Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac

Wolf Mark CoverWonderful YA, urban fantasy with male protagonist

Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Release Date: September 15, 2011
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Pages: 392
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Luke, the teenage male protagonist of Wolf Mark, is an American Indian of the Abenaki tribe. His mother died some years ago, and he lives in a dilapidated trailer with his alcoholic father who used to do some kind of highly secretive work in years past that left him emotionally scarred. Even so, Luke's father apparently is an amazing warrior, because at some point he taught Luke impressive skills of survival.

At school, Luke cares deeply for a Pakistani girl named Meena, but he is afraid to ask her out for fear her conservative family will not allow her to date. He is trying to live as normal a life as he can when seven mysterious Russian exchange students come to school, constantly wearing sunglasses. Then one day Luke's father is kidnapped, and Luke has to call on every skill he has to try and save him.

Given what the title of this book promises, it is not a spoiler for me to say there are werewolves in this book. There is a strong action/adventure plot, with a dastardly villain and evil, scary minions, and Luke is a very strong, sympathetic hero who is brave, loyal and never gives up.

It is great to see a YA novel written from a male point of view. This book would have strong appeal for boys, but girls--and adults of both genders, too--will enjoy this book if they like to read paranormal urban fantasy.

Hero: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Fantasy World-Building: 5

Writing: 4

Action-Adventure Plot: 5

Mystery Subplot: 5

Romantic Subplot: 4

Overall: 5