Title: Wolf Marked (Magic Side: Wolf Bound #1)
Author: Veronica Douglas
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, werewolves
Originally Published: July 30, 2021
Werewolves are hunting me.
I was just an ordinary girl waiting tables in a small-town bar. I had no idea magic was real. That was, until I backed my car over a werewolf a couple times.
In my defense, the wolf was trying to murder me, and I was all out of mace.
Now I’ve got a cult of rogue wolves on my heels, and the only one who can protect me is Jaxson Laurent—the leader of the Chicago pack.
He suspects I’m special and can’t take his eyes off me, but the problem is—he’s the sworn enemy of my family. Every time we get close it feels like something is going to rip out of my soul, but the heat between us is irresistible.
With danger around every corner and wolves howling in the night, I need to master my magic and stand my ground, or I’ll be dead before the next moon rises.
I’ve never realized how small my reading bubble was until I downloaded this novel. I’d never heard of Veronica Douglas, nor had I ever seen her stories circulating throughout the book community. How shut off had I been from reading a new author? From trying different things? That stops today!
I was so impressed with this novel. The world-building alone is magnificent. The story takes place in a few cities but ultimately centers around the Chicago area. Magic Side is an island not on any map. If you were to search for it on Google Maps, it would show you the center of Lake Michigan. Only those who are Magica (this world’s term for beings with magic) can even see the bridge that takes you there.
If I were to describe the vibe of Magic Side, I would tell you to think of The Originals tv show. Magic Side is split into territories. One belonging to werewolves and the other belonging to the LaSalle’s. Unlike The Originals, the feud between them isn’t sugarcoated with pleasantries. There’s no reason for the wolves not to shift in broad daylight. Or for the LaSalle’s to refrain from throwing fireballs at the car in front of them. Which oddly enough happens quite often.
Savannah is a woman who doesn’t know she’s Magica. She doesn’t understand why she’s been targeted by deranged werewolves, either. It isn’t until Jaxson Laurent shows up that things begin to make a little sense. When she thinks that being targeted and attacked is the worst it’ll ever get, Savannah goes from the frying pan and straight into the fire.
On a dummy mission to get answers, she travels to Magic Side. Only now she’s entwined in a century-old feud between the Chicago pack and the LaSalle’s. Why? Because Savannah’s a LaSalle too. Now she’s stuck working with werewolves who hate her off principle and keeping secrets from her newly found relatives.
Jaxson is wolf-born. As Alpha of the Chicago pack, he must protect his people, but sometimes, you have to make choices that those same people will hate to protect what and who you love. Choices like working with the LaSalle girl to stop rouge werewolves from bringing down the order of the Magica (which is a thing mentioned often) on them. Still, Jaxson forages forward despite the discontentment of his people. Despite the feeling that Savannah isn’t just a means to an end but something more.
While reading Wolf Marked, I got to understand the complexity of running a pack. I got to know how it felt to have no one but yourself. I liked that when Savannah met the LaSalle’s, there wasn’t a quick oh, we’re not truly evil. We’re just misunderstood. No, the LaSalle’s aren’t innocent practitioners of the art. They’re dark and dangerous and clearly with the shits.
The werewolves aren’t innocent either. Their pack laws are ass-backward. The unjustified anger and resentment towards Savannah are completely ridiculous and strangely relatable. This is a case of nobody’s right, but we all like to think we are.
Then there’s Savannah getting hit from every side yet expected to overcome it all.
This novel gave what it was supposed to. I felt anger and injustice for Savannah but also pity and concern for Jaxson. Nothing was solved in this novel. There was no quick round-up to a happy ending. As much as I hated the way things were left in the book, it felt natural. People’s opinions don’t change in a week. There isn’t always a happy ending after you slay the dragon. This story reflects that.
Until the next page,