Vengeance in the North Woods
Come join Thor's wolf pack as they embark on an epic exodus. Pushed from their home by human encroackment, the pack soon becomes plagued by hunger. Thor decides on raiding a farm despite his son's objections. Tragedy strikes and they are forced to move west in search of "The Land of the Buffalo", a fabled place where man will not be seen. They face everything Mother Nature throws at them: fire, rain, snow, tornado, and worst of all, humans. They follow a path riddled with triumph and tragedy, birth and death, as they try to stick together and find some peace.
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Vengeance in the North Woods is the story of a wolf pack as they make their way from their previous woodland home to a legendary place known as “Land of the Buffalo” where mankind is scarce and food is plentiful. As a reader of human fiction, I didn’t really know what to expect from such a book. I assumed the book would either be similar to “White Fang” by Jack London or a knock-off of all of the werewolf fiction that is rampant in this Twillight era. What I got was something a little different. In this book, the author (Randy Peters) uses language similar Jack London(which I like), but writes the story from the wolf’s perspective. The wolves do the talking, thinking, and all of the acting in this book.
The story starts off right in the middle of a wolf hunt that encroaches upon human territory leading to a series of events where the pack leader, Thor, makes the decision to leave. From there, you are taken through short selections of the wolf pack’s lives as they make the journey. You’ll see how they survive the winter, deal with coyotes, get stuck by porcupines, and deal with loss and death. Overall, it was a pretty interesting adventure and probably the strongest part of the book. To me, the journey was good, but I was more interested in the little things (like Demon trying to prove himself against coyotes or Bandit’s death) that happen along the way. There are both humorous (for some reason, an owl giving advice was really funny) as well as emotionally touching (when one of the wolf mother’s sacrifices herself for her cubs}. These are the moments that drive the story forward and shape the characters.
There was not a lot that I did not like about this book. The beginning was a little confusing, especially when I was not introduced to the characters, but I was able to catch on quick. There were also some tiny things that were missing that would have made the story a little bit clear. First, the wolves apparently have their own belief system. (Strange, I know, but go with me on this!)There are references to a High Council and Forest Spirits. I did not know where this was coming from. The names of the wolves also have some meaning as well, because they are given mythological names. Where did those names come from? The ending was good, but a little too “movie-like” ending.
In short, though, I enjoyed this book. I appreciated the chance to live in a world where wolves were running the show. The author manages to give these characters uniquely human personalities without losing sight of their animal nature. It’s the same kind of feeling you get when you watch a movie like “The Lion King” or “Brother Bear” or read a book like “Redwall”. You root for the animal to win to over the human. In these types of books the animals sometimes act more humane than their human counterparts.