Fitting in with the wolves isn’t easy

I do enjoy a good werewolf book and Maria Vale writes an excellent story about werewolves in the modern world. Wolf in the Shadows is the fifth and final book in her series about a pack of werewolves with a long history who are trying to survive in rural North America. The first book in the series is The Last Wolf and it’s worth reading them in order to get the best out of the unfolding story.

Over the first four books the author introduces us to the pack and their traditions by concentrating on a number of main characters who are new to it or who are on the edges. In these books werewolves are wolves who can become shaped like people but some of them find it difficult to adapt to the world outside the pack – there are some great comic moments as they try to fit in. Pack life is brutal and full of rules to enable the wolves to survive but there are also those who see themselves as primarily human and who never shift – the two groups are in conflict. Added into the mix are the humans who don’t know that the pack exists and who can’t know to ensure their safety.

In this final book of the series a previous conflict has brought Julia and her fiancé into the pack as they were captured in a previous book. Julia is spoiled and full of privilege and has to adapt to a wolf lifestyle. She is guided and helped by Arthur who is an omega wolf, one at the bottom of the hierarchy. The novel is about Julia’s adaptation to the life of the wolf and her growth as a person as she becomes independent and responsible for her own actions. The pack, meanwhile, finally sees off their enemies.

This is a satisfying ending to an excellent series which I very much enjoyed. I liked the author’s slightly different approach to werewolves and her underlying message about community. The books are well plotted and each one builds on the previous volumes. It’s a series I recommend for those who enjoy this type of fantasy.

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