Let me start off by saying that I love Anne Rice. She is one of my all time favorite writers, and I will always read her books. The worlds that she creates are just so complex and enriching that I can’t live without them in my life. Her characters are always so full of life, their stories are so grand, and, if I had to explain her writing as if it were a food, it would be decadent triple chocolate fudge cake. So rich that you may not be able to finish it in one sitting, but so good that you can’t help but savor each bite.
That being said, The Wolves of Midwinter, the sequel to The Wolf Gift, left me a little bored after a certain point. There are some great plot points, the world is great, and the work is beautifully written, but there are some problems. At least when you realize they are problems.
The first problem is that there is a lot going on, I think there are about five different plots that have been rolled into one story, and I really wish that they had been either singled out for different books, or written as a type of short story compilation. We have Rueben (the main character) finding out that he is going to be a father, something he thought would never happen now that he had become a Morphenkinder (werewolf). The we have his struggle with keeping his secret from the world when he saves a young girl from a horrible fate, his brother’s need for help after he receives the fright of his life from a drug lord, the appearance of a dearly departed friend who has yet to move on, and how the Morphenkinder spend Yule.
All of these plots wrapped into one story, centering around Yule time, is a lot to take in and makes it a little difficult to find focus. It is literally a never-ending roller coaster due to not knowing which part of the story we (the readers) are supposed to be keeping focus on. Thus, when the ending does come, leaves us with an, “Okay . . .” sort of moment as we wrap our minds around the story.
The other problem I had was with Reuben and his father, Phil. Reuben speaks in a way that is old worldy. It fits in with Anne’s previous characters, who are old worldy, but for a guy who was born in the age of television, this guy just seems off. He is really the only character in the book who doesn’t make sense in context to the world around him. When I read The Wolf Gift I didn’t catch it, but now that there are so many more characters in the world that Rice has created, I can see it, and it is really weird.
When Phil is interacting with the other characters, and Reuben makes the decision that his father will be staying with him and the other werewolves, it is no surprise to me what happens next. The two men speak the same, think the same, and are basically exactly who you would think the wolf gift would be given to. Sure, it’s not in the way expected, but I knew it was going to happen because of his character.
The Wolves of Midwinter was a good book, I gave it four stars on Goodreads, but it wasn’t the best that Rice has written. If you are looking for a werewolf series, I would highly suggest The Wolf Gift, which is the first book in the series. There is also a graphic novel available, and I am super excited to check that out.