Larry Correia announced a while back that he was planning to book bomb Julie Frost’s new novel, Pack Dynamics. There was a delay, waiting on the paper version, but I’d picked it up on the day it came out in ebook, so today, since we’re bombing the lovely and intelligent Julie, I’m reviewing the book.
Here’s the easy part: if you enjoy werewolf stories, fun chosen-family dynamics, and killer bunnies, go buy the book.
If you need some convincing, keep reading. I’d known I was going to buy this for some time, just on having met the author briefly and sitting in on a couple of panels she was on at LTUE early this year. She was funny, witty, and kept up with Kupari and Correia, so… yeah! I was not disappointed with her book.
It’s funny, it has lots of gun stuff, and the science is glossed over but it’s kind of the skeleton to hang the character interactions on. Nanotechnology keeps the injured alive and get them back in the game after massive injuries, allowing the timeline of the book to be speeded up, and in some cases, characters to keep stayin’ alive. It’s also the basis in part of the existence of werewolves and vampires in the story universe. This isn’t, despite the title, an in-depth exploration of the social dynamics of werewolves. The different aspects – alpha, mate, pack – are just presented and the story moves on without much exploration, leaving the reader to fill in between the lines.
This is an action-packed story, without a complex plot. It reads smoothly, as crisis after crisis arises, is surmounted, with much loss of blood, and finally… What? I’m not going to spoiler it.
The relationships are fun, and complex. Even the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘good guy’ aren’t always at one another’s throats. I was particularly fond of Pepper and Tony’s interactions. No… Megan and Alex. I have trouble with that. You see, the main characters (there are four of them) in this book break down into a couple, and a boss and his assistant and they are so completely Iron Man and Pepper Potts I have trouble remembering the names from the book. I loved it. I wanted more of that sarcastic, droll, and yet tender interaction in the movie (not a comic-book person, so I’m pulling from the movie, which was sheer over-the-top fun like this book is), so this book left me very happy, and wanting more. There’s even a Jarvis-analogue, who was delightfully competent when it came to body disposal.
I’m sure there is more. There are loose ends. But the ending was satisfying and the lovers are sweet without being cloying. There were a few things that took me out of the story, and they were pretty much all editing issues. One, there are a lot of ‘brows’ in the descriptions, ‘she raised her brow, he lowered his brow’ and it started jarring me after a while. There are a few typos, and one statement that made me go mwha?! “Can’t do an MRI because you’ve still got bullet fragments…” and last I looked, lead was not magnetic. But before you think that sounds bad… I was able to stay immersed in story, and that’s the important part.
Can I explain the killer bunnies? You’ll have to read the book…