“Book Review: Wolf Omega”
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
An unapologetic, addictive dark fantasy
Joseph Stone’s Wolf Omega is a shocking and expressive dark fantasy that I could not let go of. There are plenty of aspects of the novel that keep me enraptured, but the finest has got to be the work the author has done with his protagonist Gabriella. Stone is unafraid to put his heroine through some truly rough obstacles. And when I say rough, I really mean downright grim. But with Gabriella’s strength bubbling beneath the surface, we can see a future where her power can break through. We’ll just have to get there first.
Wolf Omega begins its tale in Italy in the late 17th-century. Gabriella’s parents have arranged for her to marry an upper-class merchant. But what is supposed to be a happy event for both parties turns out to be the beginning of an absolute nightmare. Gabriella endures miscarriages, spousal abuse, and social ex-communication.
But when Gabriella is at her lowest moment, a mysterious aristocrat takes her in and helps her awaken the sleeping beast inside her. At will, Gabriella transforms into her wolfish Lykan form to avenge those who wronged her and others.
And so things begin to change: the most prominent trial for Gabriella becomes dealing with her real monster within.
Author Joseph Stone puts Gabriella through hell and builds a remarkable character out of it. The injustice brought against her tests her will, and we empathize and sympathize with her as a natural instinct. We root for a transformation that doesn’t hold anything back from those who’ve wronged her. And we get it.
Some authors tend to shy away from doing too much harm to their protagonists. Stone is fearless in this process. Readers may want to stop during the bleakest parts of this book, but they will keep going only to see if Gabriella has made it through. I know I did. Stone’s addictive storytelling puts readers under a mesmerizing spell.
Wolf Omega starts out a bit slow, but it is enough for us to know Gabriella’s complete background. Everything unravels as soon as her arranged husband reveals his true, ugly nature. Stone makes an interesting parallel between the monster Gabriella becomes and the dreadful people around her. While Gabriela uses her beast form to save people and punish criminals, the people thought to be morally right turn out to be their own monsters. It is an important, symbolic reminder of the wolf in sheep’s clothing being closer than you think.
Wolf Omega is an unexpecting dark fantasy filled with shock and powerfully emotional moments. Plus, the secondary characters are just as impressive as the protagonist. Even though the story is a sequel in Stone’s series, it works well as a standalone. And for readers coming to the Lykanos Chronicles for the first, approach with caution: there might just be a monster waiting.
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Print Length: 494 pages
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