Title: Dog Days (Wolf Winter #1)
Author: T.A. Moore and Derrick McClain (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 9th 2018
Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
The setting for the book is reasonably accurate including landmarks. Whilst the plot requires that the hospital be somewhat out of reach it is this that highlights a specific discrepancy as in reality it is only just outside of the city. Of course the placement of a story within a familiar location is always going to result in comparisons and this does not affect the strength of the story. Characterisation is quite effective particularly in terms of differentiation between humans, wolf shifters and dog shifters. The historical context of the story is interesting and helps to ground the social hierarchy of the pack and its relationship with man. Similarly, the explanation of the differences between shifters and werewolves is quite interesting as is their realisation through characters. The weather is a major factor in the plot and this is quite effective in how nature can break down societal norms when pushed to extreme.
Sadly the narration undermines the effectiveness of the story. The accents are so far away from accuracy that it would have been much better had they not been used at all. There is a fair attempt to provide different voices for each of the players and the narrator makes effort to provide emotion to the words.
As noted, the author provides a clear distinction between wolves and dogs and the story emphasises this through the relationship between the two lead characters. The persistent forceful dominance of the wolf character over the dog as well as the submissive responsiveness of the latter, whilst in keeping with the nature of the beast, would only be attractive to a limited readership.
There is plenty going on in the story but this is not an adventure tale and so it forms a balance between human interaction and experience and the action that they face and react to. As such the pace of the story is largely steady, building up to the final confrontation and realisation.
The story ends with a resolution and settlement of some of the issues raised and there is sufficient closure to allow for this to be a standalone book. Nevertheless, there are a number of key points that are left unresolved which suggests that there may well be a sequel.