Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Amarok by Angela J. Townsend from Spencer Hill Press. You can see the entire tour schedule here. Amarok is scheduled to release in November.
by Angela J. Townsend
Expected Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: ARC from publisher for review.
Emma's life has been hell since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Abandoned by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her planned escape leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining.
Dragged across the tundra by an evil mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she learns that love can be found in the most unexpected places. Amarok, as she's nicknamed the wolf, is a young man from the gold-rush era enslaved by an ancient shaman. Emma's gentle touch and kind heart win his love and devotion. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by the same Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to face her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But that means she must face down the evil shaman, a Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.
My Thoughts: Finding herself in a desperate situation, Emma decides to make a run from her stepfather, who beats her. Since her mother's death, things have only gotten worse. Her only hope is to steal his keys and slip away during the night. Distraught, she manages to get out of the house and get the car going. The Alaskan weather is harsh, and tonight is no exception. After a combination of a distraction and the weather, Emma finds herself spiraling out of control off into the woods. Pinned in the car, Emma tries to get out, but is trapped. She hears someone and cries for help, but the voice that answers her is anything but reassuring. Suddenly Emma's world goes dark. When she awakens, she finds herself held captive by an evil man, being forced through the woods. Due to her hasty departure, she has nothing but her coat, no hat, no boots, and it is freezing. Her only consolation is the appearance of a wolf, a wolf that seems to see deep into her broken soul, one that befriends her, and gives her a reason for staying alive.
Her cruel captor is not only abusive to her, but also to the wolf, who Emma names Amarok. She doesn't understand why he doesn't run away, but notices an ivory colored charm of some sort that her captor wears around his neck. As they journey through the wilderness, far away from the hope of rescue, Emma grows to love Amarok, and Amarok grows to love Emma, and is devoted to her. Danger lurks everywhere, not only from the weather, but also from nature's creatures. Upon arrival at their destination, a rogue bear, who isn't what he seems, attacks them. Amarok is determined to protect Emma, even if it costs him his life. When Amarok is critically injured, as well as her captor, Emma must find the strength to try to save him. The events that transpire are otherworldly and Emma cannot believe what happens next, as who and what Amarok really is, is revealed. Determined to save Amarok's life, she ventures into the wilderness to a cursed land filled with danger, to face something so evil that no one has ever escaped with their life intact from before. Will she be able to save Amarok before it's to late, or will the evil that has held him captive all these years consume her also?
This was a very interesting novel, filled with adventure, danger, and magic. I loved the setting, and Angela Townsend has done a wonderful job of making that come alive. The story is fast-paced and not too long, so you can read it in one sitting easily. I liked Emma's character. She was quite the heroine, and though plagued with her only guilt and many other emotional and traumatic issues, she rose above those to save the life of another. She faces unimaginable fear, immense danger, and the elements, as she embarks upon a quest to save the one she has come to love. I loved Amarok as well, and I know anyone that reads this will also. This story is creative, entertaining, and filled with adventure and danger, with a hint of romance. I think it would really appeal to the middle-grade age group, as well as teens, and would definitely recommend it for that age-group, as well as anyone who loves a good adventure with elements of danger, the supernatural, and a little romance mixed in.
Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing. She resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.