I am quite frankly flabbergasted by all of the positive reviews and recent praise for Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman. The story seemed to have multiple personalities competing for attention, without any one of those personalities successfully doing so. I suppose what was supposed to be the main storyline was that of Grizz Fallon, a father hopelessly searching for answers after his son murdered the Sherriff of their small Minnesota town, prior to walking into a cornfield and shooting himself. Competing with this story was that of the Pastor’s wife, who convinced her husband to move to the small town that her father lived in so many years ago to learn more about her mother. While these stories were supposed to be linked considering the woman formed an odd relationship with the boy Seth prior to the murder, the relationship seemed more than a little forced. As if the tenuous thread between these story lines wasn’t confusing enough, add in a focus on Norse mythology, as well as a fixation on a pack of “little wolves” running around town (somewhat of a misnomer, considering the “wolves” were really just coyotes).
I know all the elements of the story were supposed to blend together in some sort of cohesive fashion – and I guess they did for some people considering the high praise, but they just weren’t meshing together as they should have been for me. I am undeniably not well versed in Norse mythology. I’m not sure if being more informed in that area would have added to my enjoyment of this book or not – I suppose it is possible. However, it is my opinion that appreciation for a piece of fiction targeted at the general public should not be contingent upon expert knowledge in a given area. In this case, I think the author bit off more than he could chew, and the parts of the story that should have been most interesting (for example, understanding why Seth committed murder) were sorely underdeveloped. The ending was anticlimactic, and the novel more or less sputtered out rather than reaching a grand crescendo.
I’d love to hear the opposing positions of those who actually enjoyed this book, but I cannot under any circumstances recommend it myself.
Final Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.