THE WOLF GIFT
Rice’s trend of writing compellingly real characters who are easily relatable continues in this new series starter. Reuben is a naïve, privileged man, but Rice manages to make the reader not hold that against him. Laura and Felix are the most compelling characters, each with a depth that carries much of the novel. Drawbacks are a rather see-through plot and the various “Rice tropes” that will be apparent to frequent readers of her novels, particularly the Vampire Chronicles. Still, it’s a promising read in a new paranormal series.
In a seemingly freak attack during a romantic encounter, Reuben is bitten by a beast he never saw — so dark and quick that he was lucky to survive, let alone live to identify the type of animal that bit him. A few weeks after the attack, Reuben begins to have disturbing symptoms and side effects, leaving him to wonder what type of man he's turning into, what type of beast he carries within and seeking help from others who might be like him. (KNOPF, Feb., 416 pp., $25.95)