Just as a little disclaimer before you read on, I was contacted by Dagda Publishing company in regards to this review. They're an independent publishing company out of the UK, and after checking out them out a bit I feel they deserve a little mention in the review. I do apologize if some of my readers/authors are a little taken back by this fact, but I hope the majority understand that the small publishers tend to take gambles on indie authors.
Okay, now we have the official stuff out of the way its time for the good stuff. The story I'm reviewing this week is The Dogs Don't Bark in Brooklyn Any More by Eric Robert Nolan, and you'll see as you read I'm a huge fan of this story for many reasons.
The story opens up on Captain Rebecca O'Conner of the 54th Saws (Special Animal Warfare Squad), and her squad as they attempt to combat an enemy far more ruthless than any man has faced so far...wolves.
I've done reviews on stories about shape changers and werewolves, but this is the first I've ever even read about talking, intelligent wolves. The world population in the 2050's is down to only a few million, and the governments are in shambles. In the early 2000's a virus began systematically killing off billions of people and, as many speculate, affected the wolves in a way that gave some of them an almost human like intelligence and the ability to speak.
This ability allowed them to organize and create an army, driving the humans into a few select walled cities such as New York, Boston and a few others. For 30 years the humans have been fighting back, and Rebecca and her team are tasked with all the deep cover high profile missions that involve the wolves.
More than just writing about a military squad fighting smart, organized wolves that Nolan incorporated so well while keeping the intricate hierarchies that govern wolf societies in real life. The story jumps from Rebecca's present to her past from chapter to chapter, more than just flashbacks though, the insights into her past really tell its own story about why she is the way she is. Each personality quirk from her borderline social awkwardness to her hard-nose, albeit hesitant, commanding style.
While the fact that these flashbacks take place every other chapter throughout may seem daunting and a little repetitive, I can tell you that it is in no way the case. What Nolan has really managed to create is a story within a story, each could stand on its own without the other, but together they create a seamless singular story that is enhanced by this combination of past and present.
While the young Rebecca battles unimaginable loss of her both her best friends to the same evil, though in very different ways; the elder Rebecca is preparing for a specially assigned mission that boasts turning the tide of the Wolf War. While the end of the younger Rebecca's innocence comes in a very unexpected way, the older Rebecca's end is very expected for the wolves that know where she is going to be and will be ready to fight for their lives.
As I mentioned above I'm a huge fan of this story for several reasons, and there are several pros to this story:
- The flow of this story is absolutely wonderful. Each page finds you grasping for the next in anticipation of what's to come.
- The visuals that Nolan is able to utilize are remarkable. The fight scenes are all well choreographed and you really see the massive timber wolves and their gnashing teeth charging into the fray of the much weaker humans and their deadly weapons.
- The emotionally charged Rebecca becomes a wonderful character that feels real, her emotions and plights make her a protagonist that you'll find yourself rooting for both the 33 year old woman and the 16 girl old girl.
I'm going to give The Dogs don't Bark in Brooklyn Any More by Eric Robert Nolan a 9/10 based on:
10/10 for readability - There is absolutely nothing bad I can say about Nolan's writing. Each chapter transition works well, and the way the two different settings play towards the over all story is nothing short of perfection.
9/10 for characters - I mentioned above about how great a character Rebecca O'Conner is, but the ancillary characters are fantastically written as well. Each one is a personality in his or herself and maintains consistency throughout. I'm a particular fan of Francis, the sociopathic eagle-eyed wolf slayer that is a major part of both stories.
9/10 for story - I've already raved about this once so I won't go into great detail on this besides to say that both the wolf war centered story and the story of Rebecca's youth could easily be written into their own separate stories.
9/10 for emotional response - Finding a name for this X-factor eludes me, which also makes me question my craft a little. I really feel the thing that sets this story apart from others is the emotions Nolan is able to drum up. While you're reading about young Rebecca you find yourself feeling her joy, her growth, and most importantly her loss. The same goes for the adult Rebecca and the way she deals with the loss of her squads men, the fear that builds up in her when the wolves attempt to assassinate her and she's cornered by three exceptionally intelligent, and large foes. This is possibly the most page turning factor, next to the ease of Nolan's writing.
A big thank you to Dagda publishing for reaching out to me in regards to this title. Its wonderful when a publisher will take a chance on an author, though its no wonder based on the quality of this particular work.
If you'd like to pick up a copy of The Dogs Don't Bark in Brooklyn Any More click here.
If you would like to visit Dagda Publishing's homepage click here.