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Lone Wolf (The Oldenglen Chronicles) (Volume 2) Paperback – April 1, 2016
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This laudable tale is more exciting than the series' first, which Mason co-wrote with his father. Handling exposition thoroughly but efficiently, the author dives right into the story to establish the new villains. Noah, et. al., even if mere eighth-graders, are genuinely scary; he and older brother Nate, in a discernible black truck, follow Jackson's bus all the way home. Despite further distress (Jackson's missing porcupine buddy Squiffle) and the occasional menacing animal (a bull elk literally looking for a fight), the narrative's predominantly jaunty. The good guys, for one, are surprisingly skilled at psychological warfare, opting to disturb the bullies' sleep and campsite, which results in hilarious directives: "Send in the moles."  Jackson battles relatable issues, too, including loneliness, feeling like both wolf and human with no real pack of his own. A morally-sound hero who earns sympathy and cheers as a champion of the wildlife.--Kirkus Reviews
***** Five Stars - Human nature, animal instincts, predator, and prey all converge as the hunters become the hunted. The forest comes alive through the eyes of one very special twelve-year-old in Lone Wolf, the second book in a series from Robin Mason set amid the rivers, mountains, and enchanted woods of Oregon. Human nature, animal instincts, predator, and prey all converge as the hunters become the hunted in this installment of the Oldenglen Chronicles. Still adjusting to his family's move from England to America and to his newfound secret life as Jax the Wolf, Jackson begins his career at Bear Creek Valley Middle School without much enthusiasm. After gaining powers from the Gladestone, a mystical red granite pillar hidden in the glen, Jax is now a boy with all the heightened senses and instincts of the canis lupis, able to speak with wild animals. When a gang of bullies threatens to unleash his inner wolf and invade his home, Jax must learn to accept and harness his dual nature while once again defending Oldenglen. The title might refer to a lone wolf, but Jax has an array of colorful sidekicks, allies, and adversaries, both of the two- and four-legged variety, not to mention winged, antlered, fanged, and furry, and while his best friend Sarah makes an appearance, the emphasis is on Jax's fears and internal struggles. When Sarah notes that it's "not easy being a wolf," Jackson rejoins, "Not easy being a human sometimes"-certainly not when confronted by a group of bullies, nicknamed "The Wolf Pack" and led by Noah and his aptly named friend, Hunter. Lone Wolf does an admirable job of highlighting the wonders and harsher realities of nature, including wolves in particular as both predators and protectors. The bullies themselves are a bit over-the-top, though their disturbed stalking and physical and verbal abuse are seemingly forgotten by the conclusion. A variety of entertaining British slang peppers Jax's speech and internal monologues, from well-known phrases like "bloke" and "blimey" to the more obscure "banjaxed" and "billy-o," although this usage seems forced at times, particularly when Jax feels the need to rephrase or elaborate on his word choice. The numerous animals of Oldenglen each have distinct speech patterns as well that facilitate recognition, cleverly giving them distinct personalities with just a few choice words, as with Hoot the owl's penchant for SHOUTY capitals, and Rhubarb the bullfrog's run-on love of the "applegrannyapple." Middle-grade students will relate to Jax's angst as he tries to understand, accept himself, and become comfortable in his own skin while standing up to the mean kids, all while unintentionally impressing the middle-school ladies with his vast knowledge of ornithology. Fans of Erin Hunter's Warriors series who enjoy talking animals and a focus on nature will want to explore the Oldenglen Chronicles with Jax and Sarah--Foreword Clarion Reviews
About the Author
The story behind the series known as The Oldenglen Chronicles, of which Lone Wolf is the second book, came from the time Robin Mason's family was renting a large estate in the Pacific Northwest, many years ago. As a young boy, Robin grew up with the written word. His father, Michael, an English professor and co-author of Oldenglen, the first book in the series, would read to him every night, including such works as the Narnia books, Wind in the Willows, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The third book in the series, Rogue Wolf, will be published later in 2016.
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Top customer reviews
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Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Robin Mason
Star Rating: 4 Stars
Number of Readers: 20
Writing Style: 7/10
Of the 20 readers:
14 would read another book by this author.
12 thought the cover was good or excellent.
16 felt the author was good at handling speech.
10 thought there was excellent pace.
3 felt it was a little slow in parts.
2 (both 9 yr olds) felt it was too scary.
‘This was a very exciting book. I liked the cover too. I thought the middle chapters were a bit slow but the ending was fantastic. A bit scary in parts.’ Boy, aged 9
‘Simple language that worked well with the intended age group. The paragraphs are not too long, and the author excels at balancing description and dialogue. Plenty happens with only a slight lull in the middle chapters. The animal theme also went down well my class.’ Primary school teacher, aged 43
‘This author’s not bad at all. There’s plenty happening for a young reader to enjoy, and I think parents, for the most part, would be happy with the theme. Oddly, and this is unusual for a self-published book, it felt a little too long for the intended readership. A good editor might cut it here and there. Enjoyed it.’ Indie publisher, male, aged 52
‘I read this over a week for the awards. It was fun from start to finish. Now I am going to read the other book in the set.’ Girl, aged 11
‘A thoroughly exciting, fantasy adventure. A Red Ribbon Winner and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Book Two of The Oldenglen Chronicles
"Hunted. That was the sensation: the feeling of being hunted. Hunted down. Terror gripped his wolven side. But even the part of him that was human felt the loss of freedom. He felt suffocated."
For Jackson, being a new student entering the seventh-grade at Bear Creek Valley Middle School in Ashland, Oregon is challenging. Even though English is the common language between the U.S. and England, he feels like an alien in this different land in the foothills of the mountains.
His summer w as an adjustment learning to live with the wildlife in their remote home away from the small town. The magic of nature and this particular place developed into a friendship with the granddaughter of his nearest neighbor and landlord.
Making friends is always a little awkward for Jax. He is comfortable with animals, but teenagers can be a challenge for anyone.
Noah observes Jax holding a wren on his finger in the middle of a group of girls. He states that he is saving the girls and throws the wren against a window.
Jax immediately verbally attacks Noah revealing a part of him that needs to stay hidden. Noah is much bigger and older.
Miraculously, after Jax holds the injured bird, it can fly away. Jax feels relieved. Noah, angry, calling Jax, a Freak. Is Noah jealous of Jax's attention from the girls or did he see something that scared him?
Noah wants revenge. For what, saving a bird? Making him look bad in front of a bunch of girls?
Noah also is good friends with three other boys who like to bully other students. Four against one are not great odds for Jax.
For tweens, having thirty-one chapters is perfect for young readers. Also unique about this series is that the books are boy-oriented. Most literature for this age-group is girl-based.
Lone Wolf is an excellent fantasy adventure for eight to twelve-year-olds. The story is appropriate for tweens with issues of bullying and an overlying theme of friendship. Learning the value of being one with nature and preserving the wildlife and their habitats is also a major component throughout this series.
While recommended for young readers, Lone Wolf has lessons for everyone of all ages.