Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Top Five Werewolf Novels for Halloween

What is a Halloween without some good werewolf fiction to read an enjoy? I've read many a werewolf story over the years, some good, some bad, and wished to give a few pointers to those looking for something good to read over the Halloween holiday. So, here are the Top 5 werewolf novels, but I should say that it was very difficult to put them in any order whatsoever, so they are in no means in any order of preference. Whichever you pick to celebrate the holiday, you will NOT be disappointed!

For me, a good werewolf novel is not just about blood and intestines. It needs to be something more. There needs to be something original in the concept or in the story to make me interested. Thus, mere "werewolf is a bloody murderer, let's stop him" type of stories do not get high in my ratings. But the five novels listed here all offer something unique to the genre and the authors all have a strong voice.

The Wolf's Hour by Robert R. McCammon

This is my all-time favourite werewolf novel: The Wolf's Hour by Robert R. McCammon. The protagonist is a British secret agent working in Northern Africa, France and Germany during the World War II. On another level, the novel relates the story of his early life in an unnamed forest in Russia where he was turned into a werewolf and where he spent his early life. The stories don't intertwine as such, but the tragic childhood story complements the more action-packed war-era story very well, making this a memorable read.

You can find my more complete review here.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Next, we have the first part of The Last Werewolf Trilogy, called The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan. The protagonist is a long-lived and life-weary werewolf - the last of his kind - who is planning to kill himself. However, his plans are delayed when a ruthless werewolf hunter goes against his friends. The protagonist is somewhat intellectual and well-read, with a tendency to ponder upon various issues, so this is perhaps not the most fast-paced of horror reads, but it is very enjoyable.

You can find my more complete review here.

House of Corruption by Erik Tavares

House of Corruption by Erik Tavares is written in a very classical horror style and features undead demons alongside werewolves. The story is set in the late 19th century and it takes us to several locations around the world, as any classic adventure story should, as the protagonist chases after his kidnapped sister and meets various more or less nefarious characters on his journey. The author takes proper time to describe the settings and doesn't rush with the story and it all ends in an action-filled climax.

You can find my more complete review here.

Blue Moon by Pol McShane

Pol McShane's Blue Moon is another great werewolf read, this time from the point of view of a man who is slowly turning into one. The protagonist works at a mental hospital and is assigned a new patient - a man who claims he's the only werewolf in the world and - what's more - claims that the protagonist will be the next one. The characters are very well developed and the story is infused with a good dose of human drama. It may not be the most action-packed werewolf novel, but it is a page-turner in its own right.

You can find my more complete review here.

The Beast Within by Jane Jensen

Last, but not least, Jane Jensen's The Beast Within is a novelisation of the 1990's video game Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within. But do not let this turn you off. Jane Jensen crafts a very enjoyable story where Gabriel Knight - the Shattenjäger - is asked to find out the killer of a girl near Munich, Germany, and it leads him to a mysterious, exclusive hunting club in the city. And, somehow, the story also seems to be connected with the life and fate of Ludwig II and a lost Wagner opera. This is a very engaging story, but it may be a little harder to approach to someone who has not read the first Gabriel Knight novel. It is unfortunately also very difficult to find a copy of this novel.

You can find my more complete review here.