Story Rating: 5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Length: 17 hours, 46 minutes
Robbie Fontaine lives in Caswell, Maine, part of a wolf pack led by Alpha of all, Michelle Hughes. He lives with Ezra, an older man who found Robbie and brought him into the pack. Robbie enjoys playing with the young cubs and being a part of the community, after growing up without a family or a pack following his mother’s death.
Robbie is happy and content in Caswell, until an assignment for Michelle takes him to Virginia where he meets another wolf pack. They tell him stories of betrayal, of lies and secrets, and Robbie doesn’t know what to believe. Michelle and Ezra have given him a home, yet something is tugging at Robbie, something he can’t totally ignore. He is having weird dreams and hallucinations he can’t explain. As much as he wants to believe what he has been told all along, Robbie is starting to have doubts. All Robbie has longed for is a pack and a place to belong — now he just needs to figure out who to trust.
Heartsong is the third book in T.J. Klune’s epic Green Creek series and gives us Robbie and Kelly’s story. I am being vague on the plot here because this story intentionally starts us off a little disoriented. We don’t know quite what is happening with Robbie, why he is in Caswell, or even the time period. We learn what is happening right along with Robbie, so I am being careful not to spoil anything here. I found myself completely engrossed as I tried to figure out just what was going on and I couldn’t put this one down.
Rest assured, Robbie is reunited with Kelly, though it is rocky getting there (no one who is reading this series is going to be too shocked by that!). I really enjoyed their love story and watching those bonds between them bring these men together despite the circumstances. Klune has a way of just making me feel the intensity of the relationships in this series so strongly. And it is not just Robbie and Kelly, it is the way the whole pack connects to one another and supports each other. We really see that here as they are struggling emotionally. While there is action in this story, much of the conflict is internal and I enjoyed watching this group struggle and find their way back to each other. And I can’t forget the residents of Green Creek. This whole series makes me emotional, but the first tears came for me when I saw the residents of Green Creek out there supporting their wolf pack. There is just such a lovely sense of connection among these characters that I really enjoy.
In addition to the romance between Kelly and Robbie, this story also continues the larger big picture storyline with Michelle Hughes and Robert Livingstone. Once again, we get some exciting (and sometimes horrifying) battle scenes as the pack fights against their enemies on behalf of all the wolves. The battle scenes are intense and so well done. Klune has really done a great job here building this overarching series plot and this book ties together in big and little ways really well with earlier books. This story has some resolution on that front, but also sets us up for the final conflict in the last book of the series.
I listened to this one in audio and I have to say, there are some book/narrator combinations that just transcend and this series is one of them. Kirt Graves just embodies this series so perfectly, it is hard to imagine anyone else narrating it. So much of this series is tone and pacing and the emotions behind the words, and Graves captures them so perfectly. Klune has a definite cadence to his writing in these books that Graves manages to convey through the audio in a way that just makes this series shine. The second I heard the first words, I was just transported back to this world and it gives me all the feelings every time I listen. My only tiny quibble is that Robbie has a Boston accent, both when he speaks and through the narration since we are in his POV. At times, that accent slips, particularly during the narrative sections. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book, but it was enough that I noticed it at times, so I’m mentioning it here. But overall, this narration was stellar and, as I said, I feel like this pairing of book and narrator is just so perfect.
If you are a fan of this series, you have probably snatched this book up already, but I will say I can’t recommend it more highly. And if you are new to Green Creek, definitely give it a try, particularly in audio.