Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac

I really enjoy contemporary tales based on American Indian legends. Joseph Bruchac has written a very interesting twist on the werewolf tale. Everyone is familiar with how humans turn into wolves, there are many cultures which share this story.

Lucas King is having a very hard time trying to adjust to the death of his beloved mother and how his father's grief is making both of them miserable. Luke doesn't understand how his father has let him down and how their roles have seemed to reverse themselves.

There is also the problem of the personal anomalies he can't understand about himself. He can't have a watch or a cell phone and he messes up computers if he tries to use them. Luke has a sense of smell that does not quit and he doesn't sweat. So what gives? To make matters worse, he is very interested in a pretty girl who is from Pakistan and is confused about his feelings towards her.

There is also this weird group of Russian students who are very strange, Luke calls them the Sunglass Mafia. They smell funny and seem to have a hypnotic affect on everyone but Luke.

Suddenly things change dramatically. Luke's father is abducted and people are watching and following him. His father leaves him clues as to what Luke's is all about. Unbelievable secrets that Luke couldn't even guess.

It is interesting to go along on the ride with Luke and find out what his heritage has given him and how his whole life must change in order to accept what he is. In some ways Luke is a typical teenager and the reader can relate to the kinds of problems that go along with being a teen.

Bruchac lets us see and share Luke's life and to be just as shocked and surprised to find out about Luke, his father and his "uncle". The mental and physical adjustments Luke must make are hard and it is almost a little hard to believe that he could handle all the changes without more help from his father. However, this was not enough to spoil the adventure.

I liked the characters. There was a good mix of good guys, bad guys and some who you are not sure are either good or bad. They were pretty realistic and I think we could all think of comparable figures that we have met in our lives. Wolf Mark is a good read and I like seeing a positive side to werewolves. There is no happily every after ending, but it is a hopeful one.

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