Audiobook Review: Wolfsong by T.J. Klune

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Listening Length: 18 hours and 40 minutes
Narrator: Kirt Graves

Before I even start to review the book, I need to tell you all how FUCKING AMAZING the narration is for this story. A narrator can make or break an audio title, or maybe not break it but keep it on the okay side. Kirt Graves took this story to another level, now I can't speak for TJ Klune, but as the listener I can't imagine this being read in any other way; Kirt absolutely nails it as far as this reader is concerned. A story I listened to today was... not ruined, but marred, by the fact that the narration felt off to me, and I was repeating lines in my head emphasising the words how I would have read them. The Wolfsong narration was so good I just melted into the story and got absolutely lost in it. I will be keeping my eye out for narration from Kirt Graves from now on, because he was Ox as far as I was concerned.

Okay, so moving onto the story. I'm glad Klune had a top-notch narrator because this story utterly deserved it. I mean, it's not a secret how good his writing is, nor is it a secret how this talent extends across genres; he can be hilariously lighthearted or tug on every single last heart string. Admittedly, all his stories contain a bit of both but they are all fantastically unique. Talented author is talented - but you all know that, right?

So Wolfsong... what was it that makes it so special? Well anyone who has ever read a review by me knows I am a character gal through and through. If I fall for the characters then I am sold pretty much on the story and this book was jam packed with characters to love.

Ox, the MC,  for starters is quietly understated yet he manages to be a growing strength all through the book. You know they say it's the silent ones you need to watch out for? Well that is Ox; to underestimate him is a folly. He's a real hero as far as I'm concerned; strong and true and honest and utterly humble. Joe is the perfect opposite for him, the perfect partner. Joe is Joe, he is the sunshine on a gloomy day. Always bright, well almost always, but he could so easily have been a broken parody of a character and I am so glad he wasn't. My other favourite character was Gordy, I would really, really like his story. Father figure, friend, boss - and so much more to Ox, his presence in the story was important to me, without him I don't think Ox would have been the man he became.

TJ didn't just work his magic by creating fantastic characters though, he also wrote a wonderful world. It was our world, particularly a small town USA world, but with a magical, supernatural presence that only a few know of. The world he wrote though was lyrical in its own right. He makes it so easy to picture in my head that when I think of Wolfsong I see greens and browns and woods and home and family and love. I see small town USA, though I've never been stateside.

The other important element to the writing is the vivid emotional imagery. He wrote feeling. He didn't write about feelings, he wrote them so they were tangible, so they were mine as well as Ox's or Joe's or whoever's. The storyline was almost just a by-product of the other three things; characters, setting and emotions. I mean, obviously it's not, I'm sure every author out there would have my head on a plate for suggesting the storyline just eases into place once characters etc are there. I can only imagine the hours of hard work that goes into a story like this. The talent though is making it appear effortless, by not adding in cliches and over used plot devices to get a story to work. If I was attempting to get poetical about it, I would say the storyline is the material the tapestry is done on and the other  elements are the threads that weave the picture. 

I would really recommend this story to anyone who enjoys good writing and it is as simple as that. If you enjoy being lost in a book - choose this story. Again, I cannot recommend highly enough the quality of this audible version; TJ Klune wrote a stunning story and Kirt Graves managed, somehow, to take it to another level.
A copy of this audio book was given in exchange for an honest review.

For more information see on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads.

See our ebook uni gangbang review here!

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