The Valley of the Wolves, Laura Gallego Garcia

“Hello,” a boy’s voice said.

Dana turned. A smiling boy was sitting on the rock wall, watching her pick the sticky fruit. Though he was about her age, Dana had never seen him before; but her family tended to keep to themselves, so that was not unusual. He was skinny, with unruly blond hair that fell to his shoulders, and his green eyes shone in a friendly fashion. Even so, she did not reply to his greeting but merely returned to her berry picking.

“My name is Kai,” the boy said to her back.

Picked up randomly because I absolutely loved the cover. Look at this extremely cool cover. I just like it so much.

The Valley of the Wolves

Click to enlarge (I think).

The problem with The Valley of the Wolves was that the writing was awkward and uninspiring (very possibly the fault of the translation), and the plot was – frankly – not very interesting. It was about a little girl called Dana whose friend Kai is invisible to everyone else; and then she goes away to study magic; and then there’s intrigue and deception, but it’s all kind of blah. She has to rescue her friends from the clutches of the villain – blah, blah, blah – she has a crush on Kai but he’s invisible and (mostly) intangible – blah, blah blah. I couldn’t be bothered.

If I had to pinpoint a problem with the plot, I think I would say that the different bits of plot don’t really mesh. There’s some unicorn stuff, there’s some dragon stuff, there’s some elf stuff and reincarnationy stuff, and they just don’t work terribly well as a unit. Any one of those things could have been part of a really interesting book, and it just felt like Ms. Garcia couldn’t figure out which book she wanted to be writing so she just threw in a whole bunch of different plot ideas without making a tremendous effort to blend the edges. Like when you’re eating a cookie or a brownie, and suddenly you get a bite that is totally full of flour because when the person who made the brownies was mixing the ingredients, s/he put down the mixer for a second to go check messages and then when s/he got back s/he totally forgot that the ingredient-mixing wasn’t done and then when the brownies come out there are some bites with a lot of chocolate goo (that’s nice!) or a lot of flour (less nice). Um, this simile is less than perfect, but whatever, this is more with the flour than the chocolate.

It’s really too bad. I love the cover. It’s worthy of a cast of more vivid characters and a more coherent plot. Dana looks like she could be a completely fierce character, and I love, love, love the invisible cloak he’s wrapping around her.

  • I personally think that valley of the wolves is a great book. The plot is so exciting and twisted It starts out as a young girl who just thinks she is a little out there and has this friend who is invisible and she lives out in on this farm probably sometime in the early 1900’s. Then out of no where I mean how cool is this she goes off to study magic then she almost dies trying to fight off a group of bewitched wolves. This book is awesome all me and 4 of my friends read this book and we all give it a 2 thumbs up!

    • Rach

      yes i love LOVE this book but some bits i skipped because it was a bit boring but overal it was so good, i LOVED the story and it was sad that kai went away but the epilouge bit was unusual for me. i didnt really like that but LOVE LOVE LOVE :] xx

  • jennysbooks

    Well, I’m glad you liked it – to me, the plot was less twisty (in a fun way like Sarah Waters) and more like tossed plot salad. I can see how a person would like it, but it wasn’t really my thing.

  • Jay

    I love Valley Of The Wolves first of all and it is the best book I have ever read in my hole life and wow it was great. Ever time I pick it up and start to read I love it more and more and more. This book is the best book in the world and should if not already be made into a movie I would love watching it and would no ever line to it I promice you that.

  • I love this book! I read it in 5th grade and I was like “Its the best book I’ve ever read in my life!” This is so awesome. The plot is so wicked! I’m a girl and all but it really is! Also, I love how Kai is her invisible friend. But its sad though cause she has an attraction for her. But overall, this is the best book I’ve read in my life.

    • I’m glad you like it! Have you read anything else by this author?

  • Ann

    I love the book, and the plot. I can nott believe you don’t like it!! It’s the best book I’ve ever read, other than Harry Potter.

  • Sandy Soe

    I just finished this book today and let me just say that it is a really great book! Five out of five stars! I loved the whole fantasy plot and Kai sounds like a dreamy guy to me. The only part I didn’t like was that Dana didn’t get together with Kai in the end. Other than tha, i loved it!

  • shanu

    bestttttttt book ever read and i really liked kai

  • Yo_Bookworm

    I REAAALLLY LOVED that book!But I didnt really like the ending because Kai and Dana wasnt able to be together :'( .. But anyways that book ROCKED !

  • Hanna

    i just finished this book today evening……and this book rocks……..dis is the best book……n i don understand how come you din lyk dis book!!!!!!i was so sad wen i got to kno dat kai and dana could never be together in d world of living…………. i really di want the story to get over

  • i cried when kai was leaveing Dana , so sad.

  • omg i like really love this book i hope you make an part 2 or make an movie about it ,i mean after leaving her home ,being a sorcer apprentice, a woem in a vision about a unicorn,fernis helping them from the wolfes, this is totally awsome ! i dont know what they are talking about up their being boring , uninspiring tey are just CRAZY! i just want to tell you i love it ,it is inspiring about the magic its just AWSOME!

  • maria

    i found this book at an abandoned corner of my schools library and fell in love i was young at the time so i settled for it but i will agree there just seems to be too much and yet not enough,at some points it turned out to be too blah so i would put it down but i always seemed to go back to it intrigued by what would come next,i read it in Spanish the (original version),when i read it in English it just didn’t seem to be the same somehow,what drew me to continue reading i have to admit was Kai he was just so mysterious i always longed to figure him out Danna seemed a bit shallow(the character not her).

    • maria

      sorry for misspelling her name
      (spell check did it!!!)

  • Hi!
    I’m very happy for The Valley of Wolves likes to English people too (I’m Spanish ^^). It’s a shame that they don’t translate rest of books. The Valley of Wolves has three books more (sequels). Although my Laura Gallego’s favourite book is Memorias de Idhún (Memories of Idhún) and it isn’t translated in English either. Spanish fans want to change this (more information, click in my name [I hope this isn’t spam, I don’t want to bother]). Laura Gallego is a wonderful writer, I wish you can to read all her books.

    • Mon

      Hey Ailec, I really love Laura Gallego too, and I have read both The Valley of Wolves and Memories of Idhún in original version (is that the appropriated translation? haha) and they’re the best books ever! I hope some random editorial gets interested in the book and we can read them all in english ^_^
      Jenny, love your blog, by the way 😀