Review: Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart with Giveaway

Posted August 19, 2017 by Minx

Review: Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart with Giveaway

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Xpresso Book Tours. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

Review: Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart with Giveaway Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: August 14, 2017
Publisher: The Publishing House
Format: ARC
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Pages: 220
ISBN: 0993757952
Purchase at: Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Kobo IndieBound
Minx's Rating:

The Breakfast Club meets Grimm's Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward.

Milly’s evil stepmother commits her to a pediatric psych ward. That’s just what the wolf wants. With bunk mates like Red, who’s spiraling out of control; Pig, a fire-bug who claims Milly as her own—but just wants extra dessert—Vanet, a manic teen masquerading as a fairy godmother with wish-granting powers as likely to kill as to help; and the mysterious Wolfgang, rumored to roam for blood at night; it doesn’t take long for Milly to realize that only her dead mother’s book of tales can save her.

But Milly’s spells of protection weaken as her wolf stalks the hospital corridors. The ward’s a Dark Wood, and she’s not alone. As her power crumbles, she must let go of her magic and discover new weapons if she is to transform from hunted to hunter.


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When I sat down to read Counting Wolves I was more than a little surprised. I was expecting to read a fantasy but what I received was so much more. By the time I had finished this story I was deeply moved by Milly’s journey. If you are looking to read a fantasy understand that this story takes characteristics of well-known fairytales and applies those characteristics to the characters of this story but it is not a re-telling or a fantasy story.

What Counting Wolves really is about is Milly and how her mother’s life and death affected her. Milly has a compulsion and it has created a very negative environment that has impacted not only her and her family but her health as well. After collapsing at school Milly was taken to the hospital and subsequently committed to a pediatric psych ward by her step-mother who claims to be concerned about Milly’s welfare.

At the ward, referred to the “Dark Wood,” is where Milly meets other young adults that are suffering with various mental health issues. Each teen has characteristics that are in-line with the fairytale theme that Milly sees the world as and she assigns them their own “role” in her world. These characters are given such care in their crafting, I found that every character grabbed my attention and held it. They are all so very unique and what they add to the plot cannot be expressed without spoiling it for you.

I can say that I am truly blown away by how the author was able to take a tough subject, make it entertaining and relatable but still treat the subject matter with respect. By the time I had finished this book I understood the message of the book and it was very clear. Although Counting Wolves was not a fantasy like I was expecting it was truly a meaningful book that had a wonderful mixture of humor, resilience, and hope.

*Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours & Author Michael F. Stewart for this eARC of Counting Wolves*


Enter to Win! This giveaway ends on August 24, 2017.

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About Michael F. Stewart

Author Michael F. Stewart

Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.

He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.

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