Book description: When Simon Burns is fired from his job without warning, he takes on the role of stay-at-home dad for his three-year-old son. But his reluctance pushes his already strained marriage to the limit. In the nestled playgrounds of the Upper West Side, Simon harbors a simmering rage at his boss’s betrayal.
Things take a turn when he meets a tight-knit trio of dads at the playground. They are different from other men Simon has met, stronger and more confident, more at ease with the darker side of life- and soon Simon is lured into their mix. But after a guys’ night out gets frighteningly out of hand, Simon feels himself sliding into a new nightmarish reality.
As he experiences disturbing changes in his body and his perceptions, he starts to suspect that when the guys welcomed him to their “pack,” they were talking about much more than male bonding. And as he falls prey to his basest instincts, Simon must accept that werewolves exist if he is to turn the tides of his fortune…
Review by Vicky: Normally when I write up a review I have a clear idea of how I feel about the book but with The Pack that isn’t the case. I know it may sound strange but even though I couldn’t put it down I’m still not sure that I really enjoyed it. I have mixed feelings as on some occasions I found I was questioning the sanity of the characters and at others I was really happy that things were working out for them.
When we first meet Simon he isn’t having the best time of it. He’s just been fired from his job and his relationship with his wife is on the rocks. He is lonely and a depressed and is struggling with his new role as a stay-at-home dad. His relationship with his wife seems very genuine and was written in such a way that you could understand the situation from both his and his wife’s perspective.
Simon is so angry over the way he has been treated by someone he thought of as a friend that not only is he trying to deal with losing his job he is also coming to terms with how lonely he feels. He is craving the companionship and understanding that seems to be missing from his life. When Simon meets Ramon, Charlie and Michael he feels a connection to them as they appear to be in a similar situation to him and the friendship he develops with them gives him the confidence that he has been missing in his life.
Charlie and Ramon appear to be nice people but it is obvious early on that they are easily manipulated by Michael. Michael seems like a stuck up arsehole that can’t be bothered to talk to people with respect and acts like he believes he’s a superior being. When he meets Olivia I was shocked that this supposedly strong woman was letting this person, who she had only just met, treat her so disdainfully. I presume the reason behind everyone’s reaction to Michael is some sort of animal magnetism that he supposedly has – I can’t think of any other reason that these people would let someone talk to them like fools.
It was the subtleties throughout the story that saved it for me. And they seemed to out shine the obvious throughout the whole story. The world building is understated with us only finding out the reality of what is happening near the end of the book. The slight changes to Simon’s appearance take a back seat to the other changes he experiences which kept me guessing and considering alternatives to the reasons that were being hinted at. The ending came as a shock as I was not expecting the direction that it took and I am wondering where this is now going to go.
3 ♥ ♥ ♥ ½