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Old 07-31-2011, 04:51 AM
Mi'niri's Avatar
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Default Suggestions for good werewolf books

First of all, I am a huge fan of werewolves like you wouldn't believe! However, I have reached the verdict that when it comes to movies and tv, that the werewolf stories are all the same story! Which is why I have gone to books now. If there are any of you who have suggestions for good werewolf stories, I'd be glad to look it up. And since I'm starting this post, I thought it appropriate to suggest my own.
First and foremost is "Raised by Wolves" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I have to say that this is the awsomest werewolf story I have ever read. It gets to the root of the hierarchy of the Pack and how a human girl who was adopted by a werewolf pack has to live in this hierarchy. Raised by Wolves novel is followed by the sequel "Trial by Fire."
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:07 AM
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I'm currently reading Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, and it's EXCELLENT. It's in free verse, which I don't normally like, but in this case it works really, really, really well. And I have NO idea where the plot is going, and it's just amazing. And...plot is hard to describe, but it's so worth it so far. To quote an excellent review:

Sharp Teeth takes the werewolf myth to new heights. It poses the question, "if there were werewolves - not just a single werewolf or even sporadic instances of lycanthropy, but lots and lots of werewolves - what would they do?" According to Barlow, they would form packs like wild dogs, except they wouldn't be dogs - they'd be men. Sometimes, they'd be intelligent, powerful men like, for instance, lawyers. Such an individual would become the alpha dog of a werewolf pack, would grow the pack's strength, bind it together, and give it purpose. What sort of purpose? Well, the same as any pack of wild dogs, or men for that matter - power.

Packs of werewolves, like any urban gangs - like the Sharks and the Jets, like the Crips and the Bloods - roam the streets of L.A. cutting each other down, vying for power. The main difference of course is that these gangs eat their kill. Yes, Sharp Teeth is brutal and will make an equally brutal movie someday to rival the likes of The Wolf Man or any other in the oeuvre. In fact it's not unlikely that Quentin Tarantino is at this very moment closing a deal to turn Toby Barlow's novel into a vicious and blood-soaked film.

Sharp Teeth is a gang story, but it's also a love story and a detective story in which werewolves clean the city of meth labs and enter bridge tournaments. Yes there is humor in Sharp Teeth - the sort of anthropomorphic humor popularized in the cartoons of Gary Larson, except much much darker. And there are tongue-in-cheek references to to children's books like Go Dog Go.

Sharp Teeth is truly a pleasure to read. I had no idea how I would approach reading a novel in free verse, but the answer is pretty much like any other novel, except different. Free verse is verse without meter or rhyme, so it's not at all like reading poetry, though the novel is very poetic:

Her teeth hit his neck.
The last thing he sees are her eyes.
The last thing he feels is the heat of her breath on his neck.
The only thing he hears
is the might of the surging blackness
as it softly growls
for him.

Though werewolf fiction doesn't normally fall into my bailiwick, Sharp Teeth has happily risen above the genre and has garnered a good deal of buzz. Does a werewolf novel have to be written in verse to gain attention or be taken seriously? I don't know. What I do know is that Barlow has breathed such life, such intensity into his lycanthropic tale, through verse or otherwise, that I found myself compelled from page one to rip straight through it. Like teeth through flesh.
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