Danny Fennick moved from his home in the Scottish highlands, down south and away from the wolf pack he grew up with. Danny is not a wolf himself, but a dog shifter, and he wanted less of the shifter world and more of the human one. But now it looks like the past is coming back for him as the wolf world seems poised to take over the human one. The world is experiencing weather phenomena unlike any other — extreme droughts, tornados, unrelating heat, and in Danny’s town, a winter of destruction. They are being battered by endless snow, rain, storms, freezing weather, and just about every other devastation that winter can bring, all so extreme that homes are abandoned, supplies are scarce, and lives are in danger. The news says it is just a bought of bad weather, but Danny knows the truth: it is the time of the wolves.
Jack grew up as the son of the Numitor, the wolf leader, and one of two crown princes. He was in constant competition with his twin, Gregor, and when their father chooses Gregor as his successor, Jack leaves to find Danny. They were lovers once and Jack is hoping they can be again. But the world seems to be falling part around them. In addition to the weather, people in town are being killed by what appears to be a stray dog. But Danny and Jack know the truth: the wolves have come. Legend has long foretold that when the winter comes, the wolves who were years ago banished over Hadrian’s Wall will return south, and now Jack and Danny fear that time has come.
This book captured my attention right away from the blurb. It is a kind of paranormal mixed with an apocalypse, end of days kind of story and I really loved the twist of genres. There is a mysticism built into the book, the legends of the wolves and the prophesies that surround them. We learn that in Roman times, the wolves were banished up north, but when the winter comes, the time of the wolves will return. When Danny sees the weather turn, he knows it could be the first steps before the Numitor lets the wolves free and to attack the human world. There is a darkness here, a wildness to the wolves, that we see through Jack. Though they are part human, their animal side reigns, and there is clearly a part of Jack that is just on the edge of humanity. So I really enjoyed the world building and the creativity here. I found the story really interesting and loved that it doesn’t follow the typical paranormal shifter mold.
Jack leaves his pack to reunite with Danny, who has made a life in academia where his human side is primary. But he knows something dark is coming, and he is not surprised when Jack surfaces. Danny isn’t eager to get back together with Jack, as he has put the pack behind him. But he also can’t help but to be drawn to the man, and there is some nice sexual tension as the two work through things. There is a sense of inevitability here, a knowledge that despite the walls Danny is putting up, that he will end up with Jack (and he knows it). But Moore also gives us a nice build and I enjoyed the way that Danny holds his own against the dominant and stronger Jack. I also liked how Danny’s humanity balances out Jack’s wildness. Although Jack is far more sensitive and aware than much of his pack, there is also an edge to him, a sense that the balance falls to his wolf side. By contrast Danny has much more of a hold on his humanity, and feels much more of a connection to the human world that is facing such a crisis.
And oh what a crisis it is. The world is falling apart. The crazy weather is devastating the planet. Danny’s town has basically collapsed. Those that didn’t flee are trapped in their homes with no power and no supplies. The roads are impassable, the weather is unrelenting, and no one knows how they will survive. On top of that, something is killing people. The humans assume it is a stray dog, but Danny knows the truth. It is a wolf, but which one? Is it Jack, having lost control? Is it Gregor, come to exact revenge on Jack and Danny? Or is it some other danger they don’t even know about? As the weather worsens, Jack and Danny must figure out who is behind the attacks and if it is even possible to stop them. I’ll just throw in here that toward the end things get a bit grisly and gory as Jack and Danny find themselves fighting with other wolves. I didn’t find it too much, but if you are sensitive to a lot of gore and violence, just be aware.
As I said, I really loved the tone here and the creativity of the world building. At times I found that the lore and backstory was a little hard to follow. I didn’t always get how the legends were incorporating into what was going on, but I always found it interesting.We are left with things a bit open ended, and I am curious if there will be a sequel as the story doesn’t seem fully resolved. But it left me eager to know more and to continue with the story. I really enjoyed Dog Days and I am really hoping there is more to come.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.