The Wolf in the Whale
A sweeping tale of clashing cultures, warring gods, and forbidden love: In 1000 AD, a young Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior become unwilling allies as war breaks out between their peoples and their gods-one that will determine the fate of them all."There is a very old story, rarely told, of a wolf that runs into the ocean and becomes a whale."Born with the soul of a hunter and the spirit of the Wolf, Omat is destined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps-invoking the spirits of the land, sea, and sky to protect her people.But the gods have stopped listening and Omat's family is starving. Alone at the edge of the world, hope is all they have left.Desperate to save them, Omat journeys across the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world...or save it.

The Wolf in the Whale Details

TitleThe Wolf in the Whale
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 29th, 2019
PublisherRedhook
ISBN-139780316417150
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction

The Wolf in the Whale Review

  • Jes Reads
    January 1, 1970
    After taking a few days to have a good cry now that I've finished this book I think it's time for me to sit down and finally give everyone my full review. There is also a scheduled video review of this going up on my Youtube channel this week if you're interested in watching me attempt to not cry for 15 minutes. Thank you to Hachette Books for sending me an early copy for my honest review. Now to get into what I truly thought of this book. Often I struggle to put how I'm feeling about a book int After taking a few days to have a good cry now that I've finished this book I think it's time for me to sit down and finally give everyone my full review. There is also a scheduled video review of this going up on my Youtube channel this week if you're interested in watching me attempt to not cry for 15 minutes. Thank you to Hachette Books for sending me an early copy for my honest review. Now to get into what I truly thought of this book. Often I struggle to put how I'm feeling about a book into words that can truly convey how I'm feeling. The Wolf in the Whale left me so gutted that you'll have to excuse any kind of rambling that may follow.The Wolf in the Whale is a story about Omat and her Inuit tribe. They fear the old gods, living their lives plagued by hunger and death. But a shining star arises from their tribe and that would be Omat herself. Of her tribe she suffers the most. Raised a boy in her tribe, imbibed with the spirit of her dead father, she takes on the roll of both hunter and woman. Omat's internal struggles attempting to decipher what it means to be either and which one is stronger truly speaks to what it means to be alive today, even if this book takes place 1000 AD. She has seen so much and lived and she is an inspiring realistic character. It's not often I find female MCs that I'm in love with and I'm definitely in love with her.I love that this story has so much mythology in it. We have Omat's gods, the Viking god's and even Christ. It is so rich with lore. The gods only exist as long as people believe in them and watching them struggle to keep hold of their people was very interesting. The story takes place mostly in the arctic so much of the story centers around imagination, yet Jordanna does such a stellar job setting up the story and bringing the characters to life that it paints a beautiful picture in your mind. I was honestly so blown away by the amount of research our author must have had to do and how beautifully she executed it.I avoid spoilers in all of my reviews, but if you want a bit more information there will be a video going up soon for this as well! I honestly could not put into words how much I loved this book. It took me a few days to be able to process my feelings and put down the tissues long enough to write this review. This is one of my favorite books of 2018 and easily one of my favorite books I've ever read. I feel that the Inuit representation in this was done spectacularly however I am not Inuit and would love to see some own voices reviews. If you know of any please let me know.All in all this book was simply stunning. Magical, heartbreaking, and beautiful. It has been a long time since I have read a book that truly ruined me. I loved it and I think everyone should read this, but especially if you're wanting more Inuit rep or you're interested in mythology!
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    5 of 5 star at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/01/29/...I expected to enjoy The Wolf and the Whale, but what I was not prepared for was how completely it swept me off my feet. In this stunning masterpiece, Jordanna Max Brodsky weaves a cinematic tale of adventure and survival, blending history, mythology and timeless romance. All of this is set to the epic backdrop of the Arctic wilderness at a time of great change towards the end of the first millennium.Our story follows Omat, 5 of 5 star at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/01/29/...I expected to enjoy The Wolf and the Whale, but what I was not prepared for was how completely it swept me off my feet. In this stunning masterpiece, Jordanna Max Brodsky weaves a cinematic tale of adventure and survival, blending history, mythology and timeless romance. All of this is set to the epic backdrop of the Arctic wilderness at a time of great change towards the end of the first millennium.Our story follows Omat, a young Inuit girl born into her tribe during a time of tragedy. But in death, her father gave his daughter his strong hunter’s soul, and the spirits sent the Wolf to watch over the child so that she would survive. Omat’s grandfather, a wise shaman, recognized the gift in her and believed that she was meant to follow in his footsteps, so he raises her as a boy to hunt and protect her people, while also teaching her the ways to commune with the spirits.However, as Omat grew, some in her group began to question her role, concerned that the spirits are angered by the taboo of a woman hunting. Their people are starving, and with no new children being born, they are slowly dying out. So, when their group happened to come across another Inuit band on the ice one day, Omat and her grandfather thought for certain that their prayers have been answered.Sadly, they could not have been more wrong. As Omat finds her entire sense of identity unraveling, her life is also now in danger because of the newcomers. But an even greater threat looms on the horizon, in the form of a group of Norse explorers bringing only violence and death. As the gods and spirits of multiple pantheons look on, Omat must find common ground with an unlikely ally and embark on a perilous journey together that will determine the fate of both their peoples.The Wolf in the Whale is a coming-of-age story unlike any other. It is also about a meeting of two cultures. Told in gorgeously lush prose, this tale unfolds over a number of years, though most of it follows Omat’s life through her young adulthood. Painstakingly researched, as evidenced by the author’s extensive notes on the historical period, the setting was brought to life with incredible attention to detail. Like her first trilogy, Olympus Bound, Brodsky’s new novel perfectly balances myth and reality in an exquisite cocktail of facts and fantastical elements, creating a world infused with magic and folklore. Here you can read about the Norse gods, as well as Inuit traditions of animism and shamanism.There is also much I would like to say about Omat. This is the story of her struggle to overcome many hardships, some horrific, but she manages to emerge a stronger and more determined person each time. Though her lessons in loss have been huge, they have also shaped her in ways that were fascinating to watch. Readers get to witness her transformation from an overconfident and short-sighted youth to a more levelheaded adult who has come to realize that no fate is set in stone—and one should never take anything, or anyone, for granted.Omat’s journey was also an exploration into gender roles that I found unexpectedly well-balanced and insightful. Our protagonist begins this tale as a proud, almost arrogant shaman-in-training who revels in her special place in the group, disdaining women’s work and the female body because she believes them to be weak. Raised as a boy in a girl’s body, all Omat wanted was to become a man—until the spirits turned on her and took away her magic, leaving her untethered and her future in doubt. Over the course of this novel, Omat gradually reconciles herself to her new path, learning to appreciate the strength and skills of a woman, ultimately embracing both the masculine and the feminine, because as in all things, life requires balance.Speaking of which, one of the most significant events in this book is Omat’s meeting with Brandr, a Viking warrior with whom she develops a complex relationship that teaches her more about that balance, as well as how to trust and love. I’m a sucker for stories about disparate strangers from worlds apart who come together and form a deep bond, so it was no wonder that I found myself completely enthralled by these two. Plus, what a delightfully interesting little family they made along with Omat’s three companion wolves; I simply could not get enough of their interactions together.In short, I think I have my first real contender for my list of best books of 2019. No surprise that it came from the imaginative mind of Jordanna Max Brodsky, who has impressed me before with her stunning prose and expert storytelling. With the courageous Omat at the story’s heart and a beautifully rendered world filled with magic, myth and history, The Wolf in the Whale is a novel that will enchant and captivate fantasy and historical fiction fans alike.
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  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
    January 1, 1970
    “Why would I continue life as a man trapped in a girl’s body when I could just as easily fly into the heavens or run with the wolves?”Imagine a world so breathtakingly beautiful and dangerous, so hard and cold and brutal, yet bristling with colors that will never be brighter and enormous landscapes unmarked by the will of humankind. In this world, every step could be your last, and every breath is spent in the fight for survival.I must praise Brodsky on her inimitable style and writing technique “Why would I continue life as a man trapped in a girl’s body when I could just as easily fly into the heavens or run with the wolves?”Imagine a world so breathtakingly beautiful and dangerous, so hard and cold and brutal, yet bristling with colors that will never be brighter and enormous landscapes unmarked by the will of humankind. In this world, every step could be your last, and every breath is spent in the fight for survival.I must praise Brodsky on her inimitable style and writing techniques that really make this book shine. There's one aspect in particular I'm referring to and it's the bold and heartbreaking moves that I believe really work to this book's advantage. Brodsky wrote this book in such a unique and powerful way that really strengthens the storyline and our connection to the characters. I wish I could say more, but I'll leave it at this. The way Brodsky tells the story feels more personal, and it allows Omat to draw more conclusions, think more clearly on past events and how she felt at the time and what she was thinking etc..Omat was born with a man's spirit in a woman’s body. When she took her father's name, Omat, she also inherited his spirit and is raised as he had been. The main character is even called Little Son by her father who is technically her grandfather, she’s confused on why she’s not growing facial hair like the young men around her. She always believed she’d become a great hunter, take a wife, and father children. No one ever questioned her maleness until well, a certain scene in this book. I will go no farther.But this makes her question everything she believed in. Including becoming the strong shaman for her people.Now that statement brings in our magic system and I don’t even like calling it that because it’s so incredibly spiritual and moving but it centers around animal transformations and Gods. To become a shaman which grants you that power, Omat must go on a treacherous journey to find her spirit guide. Now there is one rule you must follow with this responsibility and that is you must save your powers for the most direst circumstances.Unfortunately the spirits have stopped listening and have different plans for her. World mythologies can be tricky, in my opinion. They're alive, well-known, interesting by themselves. Choosing to use them as a retelling can become a boomerang in the hands of an incompetent author. Naturally, this isn't the case here. Brodsky takes the Norse and Inuit legends and transforms them into a beautiful and poetic story in a vast cold and brutal landscape. Stakes are risen at every turn and you will find yourself flipping the pages and wanting more in the end. This is a FANTASTIC novel and I am proud to display this on my favorites shelf.
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  • Nils | nilsreviewsit
    January 1, 1970
    ‘I am no longer scared of being a woman — it doesn’t make me any less a man. I am both. I am neither. I am only myself.’🐺The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky is the story of a young Inuit shaman, living on the edge of the world, trying survive in a devastatingly hostile environment. WOW! This was one powerful, dark, atmospheric but absolutely beautiful read, and one I fell in love with instantly.🐺The world building in this book was incredible, I could really appreciate the amount of res ‘I am no longer scared of being a woman — it doesn’t make me any less a man. I am both. I am neither. I am only myself.’🐺The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky is the story of a young Inuit shaman, living on the edge of the world, trying survive in a devastatingly hostile environment. WOW! This was one powerful, dark, atmospheric but absolutely beautiful read, and one I fell in love with instantly.🐺The world building in this book was incredible, I could really appreciate the amount of research that was shown here. The barren landscape of the Arctic was so well described, and I loved the inclusion of the animals found there, most of all the WOLVES!! Brodsky’s prose was a real pleasure to read. She fantastically weaved together so much culture and mythology, and spiced it all with such a melancholic tone, which really made me feel for the main character, Omat. A word of warning; there are definitely some dark scenes in this, but I felt that they were needed and were not written for merely shock value, or filler. Every scene just portrayed how threatening life was.🐺I adored the two main characters, Omat and Brandr. Through Omat we explore gender and identity. In Inuit culture there were traditional male roles and female roles; for either gender to not conform to these roles would be seen as breaking an ‘agliruti’ (a taboo). As Omat is born in a female body but has the spirit of a man inside her, she is raised as a man; she participates in hunting, usually a male role. In a way this is a coming of age tale as we see Omat trying to grow and find a balance between her womanly body and her male spirit, and how she can use both and be comfortable with her own identity. I just loved her, she had so much strength!🐺Through Brandr, we see he shares a similar struggle with himself. Being part of a Viking clan, a culture that thrives on war and destruction, and wanting very little part in it all, made his character so interesting. Brandr is not perfect, he’s done some terrible things, but to see him try to come to terms with his past was really quite emotional.🐺My favourite scenes were definitely where the mythology of Inuits and Vikings played a heavy part. The ‘angakkuq’ (shaman) of the Inuit tribe could invoke Spirit animals, speak to them and transform into spirit animals themselves. There were Moon, Sun, Air and Sea gods that the Inuit’s worshiped, their stories were so fascinating. Then we had VIKING GODS too, such as Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki! I adored how Brodsky brought these cultures together, it made for one fantastic ending!🐺I believe that the main theme of this book reflected on the power of storytelling and the power of belief. Once we learn to believe in ourselves, believe in our inner strength and shape our own story that’s when we are truly free, and that’s what I loved about this book.Thank you to Orbit for providing me a free copy in exchange for a honest review. The Wolf in the Whale is published in the UK on 31st January 2019, so it’s out now!!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    You should read this book. In fact, don’t even bother with my review, spend that few minutes getting the book instead and then reading it! Ciao!…OK, you’re still here :) Need more convincing? Not a problem! Well, first of all, I would like to say that this book is quite ‘dark’ in nature. I mean, literally, the Sun disappears for quite a while far up in the North… but… If you’re sensitive to the more cruel side of life and nature then you won’t manage to handle it in places. People (old and young You should read this book. In fact, don’t even bother with my review, spend that few minutes getting the book instead and then reading it! Ciao!…OK, you’re still here :) Need more convincing? Not a problem! Well, first of all, I would like to say that this book is quite ‘dark’ in nature. I mean, literally, the Sun disappears for quite a while far up in the North… but… If you’re sensitive to the more cruel side of life and nature then you won’t manage to handle it in places. People (old and young) and animals (furry, fluffy and feathered) die in this book. You’re warned! It does get occasionally very grim!But…On the other hand, this book is structured perfectly around its historical, mythological Inuit/Viking theme where the plot takes us on a journey from the very beginning to the end… like one big circle… You’re born, you live, you die and you’re born again… that kind of way awesome! And every part of this journey is important! The Inuit way of life- so natural and common sense and down to earth and even a bit otherworldly as it tiptoes to the spiritual side; with its stories of spirits- well, I was left positively breathless. This book is everything! I definitely read myself into 2019 with a masterpiece that now sits firmly as my favourite for decades to come!I even read all of the author’s notes in the end where she explains the research and work and effort that has gone into this book over a decade and I just want to… I don’t know, erect a monument for Jordanna! Yes, she has taken some artistic license with the historical facts, culture and mythology but she knows it, admits it and points it out, and as far as a fictional work- I think Jordanna has done herself well proud here. They say that from the first moment I took my first breath, I have lived between many worlds- between Sun and Moon, man and woman, Inuk and animal. This story is about Omat… about her birth and how she inherits her fathers soul and how her grandfather raises her as a boy to become a man and an angakkuq (shaman). And what a story this is! Spanning many years of Omat’s life. All these years of life that fit within them the challenges she faces with her own people being who she is, the challenges she faces when she meets threatening strangers (Norse vikings) and the challenges she faces when the gods interfere!I was apprehensive throughout this book… With the inclusion of Norse mythology (Thor, Odin, Loki, etc) alongside Inuit beliefs and culture, the clash and contrast in between the 2 were striking. The implications of new people arriving to new lands bringing their own religion, perhaps even the desert walking Christ, were setting the whole story up for doom and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of solutions Omat brought to the table in order to save her own people. The whole story, the plot is set up perfectly to make her character shine in the rich story-telling and she is someone you really learn to respect and love early on.The Viking warrior Brandr that Omat meets is an interesting addition overall and his role is carefully considered and crafted by the author. Brandr also opens up the possibility for a bit more playful dialogue, which I really enjoyed! And yet, he has to work hard to gain the love and trust from both Omat and the reader. I found him intriguing and myself solid jealous of Omat for having his company! ^^The story is not something you sit down and zoom through with speed. This story is meant to be savoured. Sure, of course, once I started reading this book I didn’t want to stop but by the gods, I lapped up every word, every mythological story and element. Every setting and scene and piece of dialogue creating a seamless and vivid picture. I don’t know, this book and the story just makes me feel like when I read it, I was looking at the sky and saw the Universe… that kind of way! The whole picture! Simply precious! So precious it makes me want to weep with adoration! An Inuk planned for the future; a wolf lived in the now. So, yes, there are hardships and death and war and revenge and the bloody Ragnarok. But they are all the obstacles that life would always place in front of every living being anyway.. well, kind of. I’m taking my own artistic license here! You get the gist- there is no good without the bad, ever. There is no easy or simple without the hard and the difficult, ever. There is only the way we accept the lot given to us and the way we decide to deal. There is some wisdom in this book and there are sacrifices but there is also the lesson of love and loyalty and doing the right thing!Just… Get this book. Read this book!
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  • kath | novelandfolk
    January 1, 1970
    The Wolf in the Whale was a book that I expected to enjoy but found myself surprised by how much I ended up loving! so many feels - this book is grim, brutal, heartbreaking. the wolf in the whale is a powerful exploration of survival in the most barren of landscapes, family loyalty, and gender fluidity in a time that afforded no leniency for challenging the established ways.these characters, especially omat and brandr, got under my skin and spoke to me deeply. i’ve never read anything like omat, The Wolf in the Whale was a book that I expected to enjoy but found myself surprised by how much I ended up loving! so many feels - this book is grim, brutal, heartbreaking. the wolf in the whale is a powerful exploration of survival in the most barren of landscapes, family loyalty, and gender fluidity in a time that afforded no leniency for challenging the established ways.these characters, especially omat and brandr, got under my skin and spoke to me deeply. i’ve never read anything like omat, an Inuit with a female body who has inherited the soul of her dead father. it was completely fascinating to experience Inuit spiritual beliefs through her character.the Inuit and Norse cultures are meticulously researched and etched out in intricate detail with many magical elements mixed in, making this a book for history and fantasy lovers alike. i am of the opinion that we need much more aboriginal and non-binary rep like this and I am so very full of appreciation for this beautiful tale.now please excuse me, i’m going to go have a nice long cathartic cry.{trigger warning for graphic violence and rape.}4 starsthank you to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.<\I>
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Full review is here on my blog!~Wow. This book.I’m not sure how I’m going to sum this up, because this book gave me all kinds of the feels.This is the story of Omat, who is a young Inuit hunter and apprentice shaman. As there are very strong taboos about women hunting and women being shamans in Omat’s culture, this is a bit of a difficult situation. Omat holds her father’s spirit, and as such, she is raised like a boy, in fact she doesn’t even realize that she is physically a girl until she’s te Full review is here on my blog!~Wow. This book.I’m not sure how I’m going to sum this up, because this book gave me all kinds of the feels.This is the story of Omat, who is a young Inuit hunter and apprentice shaman. As there are very strong taboos about women hunting and women being shamans in Omat’s culture, this is a bit of a difficult situation. Omat holds her father’s spirit, and as such, she is raised like a boy, in fact she doesn’t even realize that she is physically a girl until she’s ten or so. Nevertheless, it is decreed that until she bleeds, she has the spirit of a man, and is therefore a man, and can hunt seals and walrus for her small family. And everything is fine, until strangers arrive and throw everything into chaos. Eventually, chaos brings Omat face to face with people she has never seen before. This one took me a little while to really get into. The beginning is a coming of age story, and while I don’t dislike those, and Omat does indeed have a very non-typical coming of age, I still found myself not really 100% sure of how I felt about her character. But I kept on going, because this book sounds very interesting indeed from the blurb.And suddenly it was 3am, I couldn’t put this book down, I was having a bit of a cry, and I realized that I was a bit hooked on it. This book is really hard to put down once you pick it up.The prose was lovely, and it was a very well written book. There must have been quite a lot of research involved, and it was all very well put together. There is a fair deal of Inuit language and folklore involved, as well as Norse folklore and mythology and it was truly fascinating to read a fantasy story based in both cultures and how the two peoples are very different but not completely. It’s a bit of a difficult read at times, and I mean that in that Omat… generally does *not* have a good time of things in this one. There are some tough subjects at times, like sexual violence, violence against infants and children, and just general violence. But none of this stuff ever seemed like it was in there as a plot device or something bad that happens for badness’ sake. It also uses the idea of gender and what makes a person male or female in an interesting way. It felt very realistic, as far as historical arctic-set fantasy with gods and magic can be. When Omat crosses paths with the Norse, and spends time with Brandr, learning about him and his people, this one only got harder and harder to put down. Even with frequent breaks, I plowed through this one in just short of 3 days, and it’s not a short book. The last 1/4 of this book had me in tears. Teeeeaaaarssss!All told, I really liked this one. There were times that I wasn’t sure if I’d have to stop. As I’ve mentioned, sometimes books that have heavy themes make me a little antsy, and I have to take many breaks to avoid getting a little too ramped up. This was one of those books (it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last) but at the same time, it was one that I always, always went back to as soon as I could.Really well done! I loved it.Many thanks to the author, as well as Redhook via NetGalley for the review copy.
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  • Holly (The Grimdragon)
    January 1, 1970
    *Review originally published on Book Fantasy Review*"There are few sounds at night on the frozen sea besides the roar of the wind. No plants to rustle, no waves to crash upon the shore, no birds to caw. The white owl flies on hushed wings. The white fox walks with silent tread. Even Inuit move as softly as spirits, the snow too hard to yield and crunch beneath our boots. We hear little, but what we do hear is vital: the exploding breath of a surfacing seal, the shift and crack of drifting ice. B *Review originally published on Book Fantasy Review*"There are few sounds at night on the frozen sea besides the roar of the wind. No plants to rustle, no waves to crash upon the shore, no birds to caw. The white owl flies on hushed wings. The white fox walks with silent tread. Even Inuit move as softly as spirits, the snow too hard to yield and crunch beneath our boots. We hear little, but what we do hear is vital: the exploding breath of a surfacing seal, the shift and crack of drifting ice. But in the forest there is always sound. The trees, even in their shrouds of snow, are alive, and their voices--groans, creaks, screams--never cease."I am so happy this was my first read of the new year! It is absolutely stunning. Oof.The Wolf in the Whale is based around the recorded events of the Norse explorer Leif Erikson and how around the same time, the Inuit people were heading on their own expedition.Our main focus is on Omat, an Inuit shaman who is fighting for the survival of her people. Even though she is a powerful angakkuq (shaman) who can take the forms of her animal spirit guides, it is not enough to feed her tribe.Chaos ensues. Bad shit happens.Along the way, Omat crosses paths with Brandr, a Viking warrior. Their cultures may clash, but they soon learn that to survive, they will need to work together.The setting is beautiful and fucking brutal. It takes place in a frozen tundra in 1000 AD at the edge of the world, which we now know as Arctic Canada. Jordanna Max Brodsky is a brilliant storyteller. The world-building shown here is captivating with the juxtaposition of history, magic and culture. The prose is lovely and engaging. The imagery is detailed and just so striking. You can feel the icy cold air on your face, your fleeting breath twirling in misty clouds, the crunch of the hard packed snow as you walk.. you cannot help but become absorbed into this atmospheric tale that is draped in melancholy."They say that from the moment I took my first breath, I have lived between many worlds--between Sun and Moon, man and woman, Inuk and animal."Brodsky explores the idea of sexuality, gender and identity in such a fluid way through Omat's story. It's a beautiful examination on how not everything has to fit into one narrow box placed in front of you. You can instead create your own box.Omat was born in a female's body, but her family believe that she inherited her dead fathers soul, so she lives as a boy. As you can imagine, the gender roles were even more strict back then and so, this becomes a major issue when another band that may be able to help her struggling tribe tries to force her to live as a woman.This is not an easy read. It slowly builds and then you find yourself clawed at, something ravaging your emotions. There are.. there are incredibly difficult scenes throughout this. Rape, animals dying, physical violence.. but it never, ever feels gratuitous. The climate is harsh and so is the life lived.The Wolf in the Whale is a journey. One filled with magic, mythology and adventure. I fell wicked hard for Omat! She is such a formidable character. Her personal trajectory is truly something special to behold. It's about finding fulfillment in your life and ultimately, what it means to be our authentic selves.This book more than proves that Brodsky was not only deeply inspired by the Inuit and rich Norse mythology, but that she put in immense effort and research. The respect and care with which she told this is breathtaking. Such a gorgeous story filled with violence and heartache and hope. I sobbed when this ended. Sobbed.This epic, sprawling standalone fantasy novel should not be missed. It will be one that stays with me for quite some time, certain scenes will continue to haunt me long after that.(Big thanks to Redhook & Orbit Books for sending me a copy!)**The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this, especially as a breath of fresh air in the fantasy books I've been reading in the last year. I absolutely adored the Inuit & Viking lore interwoven to create the magic system & fantasy world. I loved the characters, and was delighted to see the exploration of fluidity in Omat's gender identity. That was definitely an unexpected thematic element to this 1000AD era fantasy world, and I thought the author's unraveling of Omat's feelings about her own status as both ma I really enjoyed this, especially as a breath of fresh air in the fantasy books I've been reading in the last year. I absolutely adored the Inuit & Viking lore interwoven to create the magic system & fantasy world. I loved the characters, and was delighted to see the exploration of fluidity in Omat's gender identity. That was definitely an unexpected thematic element to this 1000AD era fantasy world, and I thought the author's unraveling of Omat's feelings about her own status as both man and woman was really well handled. The writing in this was lovely, the action scenes were handled nicely, and I loved the slow unspooling of the romance between Omat & Brandr. The only thing that docks this down for me is pacing - I thought it was rather uneven, with some stretches going by so slowly and then other bits flying by too quickly. Other than that, I really enjoyed my time in this world and would recommend for someone looking for a change of pace from a lot of other hyped fantasy coming out this yearAlso, definite CWs on explicit depictions of violence, including sexual violence
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  • Nigel
    January 1, 1970
    In brief - Well crafted and clever story telling. 4.5/5 In fullI found the start of this very intriguing. It is about the birth of Omat's, the main character. We are in the land of ice with an extended family of Inuit and in a time of gods and legends. Omat will become a shaman like Ataata, her grandfather. With these powers she can talk to and see the gods. However when they stop listening to her why is it that a number of gods continue watching her with such interest?While the setting for this In brief - Well crafted and clever story telling. 4.5/5 In fullI found the start of this very intriguing. It is about the birth of Omat's, the main character. We are in the land of ice with an extended family of Inuit and in a time of gods and legends. Omat will become a shaman like Ataata, her grandfather. With these powers she can talk to and see the gods. However when they stop listening to her why is it that a number of gods continue watching her with such interest?While the setting for this story is largely the frozen north I found that the landscape did not dominate. The book is descriptive in some ways as the sense of isolation of the small extended family group is powerful. There are a number of characters in this story from the extended family group, some Vikings, some animals and the gods however the main character is Omat. She is physically female but she is treated by her immediate family as a boy. Not only does this lead to some real gender confusion, there are laws and taboos which Omat will break and there may well be consequences. I really did find Omat an outstanding character who will live in my mind for some time to come I'm sure.In general when I am reading a review book I try and make notes as I go along. In this case I did find that hard as I simply wanted to keep reading! I guess if I do have a slight reservation the pace in this is a little variable. However few people will find it easy to stop reading during the last 20% or so.For me this is cleverly worked story telling. The weaving of the day to day Inuit world and their gods with Vikings and their gods is very well done. As is so often the case beware of gods and their tricks... This book also works in the power of stories themselves and I love that approach. I would suggest that, while Neil Gaiman's American Gods is very different in some ways, fans of his book might well enjoy this one. Whatever else it is a book I really enjoyed and one of the best books I've read in the past year.Note - I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttp://viewson.org.uk/fantasy/the-wol...
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  • Karen ⚜Mess⚜
    January 1, 1970
    It's only January and I already know this is my favorite read of 2019. The Wolf In The Whale is a story that will stay with me. A beautiful, vivid tale of two cultures inevitably bound to collide. An Inuit story of how one tribe survives at the edge of the world and Norsemen out to conquer and discover new lands. I cannot just walk away from such an awe inspiring novel. Long after the pages stopped turning I still find myself seeking documentaries and movies about these beautiful people and It's only January and I already know this is my favorite read of 2019. The Wolf In The Whale is a story that will stay with me. A beautiful, vivid tale of two cultures inevitably bound to collide. An Inuit story of how one tribe survives at the edge of the world and Norsemen out to conquer and discover new lands. I cannot just walk away from such an awe inspiring novel. Long after the pages stopped turning I still find myself seeking documentaries and movies about these beautiful people and their cultures. I sought out to learn more of the Viking history. I have come to hold a deep respect for Jordanna Max Brodsky for not only her extensive research but how she brought her knowledge together to bring us this fictitious tale that felt so true and real. Thank you, Jordanna Max Brodsky. For this masterpiece. I wish so much my father was still alive. He would have loved this novel. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book, so I could give an honest review.
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    The Wolf in the Whale is a unique book, I haven't read anything like it! It has so many interesting elements: Inuit mythology (that I knew absolutely nothing about), Norse mythology, Arctic fantasy, discussion on different religions, and the aspect that I found the most fascinating - the complexity of gender identity. The author, Jordanna Max Brodsky, conducted an extensive research about Inuit people and their way of life in the harsh Arctic wilderness. And it translated into a beautiful, descr The Wolf in the Whale is a unique book, I haven't read anything like it! It has so many interesting elements: Inuit mythology (that I knew absolutely nothing about), Norse mythology, Arctic fantasy, discussion on different religions, and the aspect that I found the most fascinating - the complexity of gender identity. The author, Jordanna Max Brodsky, conducted an extensive research about Inuit people and their way of life in the harsh Arctic wilderness. And it translated into a beautiful, descriptive writing and complex storytelling. I even enjoyed reading Author's Note at the end of the book, where she talks about what inspired her to write the story and explains the concept of "third sex" in Inuit culture. It made me understand Omat's journey better and appreciate the book even more. The only reason I am giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because it was slow in some parts and it could've been a little shorter. Overall, I highly recommend The Wolf in the Whale to readers who love historical or Arctic fantasy, survival stories, mysticism and adventure. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.In 1000AD, an Inuit community is dying. A young girl grows up with the soul of a hunter, raised as a man and determined to follow in her grandfather's steps. She wants to become the next shaman-type leader of her community, communicating with the spirits. But the spirits have stopped listening. Her community is starving and hope is all they have left. Wow. I LOVED this book. It was just so complex An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.In 1000AD, an Inuit community is dying. A young girl grows up with the soul of a hunter, raised as a man and determined to follow in her grandfather's steps. She wants to become the next shaman-type leader of her community, communicating with the spirits. But the spirits have stopped listening. Her community is starving and hope is all they have left. Wow. I LOVED this book. It was just so complex and layered. It incorporates both Inuit legends and Norse mythology. Yes, that's right. Inuit legends *and* Norse mythology. The story, after all, takes place roughly when the Norse were travelling and exploring North America; the author herself states that we don't know what happened when the Norse met the American indigenous peoples, but she could imagine. In this world, Norse gods exist simultaneously with Inuit spirits. Admittedly, it took me a while to get into this book. The beginning chapters are a bit slow but I felt they were also really realistic in depicting the life and difficulties of Inuit people. There are a few sections on hunting, which was to be expected. Although they were a bit boring, I honestly appreciated the look into the Inuit way of life. For me, the highlight of the book was its exploration of gender. Omat is raised basically thinking she's a boy, even though she recognizes she has the body of a girl. Omat doesn't want to be a girl. She associates girls with weakness and domesticity; she wants to be a boy because they are stronger, and get to hunt and speak with spirits. Omat struggles to reconcile this throughout the book, and I just honestly loved it so much.I also really loved the inclusion of the Norse gods and Vikings in general. It was bloody and exciting, and Omat absolutely shined throughout whatever hardships she experienced. I loved her grudging relationship with Brandr, and how they must work together. At some point, I just became addicted to this story and could not put it down.This was honestly an unexpected gem. It was incredibly well-written, and don't let the slow beginning fool you. It's such a rich, complex story. Highly recommend!Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    The Wolf in the Whale is a languid, immersive tapestry consisting primarily of Inuit culture and mythology but one that has threads of Norse mythos weaving through it. And the result has a little bit of everything--fantastic character work, slow-burn romance, meddling gods, wolves that are whales that are wolves, battles ranging from small-scale to continent-spanning, and themes of gender roles and identity.Above all that, though, it's about changing narratives that others have set up for you. The Wolf in the Whale is a languid, immersive tapestry consisting primarily of Inuit culture and mythology but one that has threads of Norse mythos weaving through it. And the result has a little bit of everything--fantastic character work, slow-burn romance, meddling gods, wolves that are whales that are wolves, battles ranging from small-scale to continent-spanning, and themes of gender roles and identity.Above all that, though, it's about changing narratives that others have set up for you. And I think that's what I loved most about it.I found the story to be a very spiritual and empowering one as it follows the "Heroine's Journey" template in a way that's very reminiscent of Juliet Marillier's work (I talked a bit about the ins-and-outs of the Heroine's Journey in this post and why I love it so much).The TL;DR of Heroine's Journey and what differentiates it from the Hero's Journey is that while the latter is very external (big baddie to defeat, world to save, etc), the former is very internal. So the plot follows this trajectory:Omat starts out with nearly everything she could hope for. She's an Inuit shaman-in-training who will one day lead her camp, and though born female, she thinks of herself a boy and no one really challenges her on that. So she's allowed to hunt with the men and do other "male" activities (which she's very good at). All in all, she's content with her current role and her future.And then all of that comes crashing down around her.What follows is a brutal and lonely journey across the ice that culminates in a quest to rescue her brother. But running parallel to that, and what is ultimately the heart of the story, is a personal quest to find herself in a world where people and gods alike are determined to put her in a labelled box, saying "This is where you belong."So the Heroine's Journey doesn't really work if the main character doesn't work. Luckily that's not a problem here because Omat is utterly fantastic--hard-headed, empathetic, vulnerable. Brodsky takes her sweet time to set her up and people might complain that it makes the beginning too slow and ponderous, but I think a strong starting foundation for the protagonist is essential with these types of stories.The main story you see in the synopsis doesn't actually appear until about 40% of the way in. Everything before that is dedicated to exploring Omat and her relationship with her family and immersing in Inuit culture and mythos (all very well-researched).And I read it in one sitting which doesn't happen often these days, so that should tell you how engaging this slow first half is.My second favourite part about the book? The relationship between Omat and Brandr, a Norseman who starts out as her enemy but soon becomes her companion.This isn't a one-sided "hotshot hero comes in to rescue the heroine and teach her about love" kind of relationship. These are two fractured people--both nursing pain and loneliness--who are learning to understand each other's language (literally and metaphorically) and helping each other heal and become stronger.And Brodsky shows exactly what I want to see in a story about two "enemy" characters from different cultures working together--a sharing of beliefs and faiths and the acknowledgement that yes, the other might be strange and foreign, but the world as a whole is strange and foreign. And there's always more they could learn from it.There's this gorgeously drawn-out scene where they talk about the dead and the possibility of afterlives, and Omat consoles Brandr by saying that the souls of your loved ones are reborn within you when they die. His response is skeptical so she then counters with: "You don't seem to believe in a world you cannot see. And yet, if I were you, I wouldn't believe your stories of deserts and volcanoes and tall buildings of stones. I would say you made them up, since I've never seen them. But instead, I trust that there are many things beyond my understanding." It's a quiet, introspective scene that does nothing to further the plot and everything to further the characters, and I love it so damn much. There are many like it and they show that, beyond the meshing of mythologies, this is the area Brodansky truly excels at.Speaking of which...to cap all this praise off, you also get Norse gods clashing with Inuit spirits and the result is exactly what I'd hoped for--exhilarating, educational and, again, highlighting parallels between the two cultures.That being said, I did have issues with the pacing in the latter third of the book. I think the events leading up to the ending could have been a lot shorter, or if not shorter, then had more of an in-depth exploration into Freydis, the woman who's leading the Norsemen. She's a fascinating character and I wish I could have gotten a bit more from her.I also have a niggling issue with the fact that Omat only becomes comfortable with her female body the moment she starts getting sexually involved with Brandr. It's obviously not the author's intent to be like, "Hey, kids, you only need to meet the right man to make you feel comfortable in your own skin!" But that's kind of what it comes across as. Overall, The Wolf in the Whale is a wonderful standalone mashup of history and fantasy, and one that celebrates a culture that isn't often explored in mainstream fiction. ~Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Breanna
    January 1, 1970
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman with an obsession with wolves, will automatically read any book featuring one on the cover.In all seriousness, this sounds amazing.
  • Jacqui
    January 1, 1970
    Jordanna Max Brodsky's The Wolf and the Whale (Redhook 2019) is a saga of life before man was the unequivocal alpha on the planet, when Nature still thought she could defeat us. This is a time when man protected barely survived the coldest weather, when food was a treat to be relished when available, when only the tough had any expectation of surviving. If you weren't tough, you weren't valued.Omat is that person. She suffers mightily from hunger, bad luck, and deaths of the hunters within her I Jordanna Max Brodsky's The Wolf and the Whale (Redhook 2019) is a saga of life before man was the unequivocal alpha on the planet, when Nature still thought she could defeat us. This is a time when man protected barely survived the coldest weather, when food was a treat to be relished when available, when only the tough had any expectation of surviving. If you weren't tough, you weren't valued.Omat is that person. She suffers mightily from hunger, bad luck, and deaths of the hunters within her Inuit tribe. Her life has been difficult from an inauspicious beginning when she was left to die in the snow, saved only by the kindness of a great white wolf. Her tribe struggles to survive in the arctic cold of North America, only to be kidnapped, raped, and enslaved by invaders who are later destroyed by the arrival of the Vikings. She is a seer, able to talk to the gods, until they reject her, leaving her wondering at her purpose. Many times, she wants to give up but something within won’t allow it. And so she continues.From Amazon:"The Wolf in the Whale is a powerful tale of magic, discovery and adventure, featuring an unforgettable narrator ready to confront the gods themselves."The characters are strong and well-developed, mostly likable. The setting is so cold, I am there, my hands freezing to hard white knobs, my stomach long past growling from hunger when the caribou can't be found. The plot itself is intricate and well-developed, taking me well-beyond a story of survival or the history of the earliest North Americans."...watching the story fly before me like a cast harpoon. I moved to follow it, my"Where did it lose a point? There were places it dragged, where I wanted to move ahead but we were stuck in backstory and detail. For some, that could work fine.
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  • Bunny
    January 1, 1970
    My 250th Book Read for the YearBefore I start this review, a shout out to Jes Reads Books, and her review of this incredible book. I heard about it through her, I was excited to read it because of her passion in talking about it. And then she went and sent it to me like the amazing person she is. Watch her review, read my review, then add this to your must read list. Because this book is truly incredible. And there is so much to love for so many different kinds of people. You don't even know you My 250th Book Read for the YearBefore I start this review, a shout out to Jes Reads Books, and her review of this incredible book. I heard about it through her, I was excited to read it because of her passion in talking about it. And then she went and sent it to me like the amazing person she is. Watch her review, read my review, then add this to your must read list. Because this book is truly incredible. And there is so much to love for so many different kinds of people. You don't even know you're going to like it, until you pick it up and start finding all of the gems placed throughout. It is the most severe understatement of 2018 to say that this book is Magical. Set in a frozen tundra in 1000 AD, this is the story of Omat, an Inuit hunter and seer born with the spirit of her deceased father. In this culture, because her father's spirit is within her, she is raised as a proper boy, allowed to (and expected to) hunt to feed their small tribe. She doesn't even realize she is a girl until another woman in their camp explains (QUITE rudely) that she couldn't marry her. In this world, there are certain taboos that can never be crossed, for fear of angering the gods and causing them bad weather, bad health, or causing the animals to stay away so they cannot eat. One of these taboos is that women are not allowed to hunt. And as times get harder, her family begins to think she is bad luck. Despite her skill, despite her father's spirit, she is a girl. And she is cursing them. For the first part of the book, we are focused on this small clan. We become so invested in them, and in learning who Omat is, we fall so hard for her. She is fiercely protective of her family, and of her dog, and she is proud of her abilities. She knows she has a woman's body, but she carries a man's weapon, and she has the favor of the gods. They will survive. Then another tribe comes. And they rejoice. More hands, more food, potential husbands and wives, furthering of their family. Needless to say, this is where everything goes to shit. What happens to Omat is truly painful to read about. Slight trigger warnings, though major kudos to Jordanna Max Brodsky for handling a very triggering scene quickly and with just the right sharp cuts. From this, Omat's life truly begins. Because guess what else was around in 1000 AD?Motherfuckin' Vikings. And they don't play with the Inuits. And neither do their gods. I literally cannot tell you more than this. This book is magical in literally every sense of the word. From the angakkuq magic, shaman magic, the ability to commune with the Ice Bear and the Great Wolf. From the descriptions of this world, not a fantasy, this is our world, millenia ago. Huge swaths of ice, where burning trees is not done because they are so rare. Where children learn to build igloos as soon as they can walk. Brodsky's ability to plant imagery in the brain is the best I've read in quite a long time. I've never lived somewhere that got snow more than once every decade or so, but reading this, I had zero difficulty picturing it, and feeling the cold down to my bones.There is so much pain, so much joy, so much strength, in these characters. Each betrayal is like an axe to the spine, but it makes the rise afterwards all the more joyous. Omat is a powerful human in her own right, and she will rescue herself and everyone else, while she's at it. Last thing to talk about is the mythology. Or should I even call it mythology? We have everything here, from Omat's spirits to the Norse gods to Christ himself. They are all featured here, and the knowledge that these people all had to coexist at the same time, well before anyone was shrieking about a war on Christmas, and what they had to go through when they came upon each other. I wanted to immediately turn around and read this book over again as soon as I finished it. It is so beautiful, so incredibly rich and filling. I honestly canNOT recommend it enough. Even if you don't think this may be your kind of book, it really really is. Last note: There is a metric fuck ton of animal death in here. I was prepared. Or, I thought I was. This is a scenario where you gotta eat, which means you gotta hunt, which means adorable seals gotta go. But the author conveys the respect for these animals in such a way that all of my "noooooooooooooooooo" was mostly put aside. Mostly. Thank you, Jes, for gifting me this incredible experience. And thank you, Jordanna, for gifting all of us with this.
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  • Geonn Cannon
    January 1, 1970
    This is a remarkable book. I requested it because I was a fan of the author's Olympus Bound books, but this is a whole new level of writing compared to those. She takes her time setting the scene, a world that's alien but familiar at the same time, and then ties it all together with a fascinating exploration of mythology from two very different cultures. This book was everything I'd hoped it might be when I read the description. I was a fan of the author before, but now I'm definitely going to b This is a remarkable book. I requested it because I was a fan of the author's Olympus Bound books, but this is a whole new level of writing compared to those. She takes her time setting the scene, a world that's alien but familiar at the same time, and then ties it all together with a fascinating exploration of mythology from two very different cultures. This book was everything I'd hoped it might be when I read the description. I was a fan of the author before, but now I'm definitely going to be checking out whatever she comes out with next.(Advance copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review)
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    OMG! Poor wolfie. It's gonna die in there
  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. The heroic journey of an Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior in an epic tale of survival, love, and clashing gods in the frozen Arctic of 1000 AD.Fantasy wrapped around Inuit and Viking legends. This is a very creative story but lagged in places. The final battle (Ragnarok) seemed to go on and on.3.25 stars
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  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars*An intriguing blend of Historical Fiction and Fantasy that explores Inuit and Norse mythology*ARC provided by Redhook Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Last year, I read Brodsky’s debut novel, The Immortals, which was a creative, modern retelling of Greek mythology. When I saw that she had a new book coming out that would involve Inuit and Norse mythology, I knew I had to read it. I love mythology and am always on the lookout for books about it especially if they invol 4 Stars*An intriguing blend of Historical Fiction and Fantasy that explores Inuit and Norse mythology*ARC provided by Redhook Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Last year, I read Brodsky’s debut novel, The Immortals, which was a creative, modern retelling of Greek mythology. When I saw that she had a new book coming out that would involve Inuit and Norse mythology, I knew I had to read it. I love mythology and am always on the lookout for books about it especially if they involve mythologies that aren’t written about often. So The Wolf in the Whale was a must read for me. And I was fortunate enough to get an ARC from Netgalley.The story is set in 1000 AD in Nunavut, Canada. It opens with the birth of the main character, Omat, who is predicted to have a vital destiny that will forever change the fate of her people and the gods that rule their lives. Though she was orphaned on the day she was born and not expected to survive the night, Omat’s grandfather the village shaman receives a vision that this child carries the spirit of her father and is destined to be the next shaman and either save or doom her people.This leads to one of the interesting aspects of the story – Omat’s struggle with her gender identity. I’ve read about other Native American tribes that have similar concepts about gender, but this was the first I’d read of it in Inuit tribes. (There is some interesting information provided in the author’s note about her research into the topic.) Omat is born female but is said to have a male spirit, so she is raised as a boy until puberty. This causes struggles with her self-identity and conflict with her people because women were not permitted to hunt or be spiritual leaders. It added an interesting layer to the story. “They say that from the first moment I took my first breath, I have lived between many worlds - between Sun and Moon, man and woman, Inuk and animal.” The Wolf in the Whale is told in first person by Omat. It took me a little while to get used to the rhythm of the story. Omat wasn’t the most engaging narrator at first. I think the primary reason this was told in first person instead of third person was to avoid gender pronouns. But I did become immersed in Omat’s journey as the story went on.The story does start very slowly. Approximately the first third of the story is covers the highlight’s of Omat’s childhood. There is a lot of information about the Inuk’s beliefs and customs as well as descriptions of how they survive. Much of that information is critical to the story, but it does start out a bit slow and dry. That part of the story is also pretty bleak. I’ll include a trigger warning for rape, abuse, and incest. Also, between the detailed descriptions of hunting and the violence and fighting, I would not recommend this book to anyone sensitive to gore. I was worried for a little while that this story might end up being like The Clan of the Cave Bear which is a book I absolutely despise from the depths of my soul. But The Wolf in the Whale got much better as the story went along particularly once the Vikings entered the story. This provided an interesting clash of beliefs and a conflict between the two peoples as well as their warring gods.The plot picks up once the Vikings enter, and it was at that point that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I can’t say much more without giving away the plot. But Brodsky has a talent for reimagining mythology in a creative and vibrant way. The book was very well researched both in terms of known historical facts and of mythology. I recommend reading the author’s note and supplemental information included at the end of the book for more information. Though the author took some creative liberties, I think she did an excellent job at picturing what life was like in that time period. I did wish that the ending was a tad more impactful. The climactic action scene could have been fleshed out more. And the story meanders on for a bit after the climax, but I was still satisfied with it. Despite the slow start and a few critiques, I still greatly enjoyed this story! The Wolf in the Whale is a compelling and unique story that will definitely stand out in my mind. I highly recommend it to mythology buffs!RATING FACTORS:Ease of Reading: 4 StarsWriting Style: 3 StarsCharacters and Character Development: 4 StarsPlot Structure and Development: 3 StarsLevel of Captivation: 4 StarsOriginality: 5 Stars
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  • Lynn Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it, Absolutely loved it. RTF
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Brodsky weaves together a tale of family, survival, courage and acceptance. Omat is born a woman but raised a man, a hunter. She is taught by her grandfather to hunt, speak to the gods and save her people. Omat's journey takes her from hunter, to slave, to friend, and finally back home. She journey's across the ice with her wolf-dog pack and eventually her Viking. The first 1/3 of this book is a little slow going. Honestly I almost put it down for goo I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Brodsky weaves together a tale of family, survival, courage and acceptance. Omat is born a woman but raised a man, a hunter. She is taught by her grandfather to hunt, speak to the gods and save her people. Omat's journey takes her from hunter, to slave, to friend, and finally back home. She journey's across the ice with her wolf-dog pack and eventually her Viking. The first 1/3 of this book is a little slow going. Honestly I almost put it down for good. However, I'm glad I didn't. Once you make it through that, the story really picks up. I found it interesting how the author was able to weave together Inuit mythology with Norse mythology and somehow it all seemed to work. I was surprised I enjoyed all the mystical analogies and stories. That's usually not my thing, but it somehow makes sense here.The story of Omat, is one that has been told countless times. A strong smart woman is seen as a threat, needing to be tamed, to be quieted. However she persists and saves those she loves. While the core story itself may not be original, the way in which Brodsky crafts this story is. Any lover of mythology or history will enjoy this tale. Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC for review.
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  • Kopratic
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. Full review to come.
  • Ken Fredette
    January 1, 1970
    I can think that Jordanna used her history and literature degree from Harvard to learn everything that she could to put together the story that she tells about Omat, Kiasik, Puja, and Brandr. She describes this in detail after the story, which to me was a list of people and books worth reading. However, she describes how Omat, a boy in a girls body was made a boy by her Ataata (father/grandfather) who was a angakkuq (shaman) who wants him/her to be an angakkuq also. It goes into detail how Omat I can think that Jordanna used her history and literature degree from Harvard to learn everything that she could to put together the story that she tells about Omat, Kiasik, Puja, and Brandr. She describes this in detail after the story, which to me was a list of people and books worth reading. However, she describes how Omat, a boy in a girls body was made a boy by her Ataata (father/grandfather) who was a angakkuq (shaman) who wants him/her to be an angakkuq also. It goes into detail how Omat is captured and then escapes and has many other adventures including one that brings her love to her being chased by a bear. This has Norse gods that are described in detail and clash with the Inuit gods foretold by the Norse legends. With the Christian god being fought off by the Norse people. Thought provoking things to think about. I can say that I really liked this book by Jordanna and would recommend it to anyone who likes history and tales. You won't regret reading this story.
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  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    This is an original and imaginative novel that follows Omat, a shaman of the Inuk people, from birth to parenthood. Freely speculating on encounters between First Nations peoples and the Norse explorers of North America, Brodsky weaves a powerful story of identity, survival, rivalry, and enduring bonds among ice-sea hunters and the men and women of the Norse expeditions, delving into shamanic powers, the spread of religions, and the desires of the gods. Well-researched and written, The Wolf in t This is an original and imaginative novel that follows Omat, a shaman of the Inuk people, from birth to parenthood. Freely speculating on encounters between First Nations peoples and the Norse explorers of North America, Brodsky weaves a powerful story of identity, survival, rivalry, and enduring bonds among ice-sea hunters and the men and women of the Norse expeditions, delving into shamanic powers, the spread of religions, and the desires of the gods. Well-researched and written, The Wolf in the Whale is a powerful and gripping book.
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  • Sai Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating story that focuses on some thought provoking topics. The mysticism had a spellbinding effect which made the story impossible to put down and sad to finish. Highly recommended!
  • Janna
    January 1, 1970
    This book was awesome.Combining Inuit and Norse history with fantasy elements, The Wolf in the Whale tells the story of Omat, an Inuit hunter and shaman living in the Canadian arctic in 1000 AD. Born a girl, her family believes the soul of her dead father has been reborn in her and therefore they raise her as a boy. Omat finds her identity in hunting for her family and communing with the spirits to keep them safe, but there are larger forces at work, and evil approaches. Omat must leave the only This book was awesome.Combining Inuit and Norse history with fantasy elements, The Wolf in the Whale tells the story of Omat, an Inuit hunter and shaman living in the Canadian arctic in 1000 AD. Born a girl, her family believes the soul of her dead father has been reborn in her and therefore they raise her as a boy. Omat finds her identity in hunting for her family and communing with the spirits to keep them safe, but there are larger forces at work, and evil approaches. Omat must leave the only home she’s known to save those she loves, and keep the gods from tearing her world apart in an epic Ragnarok.This story was EPIC. I thought it was a little slow at first, but once you get an idea of the scope of the narrative then it’s easy to settle in and let the story build. The insight into the daily life and and belief systems of the ancient Inuit (and Viking, more briefly) was thorough and fascinating. And I loved the blending of mythology and the active participation of the Inuit and Viking gods in the narrative. That aspect reminded me a lot of The Illiad. I also felt that the author did a great job of exploring the dynamic of gender within the Inuit culture. Omat knows she has the body of a female, but believes (as does everyone else) that the male spirit of her father has been reborn in her. She struggles to reconcile who she feels she is with the rigid gender expectations and taboo beliefs of her people. For example, she is able to remain a “male”, aka hunter, until she begins menstruating, as after menstruation women are forbidden from using or even touching weapons. Omat has grown used to the freedoms allowed men and is frustrated to be relegated to women’s task, particularly when she was exclusive trained as a hunter. Torn between the separate realms of men and women, she doesn’t feel like she belongs in either, existing alone in the shadowy middle. Having read several books about a similar Afghanistan practice of raising girls as boys until puberty, I thought this author explored the concept of non-binary/third gender in nuanced and sensitive way.I highly recommend this book and it’s definitely one I’ll be re-reading!*I received an advanced copy of this title from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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  • Glenn Coltharp
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved this ARC book thru goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads for the chance to read this ARC and give an early review. I struggled between 3 & 4 stars for my rating of this book. To be honest, I’d give it a solid 3.5* if that were an option but due to almost giving up on the book early on I have to rate it at 3*. The book struggled for the first 1/3 and then was pretty good the rest of the way. I’ll break my review down in those two parts. The first 1/3 of the book was about the I recieved this ARC book thru goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Goodreads for the chance to read this ARC and give an early review. I struggled between 3 & 4 stars for my rating of this book. To be honest, I’d give it a solid 3.5* if that were an option but due to almost giving up on the book early on I have to rate it at 3*. The book struggled for the first 1/3 and then was pretty good the rest of the way. I’ll break my review down in those two parts. The first 1/3 of the book was about the culture of the main character’s Inuit family, their day to day activities, and her gender identity issues. I felt it could’ve been minimized a ton. The gender question of the main character was over elaborated upon. The culture was interesting to read about but once again I felt it was also over elaborated. The next 2/3 of the book had a lot more action and the author’s research really stood out. The descriptions of the culture clashes, animal spirits, religious clashes, and Ragnarok were wonderful. The last 1/3 of the book would get 5* if I was solely judging that portion. Overall though it was an ok read. Lastly, this could be a difficult read for some especially with some of the Inuit words, Gods, & practices being written about. Make sure to use the glossaries at the end of the book! Why it wasn’t placed at the beginning is quite confusing and befuddling still. I wish I would’ve been aware of it before beginning as it would have made for a more intimate read.Other positives:-Good ending-Historical accuracies-Norse Gods accuracies -animal involvementOther negatives:-pronouns of genders very confusing (author goes back and forth between he/she causing you at times to have to go back to figure out which character is speaking)-book can be very dark at times (warning for survivors of rape or sexual assault: some parts of book could be seen as graphic as rape is described a few times)
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  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. When I first read the summary, I was intrigued, but not sure what to expect. After reading it, I am so very glad that I won it. It is not my typical genre and probably not something I would have read otherwise and that would be a travesty. This story, the characters, the setting, and the mythology/folklore that it contains, is well worth reading. The concept is original and unique, not like any story I have ever read previously. I was fascinated by I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. When I first read the summary, I was intrigued, but not sure what to expect. After reading it, I am so very glad that I won it. It is not my typical genre and probably not something I would have read otherwise and that would be a travesty. This story, the characters, the setting, and the mythology/folklore that it contains, is well worth reading. The concept is original and unique, not like any story I have ever read previously. I was fascinated by the historical aspects of the Inuit and Viking cultures and the norms of each. I appreciated how the author wove the mythical/magical aspects of the gods of each so seamlessly into the story and made them integral to the telling. While there are small parts that are happy/amusing, overall it is dark book. There is extreme hunger, rape, violence, treachery, and death. Many parts are extremely tense and others are sad. If you need a feel-good story, this is not it. If you want to read something different, well-written, and thought-provoking...this is it. Highly recommend.
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