ask for? Human skulls nailed to the ceiling, apparently.Kate, Ch. 1
This is the second book in the duology, and I absolutely adore that it reads more like 1 book split in half than two stories stuck together. It made the world flow incredibly smoothly. If you have the chance to, I highly recommend reading these books back to back as this book picks up right where Wolf’s Bane ends. The main characters and their friends remain trapped in the dark witch’s cabin, needing to figure out how to escape with their lives.
As an extreme Kelley Armstrong fan, I knew I was going to like what I read in this story. I loved getting to read about the next generation from the Women of the Otherworld series. I loved that we got to read more about the experiments that were the plots of the Darkest Powers (beginning with The Summoning – review here) and Darkness Rising (beginning with The Gathering – review here) series. While there were minor character appearances from these series, and we get to hear very briefly about the main cast from the stories, I loved getting to experience this world with different characters that we, as readers, didn’t know beforehand.
I’d recommend reading this duology after you’ve read the other books in this world. While the stories themselves stand apart, if you go into the duology blind you’re going to end up missing out on a lot of context clues and references to Armstrong’s earlier writings. It may seem like a lot of reading before getting to this duology – 13 main books in the Otherworld series, multiple companion collections, 2 trilogies with their own short stories – but I promise it’s worth it. Having those stories in your mind going into this read will make the experience much smoother.
That being said, I truly did enjoy this duology as its own thing. Already being familiar with this world, I enjoyed the new aspects that Armstrong has thrown in here. Getting to read the development of the world and how the different stories interact with each other only heightened my enjoyment of the read. The idea of a leadership camp for supernaturals is an interesting one. Though this story focuses on how that can go awry, it was interesting to see team building exercises brought towards the occult and supernatural.
Something I’ve always enjoyed about this world and Armstrong’s writing is how she takes on the divide between supernatural races. There are clear parallels in her stories to the way our own world works. Not every supernatural race gets along with each other and some of these biases run deep. For example, sorcerers and witches can recognize each other by simply making eye contact. As these races have not gotten along in centuries, it leads to much fighting upon meeting. (Though I’ll let you make the real life comparison yourself there…)
Another example is the bias that most supernatural races have against werewolves and vampires. They generally consider these races to be brutes and not as intelligent as the other races. While my anthropological background brings a lot of real world examples to mind, I’m going to once again leave it up to you to make your own connections here. It’s not that hard, is it?
On top of the blatant parallels that Armstrong does a fantastic job writing, she has a way with words that helps bring her characters to life. If you’ve been around my blog for a while you’ve probably noticed the abundance of Armstrong reviews I’ve written. If you’re new here, I highly recommend checking some of them – and her works – out for yourself. Check out some of the reviews here: Bitten; The Summoning; The Gathering; Omens; The Unquiet Past; Exit Strategy; Wolf’s Bane.
The main reason that I’ve got so many Armstrong reviews is because of how real she makes her characters. Kate and Logan truly seem like teenagers. Each has their own baggage. Each is impacted by the lives of their parents’ generation and attempting to fit into high school society. Each has their own likes and dislikes, preferences and pet peeves. They’re characters who have depth to them. They don’t merely feel like 2D characters on a page.
I went into this read knowing that I’d end up being a little biased as I read through things, as I’m in love with not only Armstrong’s writing itself but the world that this story takes place in. So, keeping that in mind, if you’d like to hear my opinion on the story keep reading. Though be warned, this review is filled with spoilers.
Continue reading “Wolf’s Curse by Kelley Armstrong”