The Wolf Gift Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Wolf Gift

The Wolf Gift is about Reuben Golding and his transition from a mundane journalist to a inner-struggling werewolf. At the heart of the story is the life of Reuben Golding and the people that come in and out of his life as he transitions from a life in journalism into a werewolf. It all starts with Reuben touring Nideck Point with Marchent Nideck. A mansion filled with art and historical artifacts, Reuben is immediately interested in this property. He is on an assignment for the San Francisco Observer to evaluate Nideck Point, the estate of Felix Nideck that recently went missing.
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Then the story follows Reuben's overnight experience at Nideck Point which includes cheating on Celeste, a long-standing girlfriend, with Marchent, a woman double his age but attractive nonetheless. In the dead of night, Reuben is awaken to the glass breaking out of a window followed by Marchent's scream. He manages to find himself in the hallway and in the deadly-grip of an invisible figure. It is nearly impossible to see given the darkness of the house but low rumbling growls and the bite is evidence that he encountered something abnormal in the mansion.

Unfortunately, Marchent is dead from the impact of her attackers. It is decided that her attackers had been her siblings, twin brothers bent on obtaining the financial security and wealthy property of Nideck Point for themselves. Reuben is rushed the hospital to find Phil and Grace, father and mother; Phil is an English professor and Grace a doctor that works closely with blood types and genetics. At first glance, Reuben appears to be healing with little damage done; however, the lab results come back with traces of dog saliva, wolf DNA, and then particles that resemble a human.

A majority of the story revolves around the events and fights between Reuben and the werewolf he is becoming, as well as between his mother who desperately wants him to be retested with no hint of knowing about the monster her son is becoming. He finds himself in his apartment, a few days after being released from the hospital, experiencing his first change into a beast. Inferring that he is feverish, Reuben looks in the mirror in the bathroom to glimpse an upright wolf, complete with point ears and nose, sharp incisors, and golden eyes that gleam; it is a fine line between ecstasy and fear that Reuben feels as he fights to remain human while slowly giving-in to the carnal nature of the savage werewolf. He takes a photograph on his cell phone, hiding it in files and password protection only to find himself obsessed with it after changing back.

Rueben is left Nideck Point, Marchent having made a call the night of her death to lawyers stating that the property and artifacts be donated to him. Amidst the change, he moves into the mansion and tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his condition. He meets the monster that bit him that night by accident and learning that Reuben had been innocent, let him live; Reuben kills him out of self-defense. It is around this time that he walks the redwood forest, choosing to hide from media and public eye after murdering another criminal in the streets to save the life of a woman. Described as the “wolf gift,” Reuben's sense of hearing, scent, and sight is heightened to the point of smelling human emotions and corrupt intentions. It is anger and negative energy that triggers the transition from human to werewolf, not necessarily a full-moon.

During these murdering incidents, Reuben meets Laura. She is a field biologist for the wildlife park that lives in a cabin away from the city, immediately falling in love with her charm and she intrigued with his wolf-form; multiple sexual encounters occur between these two while Reuben is a werewolf. It is around this time that Reuben travels to the catholic church to confess to his brother, Jim, that he is a beast. Jim is unable to talk about confessions with the outside world, family included, and becomes Reuben's encouragement in an unreal circumstance.

The story ends in a traditional manner with Felix Nideck returning to his home and finds Reuben to his liking, also a werewolf. Reuben learns that Felix, along with several other wolves, have been living in the mansion all along in a secret subdivision of the estate. He manages to kill another pair of thugs and turn Stuart, a homosexual teen with an abusive stepfather, into a werewolf. Both go-on to rescue a bus of children that had been confiscated in hope of a large ransom.

In the remaining moments of the story, Dr. Klopov and Dr. Jaska are invited to the mansion and done away with for all the media to witness. At the beginning of the transition, Grace had hired these two Russian doctors that had been involved in similar incidents like Reuben. It is later revealed that these doctors had at one time imprisoned Felix Nideck, along with the others, for scientific reasons; Dr. Klopov is killed on the spot while Dr. Jaska is beheaded outside. Overall, Reuben remains the owner of Nideck Point and embarks on a journey to discover and learn about the “wolf gift.”
Best part of story, including ending: I really liked the description of Reuben's transformations into a werewolf; however, I disliked the traditional story that a rich young man finds himself turning into a beast.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is between Reuben, a young journalist, and Marchent Nideck, the home owner. The tour of Nideck Point, the mansion on the cliffs of northern California backed by a redwood forest, brings out the tone of the novel.

Opinion about the main character: I dislike that Reuben is predictable while his surroundings are not.

The review of this Book prepared by Matthew Benton a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Wolf Gift

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   werewolves Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   super strength


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   descript of touching personal anatomy    -   licking    -   actual description of sex    -   description of breasts    -   descript. of private male anat.    -   descript. of non-breast female anat. How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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