The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane by Bryce Bentley-Tales

The Werewolf on Lowre Few LaneThe Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane by Bryce Bentley-Tales

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

received a copy of this book from the publisher, NineStar Press, and the author, via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 3.5

44 Lowre Few Lane has a lot of rumours and stories surrounding it. Two local boys have been reported missing since heading into the old, rundown house and the townsfolk are full of questions. Colton, a thirteen year old boy, and his friend Jade are spying on the house when Colton notices a black wolf wandering around near the front stoop. Severely spooked they leave quickly, but unbeknown to them, they are about to be embroiled in an adventure like no other. When they become friends with the new guy, Dylan, they end up involved in something that has been going on for many many many years before them. A dark sorcerer and werewolf is determined to get his children back even if it means destroying a town and all those in it, to do so.

This story took me a bit by surprise, I was expecting young adult, but not THIS young. The protagonist and friends are between the ages of twelve to fourteen, so their thinking patterns, reactions, and even vocabulary are a bit younger than what I was prepared for. However, this doesn’t entirely ruin the story for me. I liked the messages that the author was putting forward, A LOT.

Colton, our main guy, is a thirteen year old boy, who is of Asian descent living in Ireland. So we see him facing the expected struggles of not only going through puberty and growing pains, but also of the fact that he is constantly stereotyped as “the smart Asian kid” who is no good at sports and is constantly appearing to the butt of everyone’s jokes about being weak and not good for anything but doing other people’s maths homework. Not only is he trying to deal with these issues, he is also gay. He’s not ‘out’, so to speak, but his couple of close friends know. I love how he gets nervous and excited around Dylan, it made me smile. One thing that did make me a bit sad near the end, which unfortunately, a lot of people still deal with to this day, is that at the school dance, Dylan and Colton really wanted to dance together to the slow song, but couldn’t because they didn’t want anyone else to see. It really takes a look at how people who are ostracised by society feel in normal situations for anyone else. Two girls would be able to dance together with no questions asked at all, but two boys? There would be strange looks, questions, whispers and side eyes, ultimately taking all of the joy out of the simple act of dancing together. I absolutely love that in a book that I would deem middle-grade to young young adult, that this is a theme constant throughout the entire story. I hope that it gives others who are too afraid to be themselves and show the world who they really are, a little bit of a helping hand, showing that you’re not alone in the world with how you feel.

The concept of friendship is explored deeply and I found this to be the main theme running throughout the novel, it really made the story incredibly enjoyable to read. Friendship is important, it’s important to find that tribe of people who don’t judge you for who you are, who you love, what you wear, or how you speak. True friends can be few and far between.

The story itself was a great adventure with an alternate world that was built fantastically. The concepts in the world were done beautifully, and really fit with the story.

One problem I did have was that, when the revelation comes about a character being a werewolf, the other characters don’t really question it. There’s a slight bit of shock, but that is quickly replaced and they go about their merry way. This could be because of the age of the characters, maybe younger people would be more accepting of the fantastical than someone a bit older, but I still found it funny that none of characters really cared. In the end this was a good thing and cancelled out a lot of the trust rebuilding and the “yes I really am a werewolf” conversations. I just found it a bit hard to swallow.

I also sometimes had issue with the accents in dialogue. Especially when the Irish characters couldn’t understand American slang that Dylan used. I know that some of it might be foreign and hard to understand, but I was under the impression that ‘chill out’ was a pretty universal phrase. Anyway these were just small pet peeves of mine that arose through the reading. They didn’t detract from the story itself very much.

I’ve seen other reviews that spoke about how the reader was a tad annoyed that everything came about generally by dumb luck. Yes, I could see this as well, but by that stage I had accepted that this was intended for a much younger reading audience and put it down to the mindset of that demographic – good will prevail. We all know that this is not always the case, but I think for this book’s intended audience, it fits well.

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