Wolf Mark

Wolf Mark

4.0 3
by Joseph Bruchac
     
 

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Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much? Luke just hopes that…  See more details below

Overview

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much? Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants. But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bruchac (Dragon Castle) delivers a fun twist on werewolf stories mixed with some mad science and espionage. Luke King’s black ops father spent years teaching him various survival skills, and Luke’s heightened senses also come in handy. When Luke’s father is kidnapped, Luke discovers that these powers are only the tip of the iceberg. As he investigates his father’s disappearance, Luke learns more about his real heritage as a beast and about the mysterious goings-on at the Maxico corporation, which has set up shop in town. Bruchac adeptly incorporates characters of various heritages: Luke is Native American; his best friend/crush, Meena, is Pakistani; and the Sunglass Mafia—a group of students who are more than they seem—are from eastern Russia. Luke also possesses a hefty amount of cultural and political awareness to go with his combat and espionage expertise, which serve him well (and make him a bit too perfect). There are some minor shortcuts—notably Luke’s inconsistent tendency to disrupt some electrical objects, but not others—but the action and Luke’s narration carry the book nicely. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Lucas King has serious problems: he's still reeling from his mother's death, his father has disappeared into a haze of drugs and alcohol, they're living in a tin can of a trailer, he's in love with a girl from a strict Muslim family, and the new Russian students (aka The Sunglass Mafia) have taken an unwelcome interest in him. To make matters worse, his father gets kidnapped by some very dangerous people and they're coming for Luke, too. But if the bad guys think the teen is an easy target, they're in for a surprise. In addition to being preternaturally strong and fast-just like his dad-he has also been trained from an early age in martial arts and spy craft. His father is a black ops agent and he has given his son skills that would make James Bond jealous. Luke will need all of his cunning, some scary allies, and a little bit of shape-shifting to save his dad. As in Skeleton Man (2001) and Bearwalker (2007, both HarperCollins), Bruchac has created a tense, readable novel. He combines Native American lore, supernatural elements, genetic engineering, romance, geopolitics, and adventure in one story. At times this ambitious mixture stretches credulity, and in the hands of a lesser storyteller the novel would simply fall apart, but the mystery and edge-of-your-seat action are enough to keep readers hooked.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Kirkus Reviews

A loner teen finds himself caught up in a paranormal paramilitary threat—but he has both untapped personal resources and some unlikely allies to help him out.

Ever since his mother died, his father—a sometime Special Ops–type agent who happens to be of Native American descent—has been worse than useless. Lucas just concentrates on doing well in school and mooning over the beautiful daughter of one of the Pakistani scientists working at the new Romanian-owned top-secret facility in town. He goes out of his way to avoid the Sunglass Mafia, a bunch of unusually pale Russian students. But when his father is kidnapped and gives him a coded message by telephone, Lucas discovers that his heritage is more complicated and powerful than he had thought. Bruchac throws an enormous number of plot complications at his protagonist, from a schoolboy crush to filial angst to bioterrorism of a particularly creepy sort to a coming-of-age epiphany with a twist. For the most part, he keeps all the elements working pretty well, but Lucas tends toward introspection, which results in rather more navel-gazing than thriller-readers normally like. But the scenes with the Sunglass Mafia both defy stereotypes and manage to be very funny, and when the action kicks in, it does so in overdrive.

A solid entry into the paranormal market, with an appealingly different hero. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

Publisher's Weekly
Bruchac (Dragon Castle) delivers a fun twist on werewolf stories mixed with some mad science and espionage. . . . Bruchac adeptly incorporates characters of various heritages: Luke is Native American; his best friend/crush, Meena, is Pakistani; and the Sunglass Mafia—a group of students who are more than they seem—are from eastern Russia. Luke also possesses a hefty amount of cultural and political awareness to go with his combat and espionage expertise, which serve him well.
Booklist Magazine
Drawing on Native American traditions and his own lively imagination, Bruchac has written a genre-blending novel that combines horror, science fiction, and adventure into a satisfying whole. The fast pace will hold readers’ attention to the end, which—yes—leaves the door open to the possibility of a sequel.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781600606618
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
745,163
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Joseph Bruchac is an Abenaki Indian. He is among the most respected and widely published Native American authors, with over 100 titles in print, including the popular Keepers of the Earth series and Lee & Low's Crazy Horse's Vision, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. His YA novel, Wolf Mark, is a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award winner. A Rockefeller Fellow and an NEA Poetry Writing Fellow, he was the 1999 recipient of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to writing, Bruchac is an editor at Greenfield Review Press, a literary publishing house he co-founded with his wife. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York.

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