Book Review: Cynetic Wolf by Matt Ward

Let’s talk about Cynetic Wolf – because this thing is frickin’ cool!

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Young Adult book like this (as far as I can remember at least, but then again, I remember nothing).

The plot will probably be familiar to most of us: A teenager with special talents – Raek, a half-human, half-animal (wolfish, in his case) hybrid – becomes the focus of a conspiracy, a revolution and a plot to save the world. You know, normal everyday teenage stuff.

It took me a while to get into Matt Ward’s writing style. It’s a first person narrative and there’s a lot internal monologue regarding… Well everything, basically. That might sound weird to point out, because that’s what you expect from a first person POV, right? But sometimes it felt like I was being spoon-fed things that I needed to notice and think about from the protagonist’s perspective.

Anyways, it was a bit exhausting at first, but after a while I got used to it and it’s definitely not a deal breaker in terms of how good the book is.

Years ago, I would have bought this book for the cool animal-human-hybrid thing alone. Short story plot summary – without spoiling anything: In the future this book is set in there are four different factions ruling the world: immortals, cyborgs, enhancers, and the human/animal hybrids of which our protagonist Raek is one. And the hybrids in particular have been suppressed by the three others for ages, but now they’re fighting back!

This sounds super cool – and it is! – but I felt like the whole thing kinda fell flat. Sure, it makes for some cool combat here and there – Raek being wolfish has some claws and fangs going for him – but most of the time it felt like it became a side plot that wasn’t really explored to it’s full potential. It came into play only when we remembered it existed and it never got to shine through properly.

What really made this book however, is the great conspiratorial game that’s being played here. It reads like a top-shelf political thriller and by the end I was completely enthralled. I didn’t think about the YA or the sci-fi aspects anymore, because it almost didn’t matter. The intrigue and plot twists is what makes this book!

So, if you’re looking for an excellent political thriller that’s also a YA sci-fi adventure, with cool future tech and animal-human hybrids, then Matt Ward is definitely your guy!

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