The Wolf Gift - Anne Rice Okay, this book really wasn't as bad as I thought. Yes, there were a whole bunch of things that bothered or bugged me while I was reading, but from some of the horribly brutal reviews I've seen, I truly expected a train wreck.

Maybe that's it -- I was so prepared for the worst that I was actually surprised when the book exceeded the very low expectations I had in the first place. Or maybe it's because I listened to the audiobook. The narrator did an excellent job, and we all know how a good voice actor can bring even a mediocre story to life.

Except I actually quite liked the story in The Wolf Gift! And I found that I really enjoyed Anne Rice's take on werewolves and her shapeshifter mythology. Admittedly, I picked this book up when I read some reviews on here that described it as Anne Rice back in true form (no pun intended). I think that's what attracted me the most, because I used to be a big fan of Rice's until after a while her books just got way too weird and I gave up on her stuff. Then I realized it's been so long since I've read any of her books, I can't remember what her older stuff was like anyway, so any comparison would be a moot point. Oh well, suffice to say, at least nothing put me off about the story or her writing in this book, so that's a plus.

Anyway, on to the list of things that bugged me. First of all, the characters. While I enjoyed the story, I couldn't say the same for the protagonist. Not even close. It wasn't that Reuben was unlikeable, but he wasn't likeable either. In fact, the way he was written I could hardly muster up any feelings for him at all. He was just bland and I found I just did not care. Same for almost everyone else in the novel. I'm not sure if this is because Rice is writing in the third person here, and I am more used to seeing her write in the first.

This might not be such a big deal to other people, but the other thing that bothered me was the number of times brand names were dropped in this book. I don't mind the odd mention of an iPhone or a Porsche, but when it's Porsche this and iPhone that and Bose this every other page, it really gets on my nerves. Why not just call it a car, a phone or a music player? Guess what, normal people do!

And finally the ending. Like I said, I thought the take on the werewolf origin and mythos in this book very interesting, but the info dump you get in the last two chapters or so was just too much. I would prefer if things like that were revealed and spread out more throughout the entire novel, and not just heaped onto you in one huge exposition like it was done here.