I read a story! I read a new-to-me story! In one greedy gulp!
Okay, it’s a short story (amazon tells me it’s only 35 pages long), but here’s the thing: it’s the first thing I have managed to read through since freaking May!
So here’s my (brief) review.
“A Wolf to Watch Over Me” by Sela Carsen
I became aware that Ms Carsen had released a new story after a fairly long hiatus, so of course I headed over to read a sample–and fell right into the story.
Here, have a blurb:
In a future Earth, sometimes the Big Bad Wolf is the good guy. Hakon sidUlfr , a wolf shifter from another world, is better at killing than guarding, but quiet physicist Lauren Ivers will need all of his skills if they’re going to live through the day.
Lauren should be at home, reading and eating take-out. Instead, she’s on the run with the bodyguard she didn’t know she had in a desperate bid to get off the planet before she becomes a casualty in an intergalactic cold war.
Hakon’s deep instinct to protect the smart-mouthed scientist keeps her alive, but will she stay with him once his duty is done?
See, Ms Carsen’s writing voice pulls me in, every single time. There is something incredibly engaging in how she presents her characters and her world. The world-building is done in broad strokes, with just enough detail to serve the story and the characters. There’s a little bit of setup, but it’s subtle–we don’t have any “as you know, Bob,” moments, so much as naturally flowing internal dialogue.
The story is told in third person narrative (yay!) and involves two fully adult, fully formed people. There is not much background given on Hakon or his culture, just enough to be quite intriguing. The reader learns more about Lauren’s family and past, and while there is a bit of the “feels like a changeling, doesn’t fit” trope, Ms Carsen avoids the cliché of the unloved, emotionally abused, sexless woman who takes refuge in her work.
I also like–very, very much–that there is no sex at all in the story. There’s a kiss and more than a bit of sensual tension, but no cramming of a quickie in the gap between two firefights while two people flee for their lives, through what can be rightfully considered enemy territory.
I do have a bit of a quibble regarding how the future after the happy ending was set up, but I have high hopes that some of what I consider inconsistencies (or perhaps I should say, loose story threads) will be addressed in future stories set in this world.
If you are in the mood for something quick and different, I whole heartedly recommend this story.
A Wolf to Watch Over Me gets 8.00 out of 10