Hear The Wolves
By: Victoria Scott
I am here today to talk about a book by an amazing author, Victoria Scott! I received Hear the Wolves from Scholastic as an advanced reading copy (ARC), for that I am ever so grateful. Thank you Scholastic! Today I am here to review this book, and tell you just a few qualms that I had with this novel.
Victoria Scott is an author of eight novels now, all aimed toward younger audiences with a fun and fast paced twist. Scott has an addictive and fun plots with endearing and engaging characters that will pull you in for a fun and fast paced ride, Hear the Wolves is no different.
" Sloan is a hunter.
So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.
When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.
But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them." (Goodreads.com)
Hear the Wolves is at its core a fast paced thriller with an even hand of character development and thematic elements laced throughout. Running, running, running from everything and anything that is not within her comfort zone, Sloan must learn to trust, and become self sufficient in the hard Alaskan bush. This book was fast paced and intriguing, however I did find some issues with the novel in general.
This book was short and packed a high speed thrill ride into something just under 250 pages. Sloan and her group of characters are predominantly middle school kids who are stranded in Alaska during a blizzard. Each character had a fully imagined and fleshed out profile that will allow the reader to enjoy their company and see their struggles throughout the novel. My personal favorite character is Pilot who grows so incredibly much through the course of the novel, beginning as a shy abused child with an awful father. Pilot ends his story arc with strength and courage that he was severely lacking at the beginning of the novel. With this large change in character, I felt that Scott is trying to illustrate humans can change for the best regardless of where they begin. The themes of change and open and caring trust between one another are central elements of this novel! Each of these messages is crucial for children of all ages (myself included) to hear and heed. The character of Sloan showed that vulnerability is okay, and that each and everyone of us has the potential to open up and grow when provided a loving and stable group of friends. Each theme and character that Scott has taken the time to create within this novel illustrates her pure genius and compassion for her readers to learn while enjoying her tales.
This book is problematic on a few levels,
- I think it is inappropriate for audiences that it is being marketed towards.
- Wolves are depicted as solely killing machines.
The first aspect that I would like to address is the fact that this novel is not appropriate for the marketed audience. This novel is rather gruesome and brutal for a child of 8-12 years old to be reading. I understand that each parent has their own technique of parenting, however the amount of characters that die in brutal ways with only minor detail is not okay. I understand having this gore and violence present in an adult book but it is not necessarily appropriate here. The book is rather obviously fictitious, many of the characters are in middle school which is presumably done to allow the readers to connect with the characters. Though this may have worked to her advantage among readers of their age, it just made me feel detached and see all the flaws in their scenario. No group of middle school kids should be abandoned in the Alaskan wilderness. And finally my last qualm with this tiny novel revolves around the trope that wolves, or any predator are inherently going to go and attack humans for food. From my biology background I know that they do not tend to, and I also know that this stigma and fear that comes out of this is not healthy for the public's respect of them. Fear can cause people to hunt these creatures which are already rare within North America. Again this has nothing to do with Victoria and her intentions for this novel, however it is a view that I have which tainted my experience.
Enough with the gripe and qualms. This may have been a review for her newest novel, however I do not want anyone to read this and think that I do not like Mrs.Scott or her works. I love her Fire and Flood series, however I do not think that this was for me in the end. I would recommend that this book be read by anyone who is curious, but be cautious when gifting this book to a younger reader for the gore and death presented.
Rating: 3 Stars