s Oxford home to CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Anna Francis, a young Greek refugee looking to escape the grim reality of her new life The night they cross paths, none suspect the fantastic world at work around themAnna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope She is a refugee, a piece of flotsam washed up in England by the tides of the Great War and the chaos that trailed in its wake Once upon a time, she had a mother and a brother, and they all lived together in the most beautiful city in the world, by the shores of Homer s wine dark seaBut that is all gone now, and only to her doll does she ever speak of it, because her father cannot bear to hear She sits in the shadows of the tall house and watches the rain on the windows, creating worlds for herself to fill out the loneliness The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half forgotten memories And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house A boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she isThat day, she ll lose everything in her life, and find the only real friend she may ever know


10 thoughts on “The Wolf in the Attic

  1. Althea Ann Althea Ann says:

    Anna is a heart rendingly lonely little girl A Greek refugee in 1920 s Oxford, her memories of a warm and sunny, loving home seem almost like fantasies of a lost paradise Now, everything is cold and grey Her father has retreated into desperate, fervid political meetings with other Greek expats and the bottle Removed from public school because of bullying, Anna has just her tutor, and the doll whose friendship she knows is purely imaginary Free to wander the streets and the woods unsuper Anna is a heart rendingly lonely little girl A Greek refugee in 1920 s Oxford, her memories of a warm and sunny, loving home seem almost like fantasies of a lost paradise Now, everything is cold and grey Her father has retreated into desperate, fervid political meetings with other Greek expats and the bottle Removed from public school because of bullying, Anna has just her tutor, and the doll whose friendship she knows is purely imaginary Free to wander the streets and the woods unsupervised, Anna stumbles across a terrifying scene of violence and encounters a family of strange and rustic travellers These seeming Gypsies attract her with the foreign ness they share with her one young man in particular holds a dangerous attraction , but their culture may be older and odder than she could guess Has Anna met her salvation or her doom This novel is the first I ve read from Kearney, and it will not be the last This is so, so good The language is just beautiful, and I fell in love with Anna s character her precocious love of mythology, her imagination, her independence, and her dreams Her situation is so well fleshed out that it could easily have stood on its own as a novel that was just a character study about the refugee experience At first, I thought it might be simply a mainstream historical novel, as I embarked upon reading this while knowing little about the book, and nothing about the author However, then Kearney weaves in his supernatural element, and it is just superb view spoiler Maybe the title gives it away just a bit, but this is absolutely the best werewolf novel I have read in quite some time hide spoiler The one thing I do have to say, is that a blurb I saw makes much of CS Lewis and Tolkien appearing in this book Well, they do, but I wouldn t have noticed if I hadn t read the blurb, and I doubt many other readers would have either While I recognize the author s wish to give a nod to those greats who inspired some of the themes and setting of this story, I didn t feel that their appearance was necessary, especially because the way they re presented, you expect them to play some intrinsic part in the tale and they don t.Regardless 5 stars for this one.Many thanks to Solaris and NetGalley for the opportunity to read As always, my opinions are solely my own


  2. Carolyn Carolyn says:

    Eleven year old Anna Francis and her father are Greek refugees living in Oxford in the 1920s after being forced out of Smyrna by the Turks and rescued by a British ship Anna s mother taken by the Turks and her big brother Nikos, a soldier may be dead Anna is home schooled and keeps away from the local children who taunt her for her olive skins and dark features With her father distracted organising a Greek refugee committee and away in London a lot, Anna spends a lot of time on her own explor Eleven year old Anna Francis and her father are Greek refugees living in Oxford in the 1920s after being forced out of Smyrna by the Turks and rescued by a British ship Anna s mother taken by the Turks and her big brother Nikos, a soldier may be dead Anna is home schooled and keeps away from the local children who taunt her for her olive skins and dark features With her father distracted organising a Greek refugee committee and away in London a lot, Anna spends a lot of time on her own exploring the attic of her house and roaming the streets and countryside She meets interesting people including a chance meeting with the young C.S Lewis and J.R.Tolkien with whom she has a conversation about trees that can talk However, when she comes across some gypsies camping in the woods, her life changes in unexpected ways that will have profound effects on her future.This is a beautifully written book and Anna is a wonderful narrator, still childlike but thoughtful and insightful The story has fable like qualities like a tale from a gothic fairy tale, particularly after Anna meets up with Luca, the wild gypsy boy with the yellow eyes The ending of the book suggests there will be a sequel to look forward to With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Rebellion for a digital copy of the book to read and review.


  3. Donna Donna says:

    This book was an uneasy blend of historical fiction and fantasy, two very different genres I had been hoping would integrate seamlessly like in other books of its kind I ve read But the two genres didn t blend much at all in this book since the first half was mostly historical fiction and the second half was mostly fantasy based on Old World mythology and folklore of a kind which wasn t my thing The writing was beautiful, though, with much loving attention given to details in that setting, but This book was an uneasy blend of historical fiction and fantasy, two very different genres I had been hoping would integrate seamlessly like in other books of its kind I ve read But the two genres didn t blend much at all in this book since the first half was mostly historical fiction and the second half was mostly fantasy based on Old World mythology and folklore of a kind which wasn t my thing The writing was beautiful, though, with much loving attention given to details in that setting, but less so when it came to developing the characters with the exception of the main one, Anna Francis Anna is eleven and lives with her father in Oxford in the late 1920 s They are Greek immigrants who barely escaped with their lives several years earlier when the city of Smyma where they had lived was captured by the Turkish forces, not everyone in their family as lucky as they were to have survived the war They came over to England on a British allied boat and set about adapting to a new way of life, each in their own way, while struggling to not forget their heritage and the ones left behind Memories are important, like the bones of the mind We build ourselves upon them, flesh and blood moulded around the pictures of what is past.But things go terribly wrong as Anna is bullied for being different, epitaphs and stones thrown at her by the neighboring schoolchildren Her father heads meetings for other Greeks who are desperate to find a way to return home and reclaim their life and what property was once theirs Devoting himself to this cause, he neglects Anna who is taught privately at home and develops her own private world when the outer one she lives in seems too cruel and uninviting except for the land itself and two kind men she meets on one of her many nightly wanderings But these wanderings have her crossing paths with something her wildest imaginings could never have come up with She is equally terrified and fascinated with what she sees until something horrible happens that tips the scales to the side of terrified I know these streets as well as my own hands, but everything seems different tonight, as though Oxford is a woman who has just unveiled herself, and the face revealed is not who I thought it was.I found the first half of this book to be interesting and full of depth as Anna, living an isolated life, enriches it with the stories she s read and by certain people she meets She is a sympathetic character who is smart and determined to fit in even as she s treated as an outcast by many Then the second half of the book came along and lost all depth while veering into half explained fantasy elements that became evenmuddled by the end which left many questions unanswered concerning several characters And unfortunately, some of those characters who didn t have formal educations were written in a way that had them sounding like hillbillies instead of people whose ancestors immigrated from Egypt This dialect completely threw me out of the fantasy world and the English countryside the author crafted Instead, I longed for the beauty and depth of the first half of the book and in the blossoming relationship Anna had with one guest star of a sorts CS Lewis The author of this book has said in an interview that he d like to write a sequel and expand on this relationship The question is, do I want to risk reading another book if I can enjoy only half of it should history repeat itself in the sequel


  4. Asghar Abbas Asghar Abbas says:

    Dead trees all around and everywhere, all of us everyone deadened inside, where everything in sight is the color of a dying leaf We are all dying, never to be in a song again So what song can we really follow all the home This haze, all the hues are golden here This warm lull, a wet breath, before the winter s song is quite heady Thick dryness in the brisk air, heavy and breathless, but not in distress, not yet anyway It is finally that time of the year again So of course, the moon is urg Dead trees all around and everywhere, all of us everyone deadened inside, where everything in sight is the color of a dying leaf We are all dying, never to be in a song again So what song can we really follow all the home This haze, all the hues are golden here This warm lull, a wet breath, before the winter s song is quite heady Thick dryness in the brisk air, heavy and breathless, but not in distress, not yet anyway It is finally that time of the year again So of course, the moon is urging us to harvest something other than a smile,than a smile even So muchthan Her Smile But the real question is, can half a moon still find us on that road Here s the thing, it is still the moon that reminds me of all that I am All that I still am I am the music without the song I am without a Song I am in a song without one I am the brightness in the color that s not vermillion And here I am standing by the road next to the fields fresh fallow and inviting Look to your right, stalks of rye undulating so prettily Turn Left, you really should and stay on the left, you find fields of barley rippling in the night air And in the middle of all this is your favorite girl, naked and swaying, reciting John Banville in her native tongue, her accent quite pleasing and fae But that recital is neither an incantation nor an intonation It s just her, a consciousness preceding matter From glossy to dull, all the leaves, this forested floor puts you in the picture of fall What a pretty picture this makes up Puts you in a mood This road, which the woodland creatures are so wary of, makes you appreciative of Fall It really does For Fall of mankind, that is Fall of men is something I am all for, you know Oh, you do know Good I got no dragons But shall we begin It has already begun If there is a book that s made for fall, it s the Wolf in the Attic I mean, come on Just Look At her No, look at the title too How can you read this and not be a goner Look at the cover, now saying it in Homer Simpson s voice, look at it Peel the onions and sure, peel back everything, skin on skin to get inside Aperitivo Yum.Look at this book, but not at Tony Stark, or at that new suit And yes, you got me, Ro I got this because of the book we both love I really wanted, no needed this to be 2016 s Tell the Wolves I am Home Even though there is an actual wolf in this one So I read the book, waiting to love it For the book to impact me, but something went wrong Sure, the wolf turned and the moon helped a little bit But it wasn t the bloodletting I was hoping it would be I wasn t sated like I once was one hot April in 2015 It wasn t the fate I had sealed For one thing, it took forever to get the real story going, even longer for the wolf to actually get to the attic More than half of it had gone by before the wolf deigned to show up Had he stayed there in the attic, it would have been a great book I wish he had But the book went in completely different direction Not to where the witches were waiting for us under the burnt umbrage of the stripped trees See, I was expecting it to be one thing, it became entirely something else Hints of continuing this story is a little disturbing It wasn t what I was expecting it to be, certainly not what I had made sacrifices in the standing stones for Make no mistake, this was a story of an immigrant unsung by the civil twilight It is tragic because this had started off so well Well, well enough But by the end of it, I quit trying to figure out what it was trying to be It had become a mishmash of half baked ideas that couldn t be cooked no matter what, barely edible And then the jumbled ideas that started to rot, something was already rotten, so beware Then why the high ratings Well, you asked the question in French You are the answer in no known language The Wolf in the Attic is incredibly well written But there is no story there You gotta have a story, even if she is not in it.Then there was the very unnecessary, casual appearance of Tolkien that didn t service the plot in any way, didn t serve the story at all, had no purpose other than gimmickry So, of course, we had the mandatory mention of Lord of the Rings With Tolkien there, it was only a matter of time Sure enough, our heroine was walking with him and she basically impelled the idea of the talking trees What were they called again Gnats Last I saw of those trees, they were looking for women for themselves Lady trees, that is.CS Lewis was there too His cameo was actually pretty interesting But poor sweet summer child In the book, he was actually thinking critically Freely It s rather sad in his later life he found the o in the organized religion That he would later go on to accept Aslan as his personal lord and savior, is just a sad end Consider the collective harm that has been done, maybe it is time to outgrow, grow up, outgrow them all If you think about it, remove indoctrination and confirmation basis, and what is left, what are you left with The natural quotient of all goodness in the world is faith That s well and good I mean it, it s the best But better not wave it around, better not quench your thirst One pill won t make you big, one pill won t make you small They are both the same, rabbit hole all too familiar Both pills lead you down to the same warren Bottom line, at the bottom of it all You can pick any You may believe in the spaghetti space monster or clthulhu, just keep your limitedness away from my literature You can make your characters delusional, that s what is allowed in the marriage that s fiction The ultimate concession of creation, of creating, of the creator That s your prerogative But don t push your tunnel vision that s your point of view down the throat of others.Last thing, less of make belief andof fantasy Even if it is the fantasy making us believe In something We must let go of the fanatical and hold on quite dearly to the fantastical Finally, the cult of kindness needs to be a littletolerant People Intolerant goodness of people needs to be a littlevague and flexible So much so Until We are all relaxing, all of us, in the sands, on the shores of tomorrow, for our own much earned and equally deserved littoral retreats.I ll meet everyone there, see you Write better fiction, sure But Just, be better


  5. Chocolategoddess Chocolategoddess says:

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.I m unable to decide if this book was bad, or just not my kind of thing.Kearney can use words He has many beautiful turns of phrase and creates original imagery.Kearney has read, and included a great deal of mythology in this book, from Ancient Greek, to Druidic religions, to werewolves, and even the lives of two famous writers.Neither of these are bad things, and yet at the end of this book I was left with the feeling I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.I m unable to decide if this book was bad, or just not my kind of thing.Kearney can use words He has many beautiful turns of phrase and creates original imagery.Kearney has read, and included a great deal of mythology in this book, from Ancient Greek, to Druidic religions, to werewolves, and even the lives of two famous writers.Neither of these are bad things, and yet at the end of this book I was left with the feeling that it was nothingthan a vehicle for both of them.This book is flabby with beautiful words The main character, Anna, experiences everything in detail Intense, lavish detail So much detail that reading it was quite a challenge because it took so long for anything to actually happen through all the crisp air and mysterious landscapes Anna also mulls over her situation in just as much detail I found her focus believable as a child with little else going on in her life, but it was boring The same story could have been told just as well, better even, with a quarter of the words Maybe then it wouldn t have taken me two months to slog through it.The mythology was gathered from many corners of the world Unfortunately I don t care There was just so much crammed into this book, and jammed down my throat, over and over, or else glossed over Anna hails from Greece and her father teaches her about the old stories I used to be pretty into Greek mythology as a kid, and Anna is not as into it as me, despite treating it like some deeply personal connection to her past Kearney mentions a handful of stories, several times, and never really goes beyond mentioning the same names It felt lazy.The rest of the mythology was not lazy, but it was confusing Anna crosses two other groups of people, the Romani, and the Roadmen, who both have strong, competing mythologies The only one we really get to hear in any detail is the Romani s, which as far as I m aware, bears no resemblance to any traveller s actual mythology, because it inexplicably links the werewolf myth with them, via Ancient Egypt and the East Honestly it sounded kind of like a mash up of whatever Kearney fancied putting in there anything to make these people mysterious This seems pretty disrespectful.I don t usually mind mash up mythology in my fantasy stories, but this book was heavily rooted in reality So rooted that it s actually our world, because J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis inexplicably appear in this book There is actually no reason for them to be here, other than to say they re here It s one of the reasons I picked the book up I was thinking this would be an interesting tale picking up on events and themes from the great writers works and weaving them together with a new story It didn t Kearney just inserts the two into the book, pretty much as random encounters that have no real effect on the story.This brings me to the plot The first half of the novel is largely a lengthy setup for what goes on in the second half Not in a cool way where little hints are left behind and then you get halfway through and suddenly it all makes sense It s in the way where I shouldn t have to read half the book for the inciting event I m sure Kearney thinks the inciting event is much earlier than halfway through, but it isn t.Spoilers for the first half of the book here Anna wanders about a bit, watches a boy murder a man, gets chased by the murderer, is let go by the murderer, and then wanders around a lot , bumping into the writers, and giving us little hints that all is not well in Anna s little world That s the entirety of the first half of the book no wonder it took me six weeks to plough through it before something actually happens which kicks Anna into action So much pointless wandering and hinting, over and over I don t care Stop jamming bread and dripping down my throat, I understood that they were poor without you telling me three times I really did Running into the second part of the book, the reading became easier, butfrustrating because the mythology opened up and I had so many questions Unfortunately it never gets straightened out Instead of developing a rich world of complex interaction between the fantastical elements, we get the same things jammed into us that were jammed in the first half of the book It was frankly exhausting and I picked up the pace just to be done with the book If I wasn t reading it for NetGalley, I wouldn t have finished it.So far we have a story that s wordy, determined to show us just how much mythology the author knows, with a highly repetitive plot Now we move intospoilery territory if you don t want to know who turns out to be the bad guys in this, read noThe bad guys turn out to be the dark, foreign, Romani people I mean, really Seriously Who are the shining good guys The incredibly white and stalwart English folk This happens in the last few pages It isn t set up previously, beyond the author being vague about everything important, it just straight up turns into racism Did Not Appreciate Particularly with the massive amount of media hatred and prejudice towards travelling people, I think this is a pretty terrible thing to put in Can t we just get over the other being the bad guy Please Aside from the terrible pacing, the story was average Girl meets boy, boy murders man, girl doesn t really seem to care all that much because it s a BOY zomg It was pretty dull.There s a whole section where girl suddenly gets her first period where I kind of got irritated Kearney s a man He doesn t get what it s like to suddenly have blood pouring out of your vagina He has Anna treat it kind of like a wound, instead of freaking out, despite the fact she s never even heard of a period She literally shoves a sock in her pants and whines about her stomach hurting I don t think there was really a need for it to be included I m pretty sure he thinks there was a need, but I can think of multiple other ways he could have done it, just off the top of my head so there wasn t a need Please don t write about periods unless you actually have a clue or it s vitally important And please don t give us the YOU RE A WOMAN NOW speech twice Just no.The setting was largely Oxford I ve spent some time in Oxford because I m fortunate enough to have a friend who lives there I ve walked past The Eagle and Child I will have lunch there one day, I m determined Oxford is one of the most magical places I ve been It s soaked in history, and the architecture is hundreds and hundreds of years old I m sure it s changed since the 20s, but it hasn t changed that much There is a reason Tolkien and Lewis created such incredible stories, there is a reason Oxford is used by filmmakers to illustrate magical stories Oxford gets into your brain and fills it up with inspiration Somehow Kearney manages to reduce that magic to naming the roads Anna walks down It takes very little to have me nostalgic for Oxford, yet Kearney still didn t manage it.I can at least say that I didn t hate Anna I didn t like her voice, but she s a plucky kid who controls her own destiny and doesn t do stupid things without a good reason Ultimately she s mysteriously saved by a magical white dude but in that situation there wasn t a whole lot she could ve done herself, so I ll allow a pass on this one But still, I m sighing.Overall, I didn t like the book If you like vague world building, random cameos of famous people, and elaborate words, then this book may be for you For me, I m going to find a book with beautiful writing and a strong plot, or a fantasy so rich with world building I can practically taste it


  6. Nicky Nicky says:

    Received to review via NetgalleyThe Wolf in the Attic is a bit of an odd one I have quite a few reservations about it firstly, I m not sure about the narrative voice It took ages for me to pin down how old Anna was supposed to be, based on the words and phrases she used, and the general tone I know she s actually a refugee whose first language was Greek, but instead she comes across as slangy saying things like what rotI also wasn t sure about the inclusion of Tolkien and C.S Lewis Received to review via NetgalleyThe Wolf in the Attic is a bit of an odd one I have quite a few reservations about it firstly, I m not sure about the narrative voice It took ages for me to pin down how old Anna was supposed to be, based on the words and phrases she used, and the general tone I know she s actually a refugee whose first language was Greek, but instead she comes across as slangy saying things like what rotI also wasn t sure about the inclusion of Tolkien and C.S Lewis it s a cute cameo in one way, but it also gives one of Tolkien s original ideas to a fictional character, and the inclusion of the two shook my suspension of disbelief Especially when Kearney manipulated real events to fit his story better, re the date of C.S Lewis conversion to Christianity They really aren t necessary to the plot at all, and not really to the themes.More worryingly, though, I didn t really buy in to the relationship between Anna and Luca That is, there s nothing wrong with it as a concept, but in execution I didn t see why they were drawn together It just needed a littleflesh on the bones, and it probably would have worked.I m also not 100% sure about the stuff about the Romani people I know that the skinchangers witches say that they re not Romani, but have dealings with them, but it s a slim difference and at other times the book doesn t seem to make a distinction The stuff about King Arthur and the Roadmen felt a little confused, and I thought it needed a littleexplanation just a little I m not sure I agree with another reviewer who felt it came across as racist, because Luca is a good person and there are definite shades of grey, but it is a bit borderline in some ways.Nonetheless, it s an interesting read, and Kearney s style is certainly readable The book is a little slow paced, but that s fine for me it actually feels a little odd how quickly the second half is covered, given there s a lotgoing on I enjoyed the process of reading the book it s just thinking about it too much that seems to spoil things.Originally posted here


  7. Igor Ljubuncic Igor Ljubuncic says:

    Paul Kearney is one of my favorite authors And I just had a chance to read The Wolf in the Attic.I have to say I was mildly apprehensive The story follows a girl named Anna, a refugee from the Greek Ottoman war amidst the Great War WWI , having come to England in the late 1910s with only her father, and her struggle with life in the Oxford region The book s told in first person narrative, from Anna s perspective, and this is a departure from all previous works by Paul Also, it sounds daunti Paul Kearney is one of my favorite authors And I just had a chance to read The Wolf in the Attic.I have to say I was mildly apprehensive The story follows a girl named Anna, a refugee from the Greek Ottoman war amidst the Great War WWI , having come to England in the late 1910s with only her father, and her struggle with life in the Oxford region The book s told in first person narrative, from Anna s perspective, and this is a departure from all previous works by Paul Also, it sounds daunting putting grimdark into a story told by a 12 year old protagonist I also couldn t escape the ever so subconscious comparison between Anna and Anne Frank, the attic, all that So I wasn t sure what to expect, especially since Paul Kearney writes the most realistic, visceral grimdark out there.I found the book weird.The writing is good, and it hooks you in, and you really don t know what to expect The seemingly naive perspective makes things even darker than they might be.Then, half way through, something unusual happened I can t spoil it, but the story shifted from asocial one to a fantastic one i.e fantasy , with some old, familiar elements that Paul has in his previous works This feels somewhat repetitious, although the overall setting is brand new and unique But I did find the use of old motifs a bit underwhelming, especially since I expected to find myself on the edge of the seat, dreading each new page That didn t happen.The end also feels a little rushed, and I think there are some unfinished elements in the book, around religion, the battle between good and evil, and mysticism Perhaps Paul tries to combine too many narratives from various folklores, and this needs additional volumes to fully explore and or explain.All in all, this is a decent book, the writing is really nice, but I feel something is missing In a way, this feels like a somewhat disjointed continuation of the unfinished story of Ran with echoes from Monarchies of God.If you like books that will make you think, and you can t really take anything in the plot for granted, this is a solid choice But for Kearney fans, the amount of despondency and pain are almost summertime light One might even say grimtwilight rather than grimdark.Something like 3 5, perhaps 3.5 5.Recommended.No limerick.Igor


  8. Virginia Virginia says:

    While I found aspects of this story entertaining and engaging I had a number of issues with the book as well.First the things that I liked I enjoyed the story telling itself, and I enjoyed the setting I found myself vividly immersed in Anna s surroundings I also enjoyed her interactions with the other characters she met The dialogue was generally well written and engaging with only one or two exceptions which I ll get to in the negatives I like that Anna is bold, adventurous and stubborn, While I found aspects of this story entertaining and engaging I had a number of issues with the book as well.First the things that I liked I enjoyed the story telling itself, and I enjoyed the setting I found myself vividly immersed in Anna s surroundings I also enjoyed her interactions with the other characters she met The dialogue was generally well written and engaging with only one or two exceptions which I ll get to in the negatives I like that Anna is bold, adventurous and stubborn, but realistically has no idea what she s doing I think she s a well rounded character in many ways, though I found her frustrating at times, but I find most children her age frustrating so I thought that rang true Now the things that bothered me Unfortunately, this section will seem longer because I m nitpicking and explaining my reason for disliking certain things That does not mean I found the book to becontainnegatives than positives, if that were true I would be giving it two stars or fewer That saidI found the way the theme of religion, and particularly christianity, was addressed to be repetitive and unoriginal, and I it irked me that it was there at all because it wasn t developed in a way that seemed to overly relevant to the rest of the plot It seems like there might be somecoherent explanation in the offing I can only assume this is the first book in a series as it is otherwise woefully lacking in plot completion but there was insufficient relevance to this first book to make me feel like references to angels and devils vying for Anna s loyalty were really relevant, when we were already looking at a world filled with interesting magic.Similarly, the presence of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein as characters is interesting and entertaining at first, but then becomes wholly irrelevant by the end of the book Again, I m assuming that they will become relevant in subsequent books, but the overall cohesion of the first book on its own is severely lacking These two characters serve no purpose but to make cameos as far as the plot of the first book is concerned The following section addresses some issues I had with the book but contains major spoilers so reader beware view spoiler Plot holes that irked me Why doesn t Gabriel just explain things to Anna the first time he meets her I m all for letting people figure things out on their own, but if that s your intention don t but them in contact with all knowing characters who can save them a lot of trouble but don t because reasons If Gabriel is just going to save her ass in the end, why bother letting her find the Romani to begin with If the answer is so that she can learn the truth of them then don t put her in touch with Gabriel at all.Why does Queenie s plan have to FORCE Anna to be with Luca when it seems like if she just let them get to know each other a bit and hang out for a year or two the whole thing would probably happen naturally anyway What s the damned hurry Also, why kill Anna s father Seriously, Anna would probably have been happy to run away adventuring anyway, not to mention it seemed like her father was on the brink of disaster as it was, why bother to kill him Alternatively, Luca could simply have continued to befriend her in the attic, or just in general It seems like her father was killed just to move the plot forwardquickly I understand the temptation to do that, but surely a better motivation could have been found or someone else could have been responsible.Why is nothing explained by the end of the book I understand that this is likely the first book in a series, but it is woefully low on wrap up I don t want things tied up in a pretty bow, but this book does not stand alone AT ALL It barely concludes even a single plot thread and the thread it does wrap up who killed Anna s father and why seems rather forced at that My overall enjoyment of this book now seems wholly dependent on the next book in the series This seems overly gimmicky to me especially when there seem to be so many threads to choose from in this plot hide spoiler One last thing that I like, but that contains a major spoiler view spoiler I love that Anna and Luca are still just friends by the end of the book and that their driving need to stay together stems from that friendship Sure, there may be a hint of somethingblooming there, but ultimately, they find comfort in each other as friends and I appreciate that Between their respective ages, and how little they know of each I applaud the author for avoiding the trap of feeling like they must have a romantic relationship to move the plot forward They might have the beginnings of one, but they might not, and in the meantime they trust each other I m all for teen romance, but I think it would be unrealistic in this particular instance I look forward to seeing their relationship platonic or otherwise continue to build in a reasonable way as the series continues hide spoiler In conclusion, I enjoyed the story enough that I will seek out the sequel, but I was disappointed in how dependent this book seems to be on having the next book come out in order to resemble a whole story We have been given just a taste I m all for epic series, but I prefer that they break in places that give some semblance of closure before moving on I hope that the next book, even if it is only the second of many, will providesustenance for the plot I received an advanced reader copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  9. Dearbhla Dearbhla says:

    I d heard of Paul Kearney before, but I d never read him And seeing as he is Irish I figured I really should give him a try so when I saw this in the library I picked it up And I really loved it It s a small story, in a way, the story of one girl making her way in a strange land A refugee who doesn t really remember the home she has left A girl who has lost so much and has no idea where she is going And then she meets Queenie and Luca and maybe she has found a future It is a wonderful ble I d heard of Paul Kearney before, but I d never read him And seeing as he is Irish I figured I really should give him a try so when I saw this in the library I picked it up And I really loved it It s a small story, in a way, the story of one girl making her way in a strange land A refugee who doesn t really remember the home she has left A girl who has lost so much and has no idea where she is going And then she meets Queenie and Luca and maybe she has found a future It is a wonderful blend of historical fiction with myth and fantasy But if you have read the blurb and think this is a book all about C.S Lewis and Tolkien, then think again Yes they make an appearance, but they are cameo roles not starring ones, so in a way I think they shouldn t have been mentioned at all They add colour and atmosphere, and add to the whole world Oxford at the end of the 1920s There s a lot to love in this book The writing is so immersive It s a joy to read The first half is all Anna, only gradually does the supernatural intrude onto her life You may even start to wonder when the story is going to really get started I loved the slow build though It feels like a fairytale before the fairy godmother shows up, all the hard work and none of the magic.The second half is muchmythic in its supernatural aspects Witches and Horned Gods awesome.The ending is a somewhat open, so maybe there is a possibility of a sequel I d be happy if this was a standalone, or if there was a followup I ll certainly be on the lookout forbooks by Kearney in the future.


  10. Jeremy Jackson Jeremy Jackson says:

    A Greek refugee flees with her father to Oxford in the 1920 s, where she first meets two budding authors of the magical, and then magic itself The prose alone garners five stars from me this is a beautifully written work The story is just as good historical fiction, incidentally fantasy, a touch of fable and a touch of faerie The characters of Lewis and Tolkien were respectfully crafted, and felt authentic All told, Wolf in the Attic felt like an homage to the best stories that came out of A Greek refugee flees with her father to Oxford in the 1920 s, where she first meets two budding authors of the magical, and then magic itself The prose alone garners five stars from me this is a beautifully written work The story is just as good historical fiction, incidentally fantasy, a touch of fable and a touch of faerie The characters of Lewis and Tolkien were respectfully crafted, and felt authentic All told, Wolf in the Attic felt like an homage to the best stories that came out of that fantastical, scholarly friendship I feel as though Jack and Tollers would both have enjoyed it immensely