How to Run With Wolves

Fiction - Thriller - General
298 Pages
Reviewed on 07/31/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Chris Fischer for Readers' Favorite

In an excellent new offering by debut author Janelle Gaudet, How to Run With Wolves is a creepy thriller that will hook readers from the very start and keep them reading obsessively all the way through to the last page. Follow the story of Erin Carter, a teenager who has had anything but a typical life. Along with some foster siblings, she's been locked up in an abandoned dorm on a military base by her father for as long as she can remember. She can only remember back to when she was twelve years old and found herself waking up in a hospital bed. When her father is murdered in her presence, her whole sheltered life is turned upside down. While she once thought that her greatest dream would to be escape the prison of her father's making, she now realizes that there is much out in the real world for her to fear, and her dream might just be a nightmare. When a twin sister appears, and memories from her life before age twelve start to surface, Erin realizes she might have to fight for more than just her freedom; she might have to fight for her very life.

I so enjoyed How to Run With Wolves. Author Janelle Gaudet has done a great job in creating an absolutely edge of your seat read with excellent characters that readers will connect with, relate to, and truly come to care about, thinking of them long after the book is done. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. I highly recommend How to Run With Wolves to any reader looking for a great piece of fiction, and am very much looking forward to seeing what the obviously talented author, Janelle Gaudet, has in store for her readers next!

Darryl Greer

In Janelle Gaudet’s debut novel How To Run With Wolves, Erin Carter, the story’s narrator, is not quite your average American teenager. At the ripe old age of seventeen, she has seen more than her share of life’s horrors: the death of her mother, a missing twin sister, blank spaces where her childhood memories should be, and she is set upon by school bullies. Now, her father keeps her locked in a military base with several foster children in an abandoned dorm. Then, as if she needs her life to take another turn for the worse, she is forced to witness her dad’s murder. But that’s just the tip of the downward spiral as a series of events more appropriate to a Kafkaesque nightmare unfurl, plunging her deeper into her fractured world. She uncovers a plot that could spark civil war in the United States. When scenes normally found in B-grade disaster movies are shown on local television, she takes up weapons and heads to New York City with fellow trainees. At her tender age, she battles with those intent on destroying the American way of life. She suffers injuries and loses close friends before returning to the relative safety of her dorm and to Mike, the love of her life. But she has a nemesis, Allan Calvin. And he knows where she lives. A welcome parallel to the main thread of the story is Erin’s relationship with Rex, her dog, and her unusual friendship with a pack of wolves.

According to a note about the author at the end of the book, Janelle Gaudet is an 18-year-old college student, which makes this story even more exceptional. Of course there are areas where there is room for improvement, but it is nonetheless an extraordinary effort. Particularly for those who enjoy young adult novels or even those stories bordering on fantasy, the pace is heart thumping with very few chapters permitting boredom to creep in. The narrative is so descriptive as to present the reader with a visual of each dramatic scene. As the story unfolds, the intrigue deepens and it becomes a race to the finish to see where it is all heading.

How To Run With Wolves juxtaposes the dark side of humanity with the forces of good; the mess we sometimes make of our world with the beauty and wonder of nature. The writing flows evenly, making this an easy read. How To Run With Wolves is a highly imaginative tale, and although at times perhaps it stretches the imagination a little too far, it nonetheless features real breathing characters with whom one can easily relate. If you’re into this kind of story, it’s well worth a read.

Katelyn Hensel

How to Run with Wolves by Janelle Gaudet is a mystery, a suspense, and a coming of age story all rolled up into one. Erin Carter will stop at nothing to figure out what's happened to her. She has no clue as to what came before the hospital, only that she hates it there and will do anything to escape it. When she finally does, all that she thought she knew is forever changed. She becomes intertwined in war-mongering which could threaten the very existence of the US.

Janelle Gaudet excels at writing nuanced emotions with clever themes playing throughout her book. As a reader, it was interesting to see the action play out on the "screen" in my head, which Gaudet made possible with her clear and precisely descriptive prose. I liked the interplay of self vs self as well as self vs nature. Erin really grew as the book progressed and we got to see her change from a confused teen into a more steady and stronger young woman. While the pacing of the story was a little choppy, it eventually got where it needed to go and I started learning to appreciate the little jumps in time or context, so that it added to the thrill rather than took away from it.

While Erin's being a teenager confused me a bit as to the "age level" of the book, this certainly has aspects of Young Adult literature that I wasn't expecting. Overall, How to Run with Wolves is a good read. It helps explore the complexities of the human condition while also providing thrills and tension to keep you entertained.

Kathryn Bennett

How to Run With Wolves by Janelle Gaudet introduces us to Erin Carter, one of the least average teenagers in America you will ever find. Erin has been kept in a military base by her father with some other children and she only has one memory of being a child, waking up in a hospital when she was 12. In the beginning, Erin would stop at nothing to escape where she was being held, and get out and find out about her family. However, her father is killed in front of her and that changes everything. If life was bad before, Erin will wish for those days as everything spins out of control and she has to fight for everything in her life.

This is a very intense book that does not shy away from any of the dark pits that human nature can sometimes be led into. We all have a dark side and a light side and this shows what happens when people follow those dark paths. More than that, however, Janelle Gaudet has reminded us how important are the connections we make in life, friends and family alike. This book is well written and gives powerful imagery as you read. Erin is a character that you want to like; she goes through so much and she manages to keep pressing on through every horrible thing she must endure. This is not a bright and happy book; it is rather dark and full of pain. However, it gives you glimmers of brightness that might be found some day. Overall, this is a fantastic read with strong writing that grabs you and holds your interest for the whole book.