Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: Wolf Rider

Wolf Rider by Avi

Recommended For: Ages 12 to Adult

Rating: PG

The kitchen phone rings three times before Andy picks it up.
"Hello?" he says.
A voice replies, "I just killed someone."
From that moment, Andy Zadinski, a 15-year-old student at Madison High is plunged into terror of his own making. No one believes that the caller - "Zeke" as he names himself - was serious. When Andy reports what he's heard to the police, they dismiss Zeke as a Friday-night crank. And no one believes that Zeke's reputed victim, Nina, a pretty young woman attending the local college, is in danger. She refuses to believe it herself. Andy, says everyone, is crying "Wolf!" But Andy, whose experience with death has been close and hurtful, will do anything to protect Nina.
Pressured by the doubts of others, particularly his father, Andy is driven to prove the "wolf" real. Finding Zeke, however, is not enough. Andy must prove his existence to the doubters. To do so, he sets in motion a series of tension-filled events that can well lead him to the very catastrophe he is trying to avoid: Nina's death. For even as he and his father struggle to save each other from the consequences of Andy's actions, the man called Zeke begins to act on his own.
When the boy who cries "Wolf!" attempts to ride the beast, nothing can ever be the same.

This was a heavy read. What's crazy about it is that the phone call at the beginning of the book actually happened to the author just as it happened in the book. This is definitely the creepiest Avi book I've read, and it doesn't even have ghosts or anything like his some of his other ones do. This was my first book I read from my new library. I was so excited when I finally got my new library card! I'd been waiting for weeks.

Writing: 4.5/5
This book was written fairly well, Avi's books always are. The one complaint I had was I couldn't tell whether it was supposed to be an omniscient point of view or a deep third-person point of view. It seemed to be from Andy's point of view, and then it would say something that Andy wouldn't know because he had his eyes closed or something else like that. Probably something only a writer would notice. Other than that, the book was very well-written.

Setting: 5/5
There wasn't anything particularly spectacular about the setting. It was mostly in a college town. I got the impression it was in the eighties or nineties, however, this is never specified. For what it was, it seemed accurate and fairly vivid.

Plot: 5/5
Very interesting and intriguing. I certainly wasn't quite expecting the end the way it was. The plot was well-done and...creepy.

Character Development: 4.5/5
Not really spectacular, but not horrible either. Andy is well-developed and is given good motives for his persistence in believing what "Zeke" said on the phone call. Andy's dad was pretty well-developed, but "Zeke" could have used some more development and explanation into his past and motives and current state of mind and everything. Pretty well done, but not amazing.

This is a good book, though a little dark, and though I would recommend it, it's not for everybody.

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