Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Wolf and the Pear by Alex Jane

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Lev.
He didn’t have skin as white as snow or hair that fell in golden ropes. But he was quick-witted and braver than he knew. And he would need to be.

When Lev goes to live with his uncle in the little village nestled against the deep dark forest at the foot of the mountains, the place seems pleasant enough. But Lev soon starts to wonder about things that don’t quite make sense—dark looks on people’s faces, cries in the night that go unanswered and secrets whispered. But it isn’t until the first full moon that he truly understands why his parents left their families and never wanted to return. Or why they never spoke of Grandmother who lives in the forest. Or the Big Bad Wolf who lives with her.

Until one day Lev is sent into the forest to Grandmother’s house.
Then all he wonders is whether he’ll ever make it out of the forest again.

This is a dark MM fairy tale told in the traditional style, with talking animals, violence and sexual content.
Definitely not for children.

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~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I went out on a limb and read this book because the blurb caught my attention. I usually don't like fairy tale remakes; I am a purist when it comes to fairy tales. I didn't know what to expect with this book, but I actually really enjoyed it and wanted more of it. I love Lev, poor guy had been through so much but was still the sweetest person ever. I wanted to know more about The Big Bad Wolf and his past life, and I wanted to know more about Grandmother and why she was the way she was. I enjoyed the story and even though it was short, it was satisfying.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Dark Fairy Tale – Little Red Riding Hood
Triggers: Questionable consent

This is not for people who are easily offended. It's what I would consider a messed up Little Red Riding Hood tale.

Lev is sent to live with his aunt and uncle after his parents died from an illness. While Lev isn't excited about his journey, he also knows that he has nobody else. Lev is called upon to go to grandma's house. He isn't quite sure what's happening when he does, but when he gets there, the big bad wolf has his way with him. Lev isn't sure what to make of the experience, but when he returns to the village, he's seen as a bad omen. Mad at his aunt and uncle and unsure of what to do, Lev heads out on his own.

The big bad wolf is an interesting character. He starts out somewhat as you would expect. Mean and demanding. But as the story continues, he morphs into a decent character. I really liked how he was made to do the bad things that made the villagers afraid.

Then you have grandma. She turns out to be a controlling, mean, dangerous character. She controls using fear and when things become difficult for her, she uses magic to try and control the situation.

While this story was somewhat jumbled at times, it was still a very clear rendition – albeit a dark one – of Little Red Riding Hood. It was not what I would consider enjoyable, but it kept my attention. The writing was well done and the story was well told. I think it was just the questionable relationship that became Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. I'm unsure how I felt about that.

The Wolf and the Pear is a novelette written in the classic fairy tale storyteller fashion, with talking animals, an evil grandmother in the woods, and impressionable townsfolk who do as they're told.

Lev is orphaned, then taken in by his uncle and aunt. They live under the oppression of Grandmother in the woods until he's fully grown. The youngsters of the town are randomly taken into the woods as the 'box' carrier, with the adults being so cowardly, they have no issue sacrificing their own children to the old woman and her wolf.

To be honest, I'm purposefully being vague, because to go too deep into the plot is to ruin it for the reader. The blurb does a good job to explain what the reader will expect on the pages.

There's a darker, sinister vibe, yet also super warm and fuzzy, almost to a saccharine degree, as Lev tries to help the very townsfolk who so easily sacrificed him to the evil woman in the woods. Fast-paced, entertaining, easily read in one sitting. I believe this will be an either love it or bored with it, with no middle ground. The Wolf and the Pear will either grip you or it won't.

While I enjoyed it, I'm not a fan of retelling fairy tales. With that being said, this was well-done and enjoyable.

3.5 stars

This is a strange and slightly creepy read. Told in the style of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, it’s the story of Lev, an orphan, and those in the forest who control his village. The book probably needs a few trigger warnings but there is something compelling about Lev and his story.

There is enough sex in this story for it to be considered erotica. I personally struggled with some dubious consent scenes, but it is fantasy writing and the writing style ensures the characters never quite feel completely human – so some readers will be able to overlook the consent issues.

I’m still not sure I enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down, but I hated that the writing style didn’t allow much of any insight into character feelings or motives. I kinda hated not really knowing what was going on and the blurred line between fantasy and reality was unnerving at times. But the book is different and kinda unique – and there are a few very sexy scenes.

I guess every reader will have their own response to this book. It’s definitely an interesting and an unusual read. I’d recommend downloading a sample to get a sense of the writing style. It won’t be for everyone, but it does fit the story.

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.

Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.

With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.

Connect with Alex

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Wolf and the Pear by Alex Jane to read and review.

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