Heartsong- TJ Klune

What I think? 39926005._SY475_

All Robbie Fontaine ever wanted was a place to belong. After the death of his mother, he bounces around from pack to pack, forming temporary bonds to keep from turning feral. It’s enough—until he receives a summons from the wolf stronghold in Caswell, Maine.

Life as the trusted second to Michelle Hughes—the Alpha of all—and the cherished friend of a gentle old witch teaches Robbie what it means to be pack, to have a home.

But when a mission from Michelle sends Robbie into the field, he finds himself questioning where he belongs and everything he’s been told. Whispers of traitorous wolves and wild magic abound—but who are the traitors and who the betrayed?

More than anything, Robbie hungers for answers, because one of those alleged traitors is Kelly Bennett—the wolf who may be his mate.

The truth has a way of coming out. And when it does, everything will shatter.

Release Date: 22nd October, 2019.

4-5-star

What I think?

What makes a man? If all he knows is stripped away, what is it that remains?

You know what the worst part about being in a slump for two years was? Missing the conclusion of my favorite series as it happened in real life. I’m not gonna lie, I had completely cut myself off of the reading circles, because every time I went there, I just felt like a fake because I really couldn’t bring myself to read anything, and that honestly kind of hurt, but I will not go into that again, since I did expand on all that in my Life Update post.

But last week I heard the call of pack pack pack and I couldn’t just not answer it anymore. So here we are, four books and three novellas later. In some ways, I think I believed that after almost 4 years of having read Wolfsong for the first time, I might love it a little less than I did, that everything I felt for it then might just be the hormones ruling my teenage brain, but no, everything I said in my review for Wolfsong still stands true. It is still the best book in the Green Creek series, and it is still one of my most favorite books ever ever ever. And I think that is kind of how you realize that you really really love a story and a writer. But well I won’t get whimsical here.

I don’t know why, but I kind of wasn’t very excited for Robbie and Kelly’s story you know. I’d finished re-reading Ravensong, made the same complaints about it that I did three years ago, and all I wanted was Carter and the Timbre wolf, and I was very impatient to get over this before I’d even begun the story.

And.. I know I am an idiot. Don’t say anything. ( ̄  ̄|||)

If I did not love Wolfsong like I did, then Heartsong would be my favorite book of the series. No shit. I’ve already read this book thrice in the last week itself, and the only reason I could not give it that half eaten star was because of my own personal reservations that has (almost) absolutely nothing to do with the story, but I digress.

Starting this book and about a chapter in, I was a little confused about the timeline of Heartsong; I don’t know why, but I kept thinking that maybe we were in Robbie’s past and that was just how the story was going to be built. But oh man, I have never been happier (or sadder? I’m a little confused with my state of mind right now) to be wrong.

I’m just putting this warning here for the one person in the world, other than me, who hasn’t read this book, beware my friend, there are spoilers galore from this point on! Also, you really should get on with the program and read this book alright. I will take no liability then if you should suddenly get disowned out of the blue. 

Anyways, let’s get back to the story, shall we?

It turns out that, yes I was wrong, and we were in the present where Robbie was back in Alpha Michelle Hughes’ pack because he had been made to forget both- the Bennet pack and that he was mated to Kelly.

Let that sink in.

I won’t lie, and I’m also not ashamed to admit that my mandible—that’s the lower jaw for those of you normal people who don’t obsess over anatomy—became very intimately acquainted with the floor. I was like how and why and oh my god!

And then it was a minute long endless train of what the fucks in my head, that I shall very benevolently spare you from. And then I was like holy shit they’re mated? When?! Did it happen during Lovesong pt. 1 (that I had skipped in my aforementioned impatience)? I then, promptly proceeded to read Lovesong pt. 1.

I know I’m a dum-dum. Don’t look at me like that. (¬_¬;)

I wanted to be consumed, to feel my flesh tear and bleed onto the earth beneath my feet, to sacrifice myself so that I would know I mattered, would know that I meant something to someone.

There is so much in this book to love, and I will just try to list the few of them—

• Kelly, and how absolutely heart-breaking he was in this book. I could’ve cried every single time he came into the scene if I was someone prone to crying.

• Robbie, and look, he was just so damn relatable that I did not know if I should laugh or not, so I just laughed. Like his reaction to waking up in the basement of a random pack who have kidnapped him, and claim to be his former pack that he was made to forget by evil-witch extraordinaire— he just goes that’s it, I’m out of here bitch and runs, and that is just so fucking epic I don’t know what else to say. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

• There are all these little moments in Robbie’s head when we get such a fantastic study of him coming to terms with his new reality, and just failing at it and lashing out, because he stands so true in his indignant anger over all the bullshit— why did any of this happen to him. And truthfully, it was so brutally honest that I freaking loved it.

• Carter and the Timbre Wolf. Need I say more?

• A villain who was sad over the bad things he was doing but doing them anyways? I love that sort of angst, even if it is just a few lines of it.

• We had a pre-dominantly ace male-lead, and seriously I am all for the ace representation.

• A soft relationship? Between our leads? Where they talk and lay down on each other’s laps and just linger? We will continue this discussion once I’ve found the courage to become something other than a puddle. σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡

There was something… I don’t know. Endless. About you and me.

I guess I could add the writing right there in that neat little bullet list o’ mine, but I believe that TJ’s writing deserves an entire essay dedicated to itself, and since I have no capacity for that right now, I will just paraphrase myself to the very extreme: it was absolutely breathtaking. Like it always is. I’ve read so few authors who have consistently made me laugh out loud and cry in the same book, and he does it again and again, and there’s just something so precious about that.

But I did say I had some reservations, and I cannot be entirely honest in this review if I don’t address them. These are very subjective, so they would not necessarily be something that would needle you, and I feel like you should know that.

• The first thing I really want to complaint about is the thing I complained about in Ravensong as well— the need to break a very tense scene with completely unnecessary jokes. You build up to such an intense situation, for example that scene after the full moon when they’re in the basement and Kelly is losing it at Joe, and Chris and Tanner just keep commenting about how Kelly deserves to yell at everyone, and I’m like, that’s just so unneeded? It’s a situation that intimately involves the Bennet brothers, and some throwaway jokes in midst of that just cheapens a moment that could’ve been very powerful, because almost every time, TJ fails to pick up the tension the same way he did, and the situation defuses for the reader, before it could for the characters. And I just think that it’s a shame. ヾ(  ̄O ̄)ツ

• The second thing that I kind of felt a little lacking was Kelly and Robbie’s relationship. And no, I am not talking about the sex. Sure we get a little montage of the highlights of their relationships when Robbie get’s his memories back, and that’s cute and all, but I thought the purpose of having an amnesiac main character is so that they can, along with the reader, fall in love again with their partner. And we get so little of that that I was kind of left hungry. There was just a taste of what it could be to fall in love in midst of all those complexities, and all you have left is the aftertaste and a vague thought of what it could be. Does it make sense?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wanted a little more relationship development between Kelly and Robbie that what we were given. ☆o(><;)○

• Look, I have read that blog post of TJ’s where he goes over why he did not keep the Green Creek in the Bennet family, and why the first three books are told from outsider’s perspectives, but holy fuck did I need something of this book from Kelly’s perspective! Actually I did not want a something, I wanted a very specific scene about his reaction to when Robbie disappears the first time, and how he dealt with it, and I wanted it from his POV, not something that was relayed in the past tense by another character. We get this in Wolfsong when Ox bites Joe, and then we get one in Ravensong when Gordo and Mark mate, and I just wanted it here, because if there is one book that deserves it, it is Heartsong. o(>< )o

And with that, I conclude all my compulsive criticisms and nonsensical fan-girling over a book that is honestly so good so good, in a series that is everything to me. Σ>―(〃°ω°〃)♡→

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About this author:

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.

And one of those things isn’t true.

(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)

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—Books in this Series—

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2 thoughts on “Heartsong- TJ Klune

  1. Pingback: Ravensong- TJ Klune | Readin' Under Street-Lamps

  2. Pingback: Wolfsong- TJ Klune | Readin' Under Street-Lamps

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