Sunday, October 30, 2016
Lila's Wolf by Sofia Grey
When Lila Cammell is abandoned by her time-jump partner, leaving her alone in Britain in the Dark Ages, revenge is the only thing on her mind. She’d trusted Jared Grohl with her life and her heart, and bringing him to justice will be sweet.
Finding him captured and enslaved by the Saxons changes all her assumptions. Now it’s a fight for survival, but the only way to save him, might be to leave him behind.
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This book was quite different from some of Sofia Grey's other books I've read. It's less about atmosphere and mystery and more about action and raw emotions. Instead of being a book you want to curl up with on a rainy, gloomy day, it's more edge of the seat, nail biting suspense that keeps you turning the pages anxious to find out what comes next or how they'll get out of the scrape they're in. This isn't a bad thing, as it gives a different reading experience and shows off the range of the author's skill in handling different settings and different types of stories.
In many ways I don't feel like I really got to know Lila and Jared as individuals all that well, but I also don't necessarily feel like I needed to. Who they are as people isn't quite as important in some ways as their responses to the situation they find themselves in. They demonstrate enough of who they are in the decisions they make along the way and in the thoughts that we are made privy to that it's not hard to form a connection with them. This sort of characterization is far more in keeping with the sort of book it is and keeps it from getting bogged down with needless exposition. You learn the essentials about them through their actions and words, and the rest is largely irrelevant.
What I would have liked to have been given more detail on is their world and culture. There are many tantalizing hints dropped, allusions to customs that seem puzzling and bizarre that are never fully explained, but very few concrete facts are given. Granted, in many ways we don't need a lot of detail about it since the story takes place almost completely in the past, and giving more information about their present time would mostly likely have detracted from the immediacy of the events in the past, but I still can't help wanting more. I'm very curious to know what led to some of the societal changes alluded to, in particular the devaluing of emotions and of romantic attachments in favor of a more Vulcan-like society ruled by logic and practicality. Perhaps we'll learn more in book two.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though I did have some minor quibbles with it which kept it from being a full 5-star read in my mind. There were times when I felt the depiction of some of the Saxons' actions and attitudes were a bit more modern than medieval, but I can't claim to know enough about the time period to say for sure. Also, full historical accuracy isn't really a requirement in my mind in a work of fiction and I'm willing to overlook things usually. It doesn't keep them from niggling at my inner historian though, unfortunately, and so it does tend to color my enjoyment of historical pieces at times. Still, there was far more about the book that I loved than there was things that bugged me that the little niggly things didn't detract from it too much for me.
I'd happily recommend this book to anyone that's a fan of time-travel romances, historical romances, or who just likes a good romance no matter the sub-genre. There's plenty of action and emotion to keep you engaged, and just enough sexy-time stuff to heat things up a bit. I think you'll find it time well spent. I did, and am looking forward to diving into book two of the series next.