Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: DSP
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.
Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.
Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.
Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.
It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.
Review: This book was INTENSE! It pretty much consumed me from the first day I started listening to it. Ox has a very distinct voice in this story. The narrator not only captures him perfectly he uses that voice to set the pace. He transports you so far into the story. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to listen to these books from now on because even now I can hear him saying “I know.” and it’s comforting. He brought all of these complex characters to life for me. From the first chapter you’re lulled into their world. A small town where Ox is looked down upon. The way he thinks is one of the things that makes him special. He may come off as slow but it’s more that he’s just simple and straight forward. He’s kind and appreciates the very little he has. Ox loves his mom and thanks to his awful father doesn’t expect much for himself. One day a family moves in next to his mom’s house and his life changes forever. They become his family. Everyone else thinks it’s weird but it feels right to Ox. Eventually he learns the truth about them. They’re wolf shifters. With that comes lots of instincts most humans don’t understand. Ox is different though. He’s able to be pulled into the pack.
The romance takes a while to get going. The book begins with Ox and his love interest, Joe. The characters, their stories and bonds are developed gradually. I think this was done brilliantly. There’s a foundation built between Ox and Joe. Along with the rest of Joe’s family whom I grew to adore. The character development is excellent. A normal scene reveals so much about who these characters are. You feel like you know these people. You care for them. You feel their pain. Eventually the guys grow up and the connection between the MCs is undeniable. There is the mate/mine trope but it’s so much more grounded and complex. Ox and Joe barely have time to explore what they’re feeling before tragedy strikes them. I will warn you this story is heartbreaking. It’s also amazing. It guts you but just like the characters you have to find a way to go on. The choices they have to make are difficult ones. There are so many secondary characters I fell in love with. Some I hated. The power struggle within wolf packs were violent. The fight scenes are vivid and intense. The danger feels real. Reading this book I felt a wide range of emotions. I cried ugly tears. I laughed. I swooned. I stressed. For days after I couldn’t pick up another book. This book was SO SO good. It was indeed EPIC & AWESOME!