Reviewed by David Brzeski
It’s taken me a while to get around to this one. It was first published back in November 2011. I’d always meant to get to it though, as I kept hearing such good things about it.
It certainly did not disappoint. It’s a classic werewolf tale, with echoes of ‘The Howling’ series about it. There are two distinct types of werewolves commonly found in popular fiction and movies. The author has devised a very well thought out rationale for explaining why that is so and the reader will find both the large wolf and the big, mean, hairy humanoid varieties in this book.
For me, one of the main strengths of Graeme Reynolds’ writing is the realism of the lives and dialogue of the various people he has populating his world. I found myself wondering if the gritty Northern urban dramas of Alan Bleasdale might not be an influence on his work.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot. Suffice to say it has werewolves. They’re big and scary, as opposed to angst-ridden and romantic. People get brutally killed, or infected. There are some twists and turns, which I actually managed to figure out before they happened. I doubt the author was intending them to be that big a surprise though. Sometimes the fun is in watching something work towards the inevitable. Not all the monsters in the book had fur.
It’s a real page-turner of a book, with strong characters and an involving plot. It has a satisfying ending, while setting things up neatly for a sequel, which I am informed should be forthcoming sometime this year.
I’m convinced that, should he wish to, Graeme Reynolds could write gripping and entertaining mainstream novels with no fantasy/horror elements. If he did decide to follow that path, however, he would be a great loss to the horror genre.