Behind Blue Eyes (The Last Werewolf Hunter Series Book 2)
After two years, Zach thought he was finally done with werewolves for good. But when a stranger kidnaps him in his own back yard, he quickly discovers that the past isn't quite as dead as he'd like for it to be.
But Zach soon discovers that he is the long foretold Curse-Breaker, the one who is meant to end the werewolf curse forever. . . and his family is ready to fight tooth and nail to stop him.
With the help of his cousin Cameron, Zach finds himself caught up in a vicious struggle to break the Curse before time runs out, a fight which almost costs Cameron his life and threatens to destroy everything Zach has learned to love.
In the midst of his fear and heartache, Zach is forced to decide exactly what he truly cares about, and whether he has the courage to fight for it.
"Behind Blue Eyes" is the second book of The Last Werewolf Hunter, preceded by "Cry for the Moon" and followed by "More Golden Than Day".
The Guru's Review:
Sometimes a sequel or a second book in a series is not as good as the first, as in the movies as well, but in this series, I would say that this is better than the first. I read this in one day, totally absorbed was I.
Woodall takes full advantage of what he established in the first volume and builds upon this very effectively. Everything is revved up in this tome. It instantly takes off where Book 1 finished with more action and suspense, more background revealed about the werewolf curse, its history, and its cure. Zach and his family find themselves in increasing danger as they set out to destroy the curse, leading to a near fatal injury to Cameron. Zach grows up more in this novel and his coming of age continues, his relationship with God, Justin and Eileen deepens, and he shows increasing wisdom and maturity in handling this danger and in trusting God throughout.
While I am on this point of Zach's development, Woodall has this to say as to why he developed Zach the way he did, and the reason he has written this series,
What I always wanted from writing this series is to inspire kids to love God, to be faithful and true to something higher than themselves, beyond just all the material things the world offers. And to show them that being a Christian is so much more than a list of the things you never did.
Well, he has definitely succeeded in having this message underpinning the plot in these two novels. It also gives a glimpse of his own relationship with God. Reading novels such as these for teens/young adults, impresses me greatly as I can now look back and see how much I would have benefitted from novels of this inspiring and encouraging biblical message when I became a Christian at 19 years of age. I applaud Woodall for having a passion to write for this age group and demographic.
I really enjoyed Woodall's development of the history of the curse and the genealogy that goes with it. The latter is outlined nicely in a basic genealogy tree on the author's website. As he explains,
Most of the important characters in my books will be found in these family trees, since all of them are related in one way or another. This is not accidental, since most of them are Curse-Breakers descended from Daniel and Marybeth Trewick, and the Doucets, Bartows, Blacks, and Garzas are all “relatives of relatives”, so to speak.
This is a great move on Woodall's part to have all the characters from all his series related to one another in one way or another, and I checked who the characters are from each series to see where they fitted on these trees. A good aspect of world building that is essential to give a series/or plot depth and credibility. I encourage any reader to check out this website as you read any of his series. You can even listen to the song, Behind Blue Eyes, that is mentioned in the novel and what this novel is titled after!
As mentioned, I loved the spiritual history of the curse. Again, this adds depth and credibility to the plot and gives this series a strong reference point that the series is based on. The cure for the curse is a rather simple biblical principle and does give answer to how the curse is physically broken, and this then forms a large part of the plot in the ridding of this curse and its demonic origin.
Another aspect I loved was the sayings and impressions/perspectives that Zach gives the reader in his narration together with the many pearls of wisdom that Justin has instilled in him that shows evidence of Zach's maturity/coming of age. Reading these gives further insight into the heart and mind of the author as well. I sometimes wonder if Justin is based on the author as an adult and as Zach as a teen!
I only have one issue with this novel. It involves two plot lines. I won't spoil this for the reader, but both involved a reaction from the werewolves after Zach initiated a significant action. The first one was a reaction that I was expecting but did not happen while the other was a reaction that happened that I was not expecting.This latter one did dampen the events after that somewhat. However, overall, these two issues have not lessened to any great extent my overall enjoyment and appreciation of this novel or series.
I would consider this series a great introduction to Christian fiction/fantasy for any teenage/young adult who may be young in the Lord as far as conversion is concerned or needed encouragement in developing their relationship with the Lord.
Looking forward to the next volume in this wonderful series.