“When Wolf Comes” John Pappas

Historical adventure, 1801. A survivor from an attack on a trade ship is sold as a slave to the Makah tribe of the Northwest Washington Coast. In a beautiful hostile land of people with strange spiritual ways he will become teacher and student, find friendship and even love, and realize escape comes in many guises, and survival is not always as simple as saving your own life.

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“When Wolf Comes” begins with Aiden doing what he does in much of the book….deliberating on his next move. Aiden has found himself far from home and does his best to be positive while also endeavoring to be useful. When the first ship comes Aiden’s spirits lift and life takes a new path. Like life can do, the path quickly shifts again and Aiden finds himself once more a slave. This time though, maybe being a slave is a step forward.

As Aiden finds his purpose within his masters tribe and culture his eye finds itself stuck on another slave. Neveah is a beautiful native woman who also turns out to be more than what she appears. Their relationship blooms slowly and it’s a real treat to see. 

Something that should be noted is how Pappas managed to embed a message of tolerance in his story. Aiden and the Makah are very different and those differences are stark at the beginning but as the story deepens those differences don’t seem so far apart and each culture melds together to find this new direction that I found fascinating. Aiden’s culture and knowledge was accepted (albeit with suspicion) and their culture became another piece of Aiden. This story has a message of oneness that resonates even now.

“When Wolf Comes” is well researched. Time and again I found myself lost in time and imagining the beauty of the northwest. The wonder of it’s people and their means of survival. I haven’t read much into this time period or the tribes that inhabited the northwest but Pappas leads the reader expertly through the complexities of both it’s cultural and natural wonders. Pappas has a real talent for cultivating a love in his readers that has at the very least encouraged me to learn more. I imagine that sentiment will spread through each new reader.

Squintanasis was a character that I really couldn’t get enough of. I would love to see him get his own book. I felt like there was more to tell and learn from this most stoic of men. He was mysterious and wise. He was shrewd but fair. I liked him immensely. He was a big part of what made this story bury itself so deep into my psych. 

Pappas depiction of battle is gory but not overly so. The horror is addressed but not dwelt upon. The significance is put more on how the community came together and their bond. I thought it was well written and well balanced.

I could go on for days about how much I enjoyed this story. I encourage you to hop in and lose yourself in the magic of the early 1800’s.

Absolute 5 star book.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: When Wolf Comes | Series: N/A |  Author(s): John Pappas  |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 5-8-2016 |Pages: 264 (Print) | ISBN: B01FEC6YM6 |Genre(s): Historical Fiction  |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-29-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

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“The images conjured up by the Northwest Coast tribes is one of fierce people what with their dramatic masks, nose bones and complex ceremonies. This story takes you to the people beneath that image. It highlights their sense of community as well as their recognition of the changes being brought by traders. It tells of how they treat their “slaves”, their capacity for compassion and their lack of tolerance for wrongdoing.” – Amazon Reviewer


Book Review “Dream Student” by J. J. DiBenedetto



What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?

Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.

But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.

“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.

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This book has an interesting premise. It starts out with a pretty normal college girl with pretty normal college girl problems. Next thing you know she’s seeing into other people’s dreams. That could get messy if you really think about it. Oh, and it does get messy.

I liked Sara. It was nice getting to watch her transform from this rather shy and inconsequential person into someone who was confident enough to use her dream “power” for good.

With all she sees in her dreams, I think that the author did a great job by providing her with a really great support group of friends and family.

It was a different take on that for me. Most protagonists are usually floating around on their own trying to solve problems. They’re usually very introverted or have some other quirk.

It was a different take to have a main character who was a regular person.

The book has a lot of dialog where the same things are said over and over but, it actually wasn’t annoying. It helps solidify the characters as people to me. Wouldn’t I run the problems over and over in my head to find a solution? 

The description’s of the murders is very well done. The author doesn’t blast you with a ton of gory details and still manages to translate the horror of what is happening and what Sara sees.

This is the first book in a series but it was a full story on its own. I’m always happy to see that. Nothing is more annoying than a book with a basic ” to be continued” at the end. 

All in all, the character building is solid. Description’s are done well. There is drama, action and just the right balance of good events to balance the scale. 

AND it has a happy ending. I like my happy endings.

Solid book in my opinion.

I give it 5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Dream Student | Author(s): J. J. DiBenedetto | Publisher: Amazon Digital Servies Inc. / Publication Date: 3-18-2013 |Pages: 287 (kindle) | ISBN: B00BW3FPF4 | Genre(s): Paranormal Romance Suspense  | Language: English |
Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 11-4-2015 | Source: Copy from Author