Wendy reviews Stag and Hound by Geonn Cannon (Published by Supposed Crimes LLC, April 1, 2016, 181 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This is the book for my Pushing Boundaries Review. I would not have normally read a book like this, it’s about war and that is just something that I don’t usually care that much for in a story. I’m really glad that I gave this book a chance though because this is seriously, one of the best written books I’ve read in a really long time.
Blurb: Paris in Winter, 1943.
The Loupin pack is a group of canidae operating as a cell in the French resistance, sabotaging German supply lines and taking out as many German soldiers as they can. After a series of successes, they’re dealt a staggering blow in a surprise attack that leaves their leader, Philip, dead. Philip’s lover, Simon, becomes the pack’s new leader, but the fight has gone out of him. He and the rest of the pack retreat to occupied Paris where he drowns his grief in whatever alcohol can be found in any taverns that are still open. He’s finally pulled out of his stupor by the arrival of a British Intelligence officer named Kenneth Mackay, another canidae who reveals the attack on their cell was not an isolated incident. It was part of a concerted effort by the Germans to clear northern France of any opposition for reasons unknown.
Simon puts aside his grief and sorrow to discover the truth behind Philip’s death. Teaming up with the British soldier, Simon and the pack return to the countryside they abandoned months before. They soon find themselves facing a fierce and cunning enemy whose plans could bring countless deaths and untold destruction.
In this novel set in the world of ‘Underdogs,’ Simon, Kenneth, and the rest of the Loupin pack are the only thing standing between the new darkness and must do everything in their power to stop it… even if it costs their lives.
This book which takes during WWII in France blends the French resistance and werewolves and war into an incredible tale of how a small group of people can and will do whatever it takes to save untold lives.
It starts off with a very descriptive and very gruesome scene that sets the tone for most of the book. Two of the main characters Simon and Sandrine kill two German officers and sabotage train tracks to slow the German forces down. This is where the story got hard for me. The two go home, where Simon’s lover and the leader of their pack Philip is waiting for them. Their home is attacked and bombed and Philip is killed.
The story doesn’t pull punches and I think I was almost as wrecked as Simon about his death. Simon falls apart and Sandrine keeps the small band of resistance fighters together until an operative from Britten, Kenneth joins them. Simon pulls himself together and the team begins to work towards figuring out why the Germans are mysteriously gathering in a small town and trying to find who killed Philip and why the resistance bands throughout the country were targeted. There is a great deal of strategy and planning, mystery and plotting. It is an incredibly detailed account of what it must have been like in that time and place. I could almost feel the fabric of the clothing they wore and taste the food that they carefully rationed themselves.
The characters find comfort and love together but the reader is constantly reminded that this is a story about war with little sentences that say things like, “Time isn’t something we have in abundance.”. Sandrine finds a stunning female lover who has a surprise of her own. Simon and Kenneth are slow to act upon their attraction to each other and I thought the slow build of the relationship between them was one of the best parts of the story. The love both the pairs of werewolves find was both sweet and wildly passionate as they were trying to cram enough love for a lifetime into a short amount of time (war does that). That they barely manage to get the HEA they deserve had me on the edge of my seat.
I thought the author was able to blend WWII history with werewolf lore absolutely seamlessly. A very unique take and surprisingly realistic. I love this book and it’s a pleasure to recommend it to you all. I give it a 10/10.
Geonn Cannon is a male author who grew up in Oklahoma, thousands of miles from the nearest coastline, who found his calling in stories about women who live on an island in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, Geonn became the first male author to win the prestigious Golden Crown Literary Society Award for his novel “Gemini.” In 2015, he won it again for “Dogs of War.” He was also invited to write an official tie-in novel for the television series Stargate SG-1. He is currently working with Tello Films to turn his novel “Riley Parra” into a web series. His first name is pronounced just like “John.”