Mundie Moms

Friday, June 6, 2014

Amarok by Angela J. Townsend, Book Review

By: Angela J. Townsend
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Released on: 11/20/12
Source: book from publisher to review
Rating: 2.5-3 Stars - It's an okay/good read
Purchase it from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Emma's life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she's nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma's gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman-trapped in bear form by the same Shaman-attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

An unique YA story that combines native story telling / lore, and shifters. Amarok takes readers on an journey that's edgy, dangerous, and tests the limits of friendship and love. The rugged Alaskan wilderness is the perfect setting for Emma and Tok (the Alaskan wolf shifter)'s story. Emma and Tok have not had an easy life. Emma's is still grieving the loss of her mother, and is escaping an not so stellar father. Her path unexpectedly crosses Tok's on a fateful night in the remote wilderness of Alaska. Tok is more than meets the eye. A boy trapped in the form of a wolf, he's learned his lesson with crossing paths with a Shaman, especially one who toys with ancient evil. Together these two have to figure out how to over come a powerful ancient evil, free those who have been trapped for centuries, and save each other.

This was a fast paced read that has has an engaging native story telling, and a rich setting. I really like the premise of this book. I'm a sucker for books rich in Native storytelling/lore, and I was hooked on the dangerous journey Emma finds herself trapped on. Mix in a wolf and other animal shifters, and set the story in Alaska, and I'm all in. While I liked parts of the story, there were a few things missing for me. 

I knew the Shaman who trapped Tok, and the evil mountain who now controls Tok, and has Emma is dangerous, but I felt I was told more about how dangerous these two were,  rather than being showed. Yes there is some mild violence/abuse in this story, bit for some reason I didn't feel that fear that the author was setting up. The journey Emma goes on, and all that she endures is dangerous. She is in fear of her life, and for good reason. I would loved the book much more if I felt more of the feelings the author so vividly described, vs being told about them.

 Angela did a great job at explaining the emotions in the story, but for some reason I emotionally didn't connect to the story. I also felt the story lacked some minor detail that I felt played a huge factor in the story, especially when it came to the Shaman's history. I think getting more of his back story would have been extremely beneficial in this story, especially since he does play such a huge role in Emma and Tok's journey. Overall, this story had moments I liked, but in the end I needed more from Amarok to enjoy it as much as I had hoped to. I'd definitely check out the reviews it's getting, as I've noticed quite a few readers who've read this, have really enjoyed it. 

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