Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar

Depressive werewolf girl is hunted by her own family. She has nowhere to go, and no life until she is rescued by two extraordinary humans who find themselves caught in the middle of two power struggles: one centred on a rather crazy clothing-obsessed elemental; and the other, a bid for the werewolf leadership -- a struggle in which the Werewolf girl's dead body would be a very powerful bargaining chip.

I'm so deeply divided about this book. The prose is stultifying, it's almost like eating baby food that's been chopped down until it's so soft all the texture is missing. But even so, and this is where the deeply divided comes in -- this baby food has kick. There's wit and charm, and the odd glimpse of three dimensions in amongst the cut-out two dimensional characters. Even better, against the odds, the apparently rambling plot of feud and counter-feud comes together to a relatively satisfying conclusion, so in the end all I can say is people like this book. They do. My copy went flying across the floor more than once, but I still made it to the end, which is more than I can say about quite a few books lately.
It's the sort of story that can make a so-so author into a name, not because it's brilliant, but because it has the things that teenagers are looking for in a story, sex, drugs, depression, rock and roll, and originality. It's not preachy. It doesn't glamorise, it just gets on with the plot as two -- no three -- very different worlds collide. I'll never love this book, for me it was twilight all over again, maybe edgier, more exciting, and far less sentimental, but still pulp -- a fact proudly proclaimed by the cover as it declares the author has invented a new genre; "pulp fantasy noir."

Review:  Alicia Ponder

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