The Wolf in the Whale

The Wolf in the Whale

by Jordanna Max Brodsky


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316417150
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 47,065
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Jordanna Max Brodsky hails from Virginia, where she made it through a science and technology high school by pretending it was a theater conservatory. She holds a degree in history and literature from Harvard University. She lives with her husband in Manhattan, where she is working on her next novel.

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The Wolf in the Whale 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CLynnT 9 days ago
Omat is a tough and able hunter. The only problem is she’s female. Hunters of the Inuit tribes must be male or they’ll anger the Gods. Omat is granted a reprieve until she reaches the age to bleed. Life for her is fulfilling until her blood begins to flow. Omat must comply and live by the strict female rule. The author, Jordanna Max Brodsky, has done tremendous research into the history and evolution of the Inuit tribes. As you read the thoughts, emotions and living conditions of Omat you’ll feel so in tune with her landscape and traditions. Omat is a shaman; she can communicate with the gods. This angle of the book may be a bit far-fetched for some readers but the author is staying true to the Intuits’ belief that the gods of the sun, moon, ocean, etc. must be kept content and happy in order for survival on the earth. Omat makes many trips to the gods, enabling her soul to leave her human body and become whatever creature is needed to move and persist. She listens to and tells many of the folk stories that help explain where they are and how they got there. Due to the belief that women jinx the hunt, Omat is cast from her hunting tribe. In her struggle to survive alone, she saves the lives of 3 wolf puppies. Her life is rewarded many times over for her kindness; these wolves become her only means of survival as she endures the cold and hunger. Just as she’s regaining her powers and strength, a wounded Norseman crosses her path. The first gut reaction is to kill him, but again, she shows compassion and allows him to live. She and her wolves both assist him as he recovers from his wounds. Thus starts the journey of the uncommon group, one Inuit, one Norseman, and three highly intelligent wolves. This book reminds me of the Clan of the Cave Bear, but it’s also very different and unique. If you’re an avid reader of the history and evolution of man, this book will satisfy your hunger. And here ends this tale. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Redhook Books for making it available.)
469480 20 days ago
Readers who enjoy historical fiction might enjoy "The Wolf in the Whale" more than those who enjoy fantasy. This is because the historical and the anthropological aspects drive the story more than the appearances of the gods and the spirits. That is not to say fantasy fans won’t enjoy this book, they might not appreciate it as much as historical fiction fans. This is the author’s first standalone novel. So, readers who are curious about the author should read this novel. Fans of the TV show, "Vikings," and/or the video game, "Never Alone," should find "The Wolf in the Whale" to be a well-structured story with the right amount of cultural elements that makes it more believable than the “what if” concept. The protagonist of this story is also our narrator, who is retelling the events of her life. Omat was born with her father’s spirit as a hunter and with her grandfather’s abilities as a shaman. Hence, Omat is raised and treated as a male by her aunt, her grandfather, and her tribesmen, and she is expected to become the next leader of the tribe much to her cousin’s, Kiasik, chagrin. At the same time, the gods of the world—particularly the Inuit and the Norse—fear the changes to come due to the rise of a new and powerful monotheistic god. Unbeknownst to her, the gods mark Omat as a “threat” for she is expected to bring forth Ragnarök, or the end of the world. The gods’ fear causes Omat’s family to suffer from starvation and isolation. However, anyone who is familiar with myths, legends, and prophecies know that the more anyone tries to prevent a prophecy or an event from happening, the more likely it will occur. Omat’s interaction with her family, other tribesmen, the Vikings, and the gods and the spirits shape her character as she transitions from adolescence to adult. "The Wolf in the Whale" caught my attention due to its description about “clashing cultures and warring gods.” I was not sure what to expect from the novel besides shamans and Vikings. Being clueless, but open-minded about the novel allowed me to read the story as it is, and not what I thought it was going to be. The topics of sex and gender roles, culture, survival, interactions between different groups of people, and family drive the story as much as the history and the fantasy within it. There were times in which, some of the real-time events dragged the story. There were times in which, I wanted more from certain characters, but realized it would have diverted from the protagonist. Overall, "The Wolf in the Whale" is a speculative fiction novel that is a hybrid of fantasy, folklore, history, and anthropology. I was immersed in the story from start to finish. I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys an eclectic mix of genres in fiction.