Whether we like it or not, life is made of stories. Stories told by our parents when we are younger, stories we later pass to our children when we grow up. Stories shared by our elders; by our friends during sunny days, by our lovers, in the middle of the night. Stories so radiant that make us smile blindingly; stories so magnificent that make our skin crawl, stories, that speak of horrendous evils; stories, that make us wonder just why we are here.
But apart from those, there is a special kind of story that I cherish the most.
That story that just talks to you, a story that the moment you read it, your heart claims it as its own and you just know that you will never forget. Stories that are one of a kind.
I don´t have to think twice to know that the story of the wolves belongs to that kind.
I come with tidings of great joy with my review of Brothersong, the fourth and final book in the Green Creek series, one last ode to the Bennett pack, whose ARC I was kindly given by the wonderful author TJ Klune.
Readers beware, even though there will not be spoilers of any kind regarding the book Brothersong, there will be spoilers about Wolfsong, Ravensong, and Heartsong (the first, second, and third book in the series) so if you haven´t read those yet, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and come into this world, let the song of the wolves welcome you, and you shall never regret it.
Author: TJ Klune
Publication date: October 13th, 2020
Main characters: Carter Bennett; Gavin Livingstone; Kelly Bennett; Joe Bennett; Elizabeth Bennett; Ox Matheson (the rest of the Bennett pack too, I´m just mentioning those who had the greatest impact.)
POV: Carte Bennett
Sequel, number in series, or stand-alone? Fourth in the Green Creek Series
Previous book: Heartsong
Following book: Last in the series (I´m not crying, you are.)
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone.
Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity.
But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.
Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.
What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett.
And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.
Just as the title gives it away, and unlike any Green Creek story we´ve seen before, this book is about brothers, the Bennett siblings; the princelings, and the little king.
Carter, Kelly, and Joe.
Brothersong is a book that returns to the beginning of the series, to its very core; it´s told from Carter Bennett´s perspective a man who, before everything else, always considered himself a big brother first, forever protecting his younger siblings. When it came to them, no cost was too high, even if that meant carrying the whole weight of the world on his bare shoulders, he would do it with no hesitation. This fourth book explores the bonds these three share, threads that stretch further than the ones of the Alphas, Betas, and Omegas; how Carter sees them, how their first interactions came to be, how he relies on them to breathe.
And it´s exactly due to this that we get to savor a different, more vulnerable side of Joe Bennett that he kept well-hidden ever since Wolfsong, and at that moment, when he exposes the deepest parts of his soul to his brothers, (you will understand which scene I´m talking about when you read it) I realized just how much I had missed this man, a boy, once described as a little tornado who often gets a bit shadowed by Ox´s magnificence but who´s always been there, carrying the weight of his legacy, the lonely burn of the crown, the pack wouldn´t be without him.
This is a story about brothers, so I just could not fail to mention Kelly and Carter Bennett, those two who represented the real meaning of brotherhood since the very first time Ox found the Bennett pack standing in front of the house, with Joe hanging around his shoulders. They are each other´s tethers and in Brothersong, that can be seen clearly, overall when Carter´s on the road after Gavin; even though Kelly is not there physically, his presence is constant in Carter´s heart.
Kelly Bennett has always been seen as the weakest in the Bennett pack, but I think that the real story is quite the contrary; this wonderful character keeps showing book after book just how brave he is, enduring the hell he did during Heartsong, bringing Robbie back to himself with only his sheer force of will and the very moment that the suffering ends, he has to affront the loss of his brother and best friend, who apparently shares that Bennett family gene of the self-sacrificing bastard syndrome and decided to go half-cocked after the love of his life.
Kelly Bennett, a forced to be reckoned with.
As far as TJ Klune´s character general obliviousness towards obvious love interests goes, I think that Carter is his best work yet, given that he took about three books to realize what was right in front of him. However, to give him a little bit more credit, said love interest was a timber wolf most of that mentioned three-book-lapse. I think it´s fitting.
Regarding this couple, I don´t want to say much, only that I love them forever and that if my heart hadn´t already been stolen by Robbie Fontaine back in Heartsong, Gavin would definitely be my new favorite character in the series. As for the rest, I´ll let you discover it by yourselves on October 13th 🙂
When Thomas Bennett made his final fall back in Wolfsong, we all saw him as the man the pack would´ve liked to remember: a kind, all-knowing soul, who cared for his pack above all things.
But as the series moved forward, new truths arose from this character, raw and unpleasant, truths that made us question everything about him. In Brothersong, this happens more than ever; Carter and his brothers start understanding new things about their father, secrets he kept for far too long until knowing that he had “good intentions” wasn´t enough. Now, I can´t tell you which secrets were, only that there was one in particular that I didn´t feel was necessary, which the story had nothing to gain with and which is not developed much that stained a bond I cherished from the beginning.
I wanted to hate Thomas Bennett, I really did. For his mistakes, his secrets, how blind he was.
But in the end, I just couldn´t bring myself to do it.
Because for each and every one of his mistakes, he loved twice as deeply.
And the other thing is that for the better part of the book, I thought that this was yet a story of parents and sons. That in the end, it always would come back to Thomas Bennett but as I approached the last battle, this book proved me wrong once again and that in fact, what I said at the beginning was true: this is a story of brothers, just not the ones you are expecting.
Pacing & Prose
The first half of the book, was a little bit slower which made it harder to get through. However, I do understand how the little events that didn´t seem to matter much at the beginning, help to build up the explosion that comes in later.
And quintessentially for a TJ Klune book, overall one that belongs to the Green Creek series, we travel through flashbacks to the Bennett pack history, in which TJ manages to handle all these bonds that carry a deepness that goes further into the past from different perspectives in a way that doesn´t overwhelm the reader. It´s sort of a way of “showing” what happened instead of just “telling” it.
Generally, I found this book to be a little bit sadder compared to the rest of the books in the series, I don´t know if it was the nostalgia of knowing that this was the last story I would ever read from the pack, or due to the fact that this time around, we knew that the last battle was coming, hanging on the character´s heads the whole time. Maybe both. But for some reason, for every moment of green, I couldn´t help but feel a blue aftertaste, just a second thought, but it was there.
I think that it´s needless to say that I sobbed my way through half of the book.
Finally, something completely unrelated that I wanted to add is that if you get the chance to read the book whilst listening to the playlist that TJ created himself for it, DO IT. I think that in another life, that man was a movie soundtrack maker or something because that playlist is just perfect, it hits exactly when it´s supposed to, (the angsty parts are even MORE angsty with sad music in the background) and it creates a unique atmosphere for the book. If you´re interested, HERE is the link to the Spotify playlist, and HERE is the instruction that TJ Klune created in his blog of when to play each song.
General review of the series
Something that I love about TJ Klune which is part of what makes him my favorite writer, is how he manages to make everyone feel represented and safe within his pages. No matter who you are or where you come from, Green Creek has a place for you. (Unless you´re a bad wolf. In that case, we kill you without a second thought.)
Throughout these books, TJ Klune managed to not only make me care and suffer for the story and its characters, but to make me feel that they are my own, I can sense the bonds within the packpackpack outside the pages and deep within my bones, when Ox and Joe flash their eyes, I want to follow.
Even though I´m human, even though I am far, far away from Green Creek, I run with wolves.
Even though I sometimes feel lost, I know that when the moon is full and bright and they are singing for the whole world to listen, I´m staring at the same moon, singing back with my whole heart.
Because we are the goddamn Bennett pack.
And our song will always be heard.
If I´m being honest, if I only could, I would just go on and on with my rants of how in awe I´m of Ox Matheson, or how much of a badass queen Elizabeth Bennett is, but I tried to keep the most important points ahead to make a relevant and fulfilling review for you. However, if you are interested in my rants, you can follow me on Goodreads, Twitter, and Tumblr where I like to get a little goofier.
Once again, I wanted to thank TJ Klune for giving me this amazing opportunity. Truly, is one of a kind, I will cherish it forever. And to my friend Sara, the owner of this wonderful blog who kindly shares with me this sector of her space for me to write my reviews.
And remember, even if sometimes feels like it, you´re not alone, there´s always something rooting for you. But if you feel that no one out there is, I would happily be that person, here´s my email if you ever need someone to talk to, I will respond. firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Creek fans, prepare your tissues for October the 13th, you´re in for a wild and beautiful ride.