Title: The Wolf Gift
Author: Anne Rice
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Release Date: February 14, 2012
The Wolf Gift is Anne Rice’s literary return to her horror roots. She became famous with her Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches books and returns to the darker, paranormal themes with her latest novel.
Reuben Golding is a San Francisco reporter who travels to a mansion on the California coast to do a story on it for its owner, heiress Marchent Nideck, who was hoping to sell it. She inherited the house from an uncle who disappeared twenty years previously. After a terrible bloodbath at Nideck Point the first night in the mansion, Reuben finds that his entire life has changed.
I absolutely love Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles are some of my favorite books, and I even named one of my cats after a Mayfair witch. I grew up reading the mistress of horror, and she is one of my all-time favorite authors. The writing in The Wolf Gift is beautifully descriptive and exactly what I expected from Mrs. Rice. Unfortunately, I had trouble connecting to any of the characters. Reuben is an arrogant man-child who is offended by his own youth and beauty. His girlfriend and family are equally distasteful in their own rights. Rice’s books are always fraught with immoral and reprehensible characters (Lestat himself was deliciously terrible), so I was able to look past them. I was even excited about the Man Wolf superhero. The background crimes were engaging. However, this book is not for me.
I am embarrassed to admit that I could not finish this book. There are few things in a novel that I cannot stomach, and bestiality (even implied) is one of them. The situation leading up to it was also extremely unbelievable. I still think Anne Rice is one of the most talented story-spinners that I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I am sure that The Wolf Gift continued just as absorbing as it began. I can even happily recommend this to others who enjoy horror or extremely dark books. I, sadly, cannot continue it myself, and I write that with a very heavy heart.
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free through NetGalley from the publisher. It in no way affected the outcome of my review.