[Book Review] Baen Books: ‘The Black Wolves of Boston’ by Wen Spencer

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Black Wolves of Boston Cover

A vampire struggling to find his purpose. A virtue, pledged to hunt evil but unable to live alone in a city of strangers who know nothing about monsters. A sixteen-year-old ward of the Wolf King. A college-bound high school senior whose life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered in blood. These four must come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain per from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who have lost everything must struggle to save Boston by saving each other

This novel, by Wen Spencer, pulled me in right from the start with its humorous opening. An obviously young and inexperienced werewolf, trying to catch a meal.

“Joshua really thought it would be easier to catch a rabbit; he was a werewolf, after all. The stupid things, though, could turn on a dime and kept zigging while his body zagged.

And then there were the trees.”

If you have never heard of Wen Spencer, this is a fantastic novel to start with. It’s funny and has rich, distinct characters in a fully fleshed out world. If you are already a fan of hers, then you know what to expect of her characters and her stories. This Wen Spencer novel does not disappoint.

I admit that this novel took me a few months to read, but it had nothing to do with the novel. Life continually pulled me away or I would have finished this book in one or two sittings. It was, however, wonderful to have this book and this world to escape to in my brief moments of down-time.

This is our modern world of cell phones and subways, with the realm of magic and fantasy intertwined just below the visible level. The creatures of our nightmares and our dreams exist as part of our society, but we don’t know it. They lay hidden below the surface, yet remain in front of our eyes. Werewolves have international kingdoms, Vampires walk among us, witches live next door, and angelic beings have their own organization to keep the evil and the criminals of this hidden world at bay.

The novel starts out with several different point-of-views in alternating chapters as Wen introduces characters and fleshes out her world. She manages to seamlessly insert character background without pulling you from the storyline. The characters are fully fleshed out each with a distinct complex personality. Some you instantly adore, others grow on you, and some you quickly loathe.

This is an easy read with a very fast-paced storyline and before you know it, you are finished with the book.

This book opens up a whole new world for a new fascinating series, yet can completely stand on its own. One factor that I love about this book is how Wen Spencer manages to wrap everything up at the end and provide a happy (and humorous) ending for the main characters. You are left with no cliffhangers, but this introduction to the world of Werewolves leaves you wanting another glimpse at this world.

PopCultHQ Rating - 5 Stars

Written by: Wen Spencer
Cover Art by: Kurt Miller
Illustration by: Heather Bruton
Published by Baen Books

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down