Title: Ravensong (Green Creek #2)
Author: T.J. Klune
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Page Length: 400 pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.
It should have been enough.
And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won.
Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.
But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.
Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.
If I were to make one recommendation with regards to this book it would be: don’t leave too long between the reading of the first book and starting this one. The reason for this is that although the author provides a prologue of sorts it is one that is from a different character’s perspective and is one that captures snapshots of time from the first book. If you have been away from that book for any length of time I’m afraid it will not make a lot of sense and will not effectively prepare you for what is to come.
This is Gordo’s story and from the start he has always seemed to be much older than his actual age. His colleagues, who appear younger, are his peers. Such a mismatch initially makes the timeline confusing. The age range is important in this story, as the large array of characters come from a number of generations. Each generation having in impact on those that follow. This is further complicated by the power hierarchy, which has little to do with age seniority and more to do with power wielded.
The first part of the story provides a recap of much of the previous book but from Gordo’s perspective. This could have been repetitive, but there is largely only new information provided and this sets the scene for what is to come. As this is reflective there is limited tension.
The second and largest part concerns the relationship between Gordo and Mark. This is embedded into the larger plot and the internal and external tensions move the story forward and grow in intensity.
The final part provides the most focused action and the importance of individual relationships become a little blurred as the focus is on the conflict between the two sides. Nevertheless, the threads of friendship, love and family remain foremost.
Very strong and familiar characterisation is complemented by a detailed context that builds on what is already known from the first book. Similarly, new characters are introduced to reinforce or explain certain plot features. Although the majority of the story focuses on quite a small physical area, there is a rich description of this that makes the story more familiar.
Themes of betrayal and loss are present in this book as with the previous one and similarly as one layer of problems is removed it reveals a higher level of conflict. Revelations are used to provide a new spin on the plot, but they are done with care and are timely. Nevertheless, they were at times a little too predictable.
There isn’t a lot of sex in the book, but there is a lot of passion. The tension between Gordo and Mark is offset by resolved and new tender relationships that surround them. As this is from Gordo’s perspective, the reasons for the friction are explained in more detail and it is this reflection that stops the conflict from becoming frustrating. In keeping with the high level of emotive content, the relationship is marked by episodes of self-sacrifice and valour. This is a little sappy, but appropriate to the context. Where sex is described, it is passionate but not overly detailed. This is not a book of gratuitous sex.
The pace of the story increases as it progresses and as noted, is heightened but the context and familiarity of the characters. Battle scenes tend to focus on the action rather than the emotions of all participants. This keeps the action going at the expense of the detail. Perhaps a little more could have been made of the experiences of individuals. It is recognised that with such a large number of familiar characters present in such scenes, this might be difficult.
As with the last book, this story ends with a resolution that provides a clear feeder into the next book. Another layer is stripped away and what appears to be the final set of characters is put in place. As the divided storyline of the previous book has now been resolved, there are two clear sets of antagonists but no clear explanation as to how they will be drawn together.