The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first—organizing aid drops and evacuating populations—but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a weredog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack—the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack—and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.
I was completely sucked into this story right from the beginning. I couldn’t put the book down. I was completely fascinated with the lore and how the world is set up and the background for each character. I connected with Danny and Jack immediately. I wanted to see them persevere and to find a way to be together. The element of unknown was threaded nicely throughout the story. Then when it was revealed who or what was behind everything I was both shocked and pleasantly hopeful for what would happen in the end.
I really liked Danny. he was this perfect blend of human, shifter, puppy, and wolf. I felt a little bad for how the life he built for himself after leaving home turned out in the end. But you can feel his own sense of rightness with everything when all is said and done. I adored Danny’s sense of honor and loyalty. It may have been tested throughout the book. But he still had those core values no matter what happened or who showed up. His relationship with Jack is complicated, but I like how Danny handles himself with Jack. He gives in when he wants to but isn’t going to be a doormat or a pushover. You can tell his feelings for Jack run deep.
Jack is fascinating. He is strong enough to become Numitor and lead his pack, but he also doesn’t feel he deserves it. He and his brother Gregor fight in the most interesting of ways. The history of their animosity runs deep and you can feel that tension as you read. But at the same time, they both have a strong sense of honor and family bonds so they work together and don’t take advantage of each other. Jack’s feelings for Danny are strong but the way he tries to hide them from himself are almost funny in their complexity.
The story ends with a solid happy for now for Danny and Jack. I wold love to see a sequel to this book so we can see what happens after they go on the journey they’re about to embark on. I would love to know if their relationship can withstand all of the upcoming emotions and potential obstacles they’ll face on the way. Plus I would love to know how the Wolf Winter ends, and the fate of the world as a whole.
Four and a half
TA Moore is kind enough to stop by today. She shares a treat you won’t find anywhere else. I suggest following the blog tour and reading the other ones. You’ll be glad you did. Read and enjoy!
I suppose it is a bit predictable for a Brit to write a book about weather, but there you go! Dog Days is my first shifter novel and I had a blast writing it. I love the characters, obstreperous little sods though they could be when I needed them to behave, and the setting in Durham is one I have a lot of time for. So, welcome to my dystopian Winter Wonderland, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
And to whet your appetite, here’s an exclusive ‘Dog Treat’ set before the events of Dog Days.
The canon who took weekly assemblies in the school was a mild, gingery man, who talked about love, forgiveness, and how his religion fit into the pages of a book. He smelled of dusty paper and butterscotch.
Prophet’s piety was a reek of old wounds, sweat, and the smoke of sacrifices. They only preached about forgiveness, when they were telling the wolves they had none.
Danny sat cross-legged on the shore, picking at the frayed knee of his jeans absently, and zoned out everything but the most emphasised words. Those were where you were usually expected to respond, to cheer or jeer…or shift.
A sharp finger jabbed into his side, making him twitch.
“Pay attention,” Bron hissed.
He glanced sidelong at his little sister. She looked like him and ma, with dark hair and the same long jaw, but in snack size.
“I am watching.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “When they have your incisors on a cord, don’t come asking me to chew your food for you.”
“You use molars to chew.”
“Read that in a book?” she jeered.
He gave in to temptation and jabbed his elbow back into her arm. She glared at him and growled, a surprisingly low rumble of sound escaping her lips. A glare from one of the older wolves made her prim her lips into a line, swallowing the noise, and they both sat pretending to pay attention to the rest of the prophet’s sermon.
After the prophet had gutted the goat, tossing the remnants into the lake to confuse the local cops later, Lach stalked over. He waited for Danny to start to get up, then shoved him hard enough to send him sprawling. Bron stepped back so he didn’t fall on her.
“Dogs show wolves respect,” Lach told Bron. “You can’t let them get above themselves.”
“He knows his rank,” Bron said. Her face had that odd blank look it got sometimes, when she was embarrassed to be seen with her dog brother but too stubborn to admit it. “I don’t need help.”
Lach raised his eyebrows. “He raised a hand to you. I saw it.”
“Elbow,” Danny said, still sprawled on the stones. He screwed one eye shut, squinting up at Lach. “You really should have gone to some of those biology classes.”
“Shut up,” Bron snapped, kicking his ankle. She lifted her chin and put her hands on her hips. “You want to beat up a dog, Lach Givens, don’t try and use me as an excuse.”
He grinned at her, showing teeth in something that didn’t even pretend to be anything but a threat. “I’m a wolf, sweetheart. I do what I like. Take what I like.”
It wasn’t the threat really — like Lach was the first wolf to beat Danny up — but the way Lach looked at Bron. Over the last year she’d gone from being a stocky blob of a child to being a sort of recognisable teen, but she was still a kid.
So Danny pulled his knee up and kicked, nailing Lach in the knee cap with the heel of his sneaker. The joint popped in the wrong direction — the sound of a dislocating joint was unmistakable — and Lach snarled with a mixture of rage and pain. Rage twisted his face and he flung himself down on Danny with a snarl and a viciously thrown punch. His knuckles caught Danny on the cheekbone — that snap was another unmistakable sound — and then the heavy weight of him was gone.
The interruption was such a surprise that Danny wasn’t entirely sure how to react. He took a breath of cold air, blinked through the pain in his face, and rolled to his feet. No one stopped him getting up this time.
A bruised Lach was standing at bay, his hands clenched and his weight on his good leg, as he stared nervously at Jack. The younger wolf licked blood off his lower lip like he’d never tasted himself before, and the strange, vacuum pressure of the Wild tugged at Danny’s hackles.
“Do you want to call that a mistake?” Jack asked, tilting his head. “Or a challenge?”
Lach swallowed, eyes flicking as he weighed his chances. They weren’t good.
“This was nowt to do with you,” he muttered, trying to find a middle ground between showing fang and showing throat. “The dog needs to learn his place.”
Jack glanced at Danny, a quick slant of leaf-green eyes, and then back at Lach. “His place is where I tell him it is,” he said. “Just like yours.”
Colour slapped Lach’s cheeks. “You ain’t your Da.”
“To beat you?” Jack said. “I don’t need to be.”
For a second violence hung in the air. Lach’s hands worked at his sides, clenching so tight his knuckles bulged, but then he backed. He shuffled backwards, dropping his head and muttering submission under his breath.
Jack watched him go, and then turned back to Danny. He hooked his hand around Danny’s neck, a casual affection that made Danny twitch with a weird mixture of panic and longing.
“I didn’t need help,” he said.
“Shut up,” Bron said, poking him in the ribs again. “Idiot.”
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.
September 2: The Novel Approach
September 4: MM Good Book Reviews
September 5: Oh My Shelves
September 6: Joyfully Jay
September 7: It’s About the Book
September 8: Molly Lolly and Kimi-Chan Experience
September 9: Prism Book Alliance
September 11: Love Bytes Reviews
September 13: Boy Meets Boy
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