Monday, January 26, 2015

title pic Book Review: Salad on the Side by Karenna Colcroft

Posted by Becky Condit on August 11, 2012

BLURB: Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him too. But his neighbors have a secret: They’re werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he’s a werewolf too-and since he’s vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack.

Title: Salad on the Side
Author: Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Series: Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat
Genre: glbt, shifters
Length: 232 pages
Favorite Character: Kyle
Favorite Quote: “I’m a vegan. I’m not always good at it.”

MRS CONDIT’S OPINION: Karenna Colcroft’s SALAD ON THE SIDE is the first book in her Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and is an amazing, imaginative take on the werewolf/shifter canon. In this werewolf world a pack of wolf shifters live in an apartment complex and a human named Kyle has innocently moved into one of the apartments. Kyle is a vegan since he saw the traumatic effects of a car wreck a number of years ago and the very sight of meat, especially raw meat, is nauseating to him.
So, you can imagine his difficulties when he is converted into a werewolf. Wolves are carnivores and the act of shifting uses a great deal of energy and protein. The pack tries to helpfully tempt Kyle with platters of fresh meat, primarily rats and raccoons because after all, that is what is readily available to wolves who live in Boston. If it weren’t so painful and difficult for Kyle this would be very funny, but Ms Colcroft writes the pain of shifting as well as the disgust Kyle experiences when confronted with meat.
This book is also a great suspense and mystery story. There are conflicts with other packs and within the North Boston pack that Kyle now belongs to. Tobias, the alpha of this pack, has the usual restrictions of having to defend his position, particularly by showing no weakness. Apparently any mating by an alpha can be perceived as a weakness but a gay mating is particularly difficult. Tobias and Kyle are strongly attracted to one another. As the story progresses they fall in love.
Kyle is a vegan and also somewhat of a pacifist. When confronted with having to kill in self-defense he suffers such pangs of conscience he is nearly incapacitated. The knowledge that his lover Tobias has killed in the past is also very disturbing to Kyle. Clearly, in order to live as a werewolf, Kyle is going to have to change his lifestyle and what is important to him. Or is he? Can he integrate his restrictive diet, his homosexuality, his attraction to the pack’s alpha, and his aversion to killing into his new life as a wolf shifter? Stay tuned.
I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to reading the next books in the series.

MRS CONDIT’S RATING: 4 1/2 Sweet Peas!

COMMENT PROMPT: What dietary restrictions have you incorporated into your life?