Book Review: Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

A tragic mystery blending sleuthing and spirituality

​An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding.

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean’s world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth—no matter how painful—in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life—the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center—to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages.

My Thoughts:

This book follows the life of Bean (yes, this is a very unusual name for a person and I was surprised with it. I thought it was a nickname.) as she navigates life post her brother’s death. We are given glimpses into the lives of the family members before Sam’s death and of course how they each cope after it. Being closer in age, Bean was very close to Sam, closer than she was to her two older brothers. Sam’s death somehow brings the family together with each person re-discovering and establishing bonds with each other.

Of course, there is some mystery surrounding the death and Bean, troubled as she is by all this, makes it a point to find out the truth . Bean believe that her brother did not commit suicide and if he did, they should have been able to see the signs. The story is quite tragic, filled with lots of grief and some moments of understanding and even happiness. In this myriad of emotions, the author seeks to bring about an awareness of different belief systems, people’s ideas and ideologies. This is an interesting aspect of the plot and was quite an eye opener.

I was a little put off by Bean’s attitude at times, but in retrospect, it was probably a reflection of her grief and coping mechanisms. The story is well-written though a little confusing at times, but it is definitely worth a read! I enjoyed the references to animals and how the author weaves the story around people’s belief systems without sounding like she is preaching. This book is well worth the read especially to admire the bonds of friendship and family that forms the backbone of the plot.

Book Review: Supernova by Braxton A. Cosby

About the Book:

Supernova (The Star-Crossed Saga Book 2)

Against everything he had known as truth, William has made the choice to protect Sydney from the forces seeking to destroy her. But just as these two Star-Crossed lovers are beginning to explore their relationship and search for answers to the mysteries of Sydney’s existence, she advances to the next stage of her Star-child evolution—Supernova—and struggles not only to control her new powers, but also the emotions for her new love. William seeks to find the truth behind Sydney’s erratic behavior, while overcoming the new threat headed to Earth to destroy them. With new villains and old allies on the horizon, and chaos brewing on William’s home world, will self-sacrifice prove to be the only way for him to achieve victory and defend his love, or is there another way?

My Thoughts:

This is the second installment in The Star-Crossed Saga. I must admit the book is even better than the first with more thrills and action.

Braxton effortlessly weaves the plot and continues on from where he stopped in the first installment of the series. In this story, we see Sydney change as a person as she embarks on the journey of trying to understand the meaning of being a Star-child and the powers she has. She has William to help her but her feelings for him are put to trial when she encounters Jeff, a boy at school for whom she also has some feelings. Noella stands by Sydney’s side, a faithful friend, trying to atone for all the bad she had done previously. She is also torn between being Sydney’s friend and trying to help William.

Henry, Sydney’s guardian is more accepting of the various events that have occurred and ever since his encounter with Jasmine, he seems to be seeing life in a different way. A few more characters including Arrion, William’s best friend are introduced in the story and thus it seems as though a lot of things are happening. In fact, there are a few parallel situations that are portrayed both on earth and on the planet from where William comes from. The author brings out a lot of things in this story that seem to clear any doubts that may have arisen after reading the first book.

However, this second installment of the story has some surprises of its own and ultimately raises a lot of questions thus laying the foundation for the next story. This story is a wonderful continuation to the first, where the characters have to fight for what they truly believe in as well as for the ones they love. I highly recommend it to all and if you haven’t started this series yet, I suggest you do so immediately.