Title: Wolf Omega
Author: Joseph Stone
Genre: Paranormal Dark Fantasy / Horror
Wolf Omega is an origin novel that tells the story of Gabriella, a young woman forced into a loveless marriage in order to improve her family’s impoverished circumstances. When her life takes a violent and tragic turn, she finds refuge in the arms of a powerful Lycan family, setting her on a journey full of magic and mystery, one where she needs to tap into and master previously undiscovered powers in order to survive.
This book was written memoir-style, making good use of the first-person narrative to allow readers unlimited access not only to the events that have shaped Gabriella into the person she is, but also to her innermost thoughts and feelings. This structure makes room for the full breadth of her life story to be experienced raw and unfiltered. In addition, right from the start, Joseph Stone’s descriptive writing style evoked a lush and decadent feel, with hints of something dark and dangerous just below the surface, setting the right tone and atmosphere for the story to unfold.
The book was evenly paced — a feat, considering Gabriella’s experience spanned centuries. There were some timeline jumps in between which made the book feel a bit disjointed. For example, the author made the choice to fast-forward Gabriella’s transformation from scared young woman to someone ready to embrace her inner wolf. This process constituted the bulk of her character development and could have been explored further to deepen our understanding of the character.
Gabriella spent the first part of the book as broken as a person could ever be. In fact, she is portrayed throughout as someone who is flawed, who grapples with the choice to either forgive or seek retribution from those who have wronged her. She is not a typical heroine, but her uniqueness and imperfections only made it easier to root for her. Joseph Stone did such a good job of bringing her and the rest of the supporting characters to life, developing layered and complex relationships, and making readers feel invested enough to care about their fate.
Gabriella’s story was stark, with a history of trauma and abuse that was harrowing and almost difficult to read. Some of the scenes were extremely graphic and explicit. The author does not shy away from the earthiness and honesty of the characters he has brought to life, especially when it came to scenes of a sexual nature. This could make some readers uncomfortable, and a trigger warning at the beginning could have been warranted. To his credit, however, none of the scenes felt gratuitous or added for the sake of shock value. Rather, they were essential elements to driving the plot forward to its shocking and explosive conclusion.
Wolf Omega, with its grand scope and lofty ambitions, ultimately triumphs because of its author’s deft and assured hand, his careful characterizations, and his ability to make readers feel emotionally connected to the story. Underneath all the fantastical elements, the central theme of the book is almost intimately human. “If I must continue to stand, I would have to be tall”—This line sums up the book in a nutshell. It is a story of survival, of the transformative power of love, and of the courage it takes to fight through your fears and inner demons to become who you’ve always meant to be.
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