Title: Paradise (Island Wolfman, #1)
Author: Brannan Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Characters: Ari, Zach
POV: First Person
Marooned. Alone with only the voices in my head — and an island full of sex crazed wolfmen… They call this Paradise? Really?
What started out as a romantic cruise — a last ditch effort to save our fading marriage — turned ugly when my wife, Cecily, dumps me off me on an island in the middle of the Caribbean. To be fair, the virus was turning the men into monsters. All the men got left behind, to keep the women safe. But did she have to look so happy to get rid of me?
Immune to the virus that’s ripped our world apart, I’m the only human left on this damnable island. I’m a slightly neurotic forty-year-old college professor playing Robinson Crusoe on the Island of Dr. Moreau.
“Oh please, Ari. You’re far from Robinson Crusoe. He was a real man.”
Oh, and my wife? She’s still nagging me, if only in my mind. And now there’s a certain wolfman after me who just doesn’t understand I’m not looking to switch teams. Then there’s the heat and humidity, wild wolfmen ready to attack, and a hurricane looming on the horizon.
The premise of this book was hard for me to swallow. While on a cruise, the main character, Ari, is abandoned on a remote island. He and all the other male passengers from the cruise ship are being quarantined due to the infestation of a virus that turns them all into wolfmen. For some reason, Ari is immune to the virus.
Ari, a forty year old married, heterosexual college professor, has to learn some survivalist skills in order to care for himself and stay alive. He also struggles to steer clear of the pack of wolfmen, whom he regards as cannibalistic savages.
When Ari is captured by the pack, he quickly discovers that the wolf men are not a threat to him. They welcome him into their group and are eager to learn from him. He teaches them skills to help them improve. In the process, he falls in love with one of the pack leaders, Zach.
Throughout the story, Ari is plagued by an internal mental dialogue. He constantly hears the voice of his ex wife in his head, harping at him for everything he does. He argues with her as she mocks and ridicules him for his homosexual attractions, and repeatedly he denies them and acknowledges how disgusting the mere idea of sex with another man (or man-like wolf)actually is.
Eventually he caves into his primal desires and has sex with his half-human partner. They become mates and the story ends at a point where there is a setup for a sequel.
It was an interesting read, but I really had difficulty suspending disbelief. This is perhaps a very subjective analysis based upon my own taste, coming from someone who does not often read books within this sub genre.
Reviewed By: Jeff