The Wolf of Dorian Gray: A Werewolf Spawned by the Evil of Man by Brian S. Ference


Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads Description

This expanded edition of the classic philosophical fiction by Oscar Wilde, features all-new scenes in a compelling tale of love, lust, and the werewolf spawned by the evil of man. The story, set in late 1800’s England, follows the life of Dorian Gray, who through ancient Romani magic’s and the skills of an astonishing artist has had his fate and soul irrevocably linked with the last remaining wolf in the forests of England. Dorian revels in the experiences of first love, delights in the art and beauty of the world, relishes the freedom of his youth, and is awakened to the many pleasures of life. His friend and mentor, Lady Helena, provides a guiding hand as he struggles with his conscience and the purpose of living. Meanwhile, the wolf begins to grow and change into a hideous monster that is ravaging the countryside.

“The wolf had begun hunting human prey. They were plentiful in the dark city streets and provided enough good meat to satiate his gnawing hunger. He was still very careful not to let any who saw him live. To do otherwise would displease the Master. He would only stalk those people that were foolish enough to walk alone in the night.” 

My Review

I was requested to read this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  I didn’t know what to expect from this book going in.  I am always willing to try something new when it comes to reading books.  When I first saw the cover I was a little hesitant because I thought I would be reading a cheesy horror novel, but I was pleasantly surprised when the book turned out to be a mostly faithful retelling of the classic tale with the exception of the addition of the wolf and some character gender changes.

Dorian Gray accompanies his artist friend Sage into the woods so she can collect herbs and leaves for her homemade paints.  They come across a wolf pup who is orphaned when his mother dies in an animal trap.  Dorian tries to open the trap to release the mother wolf but injures his hand and the wolf also has some injuries.  Sage cleans both of them with rags from her art studio.  When she mixes her paints she decides to mix in some of the blood from both Dorian and the wolf which she then uses to paint a portrait of Dorian with the wolf pup.  This is how the magic of of Dorian’s eternal portrait is created and where all of Dorian’s problems and those of his social circle begins.

Dorian is vain and shallow and goes through life without much care for the feelings of others.  As the death toll rises around him, it is the wolf pup’s image that changes and contorts into a vicious creature and Dorian’s image stays the same.  Dorian doesn’t age even though his image stays the same in the portrait.  This is where this story and the original start to diverge.  All of the corruption goes into the wolf pup’s image, turning the wolf cub into an almost human creature.  The parts dedicated to the werewolf I skimmed through because I preferred the human story line more than reading about an animal on the hunt.  I also found it a little too gory for my taste.

I enjoyed the book for the most part.  I liked the traditional part of the story. The writing was very good and easy to read and follow.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – Book Review


Rating: 4/5 stars

Amazon Description

If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

My Review

Madeline Whittier, Maddy, never leaves her house.  NEVER.  She has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency which means she is allergic to everything.  She lives with her mother who is also a doctor.  The only other person she has physical contact with is her nurse Carla, who is a surrogate friend and family member.  Maddy’s father and brother died in an accident when she was 6 months old, so her mom and Carla are the only family she knows.  She is home schooled and interacts with her teachers via Skype and the rare home visit.

Maddy’s life takes a turn (for the better or worse?) when a new family moves into the house next door.  They have a teenage son, Olly, who Maddy is immediately attracted to when she sees him out her window.  Olly notices Maddy in her window and they start communicating through their windows and eventually through emails.

This is where the story becomes interesting because Maddy is a teenager and starting to have feelings for Olly, but she isn’t allowed to act on these feelings because she is not allowed contact with other people and can’t leave her house.  Mady’s whole world is turned upside down by these new feelings and the introduction of another person other than her mother and Carla into her world.

The way the story plays out after Olly enters Mady’s world is very interesting.  At one point the action that Mady takes that involves using a credit card for a very expensive purchase I found to be over-the-top.  At about 1/2 – 3/4 of the way through the book I figured out how it was going to end.  For me, the way it ended was the only way it could, or else Mady’s life would have been nothing but depressing and frustrating.

I really enjoyed Nicola Yoon’s style of writing.  I was able to finish the book in two days.  She has a very engaging and beautiful writing style.  I loved the characters of Mady and Olly.  They were presented as real and funny and angst-ridden teens with real problems and emotions. I would highly recommend this book.