The Wolf in the Whale Review

In 1000 AD, a young Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior become unwilling allies as war breaks out between their peoples and their gods-one that will determine the fate of them all.

“There is a very old story, rarely told, of a wolf that runs into the ocean and becomes a whale.”

Born with the soul of a hunter and the spirit of the Wolf, Omat is destined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps-invoking the spirits of the land, sea, and sky to protect her people.

But the gods have stopped listening and Omat’s family is starving. Alone at the edge of the world, hope is all they have left.

Desperate to save them, Omat journeys across the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world…or save it.

The Wolf in the Whale has something that I adore in books, and something that is very hard to find; a rich, foreign setting. You don’t know how many books I have read that take place in a foreign, mystical land, or even just a different country, that feel like they could have taken place in the middle of a crappy American town without changing a thing.

The setting and cultures need to be rich and pervasive. No P.C., peaceful, and non-racist Vikings. No convenient forgetfulness of traditional gender rules. No forgetting that, what a people are at risk of extinction, they will not act the same as they would in a setting with plenty of food and shelter.

The Wolf in the Whale provided me with a look into a world that very rarely sees the light of day. Almost nothing is known by the general populace about the eastern Inuit settlers one thousand years ago. And very little is also known about those Vikings we just recently learned came to America five hundred years before Christopher Colombus. And yet, I felt like the glimpse this novel gave me into this world could have really happened. It wasn’t just some whipped up foreign mystical nonsense written as a way to make a book seem “exotic”. No, the settings felt real, the characters felt real, and, after I put down the book, I felt like I was that much richer for the experience.

There were some parts of this book that were difficult to read. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. If you’re in the mood for a “feel good book” this isn’t it. However, if you want something that’ll stand out from the dozen or so forgettable titles in your Kindle, this would be the one you should pick up next.

Leave a Reply