Book Review: BONDS OF FENRIS by S.J. Bell

Bonds of Fenris
Author: S.J. Bell
Publication Date: May 7th 2012
Format: eBook
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Summary | Add to TBR
Talia Thornwood’s life ended one year ago, when she became a werewolf. She survived the attack, and the horrifying transformation a month later, but the life she has now is barely worth living. She lurks about in a filthy, run-down house, with too many werewolves crammed into too small a space. Every day is a struggle against the stress of human contact, the romantic prodding of her obnoxious packmate Pierce, and the gnawing hunger for flesh in her soul. 
She’s all but resigned herself to a dreary existence on the margins of society when she meets Corwin. Corwin is a werewolf like none other. He walks among humans as if it was nothing, and can keep his wolf under control even when the moon is full. Talia’s mind is suddenly opened to the possibilities before her, and the realization of how little she really knows about lycanthropy. 
Corwin claims that he can teach her how to cope as he does, even how to transcend her affliction. But it will not be easy. It is a hard education that requires her to question everything her pack taught her, and confront exactly what she has become. And, more amazingly, what she never stopped being. 
My Thoughts:
Reading Bonds of Fenris is like reading a wolf book but not really a book just about wolves. It was so much more. Honestly, this book surpassed my expectation. It was original, it was captivating, and it made me realized truths that I haven’t paid attention to before.
As a child, you can wish for anything. But as you grow up, one by one your wishes slip away from you, becoming unattainable. You pick and choose the most presious to hold on to… then you’re down to only the precious ones. And when life asks you to give up another, what do you do? How do you decide which of your precious wishes is the most important? –Talia, p81
When I started this book I didn’t know what to expect except that it’s about wolves… a pack of wolves… Probably an action-adventure-suspense kind of story with a bit of romance? I wonder why I thought of that in the first place? Maybe because I was so used with the stories of wolves and vampires and other-wordly creatures that is common in other fantasy and paranormal books I usually read. But then I was surprised that it was actually a story of self-discovery and finding meaning in life. I really liked the beautiful writing and the simple yet powerful story mixed with strong riveting characters.
Talia is a strong girl. Stubborn, maybe. Afraid, maybe. But if you’re a wolf and a human at the same time, you’ll understand how it is to live, or not to live. The first POV style of writing used in this book made me see clearly Talia’s thoughts and understand her actions. It’s like feeling her emotions, seeing the world through her eyes. Her relationship with Corwin wasn’t like a love-at-first-sight kind of romance, which I really appreciated. It wasn’t rushed. It wasn’t forced at all. It just developed and blossomed subsequently that made the romance more enticing. The rest of the characters are well developed and likable. Each of them have their own set of personalities that blended well with the story. 
“You were told… Don’t give in… you wanted control more than anything in the world. But you gave in… What was so important that it made you give up a treasure that you thought was worth everything? What was so valuable that it eclipsed all other concerns? What was it that you were willing to forgo every other desire in the world for? When it really comes down to it… what do you want?” –Corwin, p93
The pacing of the story was good and there was no boring moments. I read and watched how the story unfolded… there were parts that made me sad, some made smile, but most parts made me think. It was surprising how this book made me realized that “to live” is actually the thing that man sometimes tend to forget until he face the possibility of “dying”.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s short, fun, easy to read and easy to understand. Don’t worry about the action parts (if you’re looking for some) because it has enough of that too. When I finished this book, I had a sweet smile on my face because it has a beautiful ending, a hopeful and a satisfying one. I’m glad that I read it and I hope you’ll find time to read it too.
And my favorite line:
“Our lives are what we make them, Talia. We have the things that we do because we work for them, or because we fail to work for something better. I mean, take your own example. You want to be in love, so you’re kissing frogs like mad to find it.” – Corwin, p132
My Rating: 

One thought on “Book Review: BONDS OF FENRIS by S.J. Bell

  1. I don't really want to read this review, because I'm starting to read this book today and I don't want to spoil myself, but I had to peek! I'm really glad that the character development and depth were so spot-on… I think there's huge potential in a novel exploring really what it means to be a werewolf, and what it means to be alive too.

    And the quote you chose about kissing frogs? Priceless!


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