It was a weekend worth remembering; a disastrous attempt at building a fire with wood that just wasn't having it; a carefree jaunt through a flea market that redefined rockbottom pricing; an opportunity to dive headlong into a British paranormal adventures series about that most overdone of angles, lycanthropy. I couldn't be much happier. Okay, in certain respects my weekend camping trip could have gone much better. In others, it was pretty near perfect.
Let's choose to accentuate the positive though. That boils down to the number of stars that are visible in central Pennsylvania, good company making for good times, and Wolven by Di Toft. Before I dive into the depths of joy that Toft's book of a boy and his dog boy brought me, let me just thank my wife and my sister-in-law for pulling me along with them on their trip to the wilds of central Pennsylvania. I don't normally go for the whole roughing it angle. Don't get me wrong. I have no aversion to nature but, as Jim Gaffigan so eloquently put it, "I'd like to keep the relationship professional." You really don't get to see so many stars in my small suburban town. That was hardly the case in the pitch black of the campground I spent a few days in this week. The trick was finding a patch of sky unobstructed by the abundant trees to view the spectacle overhead.
In the daytime, between wrangling with an energetic niece and nephew (a nephew that could run even an olympic marathoner ragged), I read Wolven and what a pleasant reprieve it was. No vampire romances to be found in this one. In fact, neither of the characters are old enough to have any interest in that, though there was the one scene where the two of them were entranced at the carnival by a girl with a swirly gown and wild hair. Instead, this was more akin to Shiloh if Shiloh had been partially human. Toft writes a fair adventure, though I feel somehow uncertain after this first book. I know that there's a second adventure in store for those brave enough to plow forward, but I was kind of expecting the villains to be more lasting. You see, she killed all the baddies by the end of book one. Now she's going to have to introduce a whole new batch of rotten toads for book two. I suppose that's the way it works for some series. Each volume would stand on its own well enough that it wouldn't need a series to back it up.
We'll have to wait on that second one as I haven't seen it in any of my local bookstores, though it claims to be out and ready for reading already. In the meantime, I'm going back to the land of the shrouded night sky. I'll miss the constellations, but home is where your stuff is after all.