Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar - Seemingly, the test tube book baby of several of my favorite writers.
If Douglas Adams and Anne Rice had a little werewolf book baby that was later raised by Neil Gaiman, that baby would grow up to be Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar.
The sheer size of this book intimidated me more than a little. It weighs in at well over five hundred pages, yet I tore through it faster than most three hundred pagers. Why? Because the action and humor never lets up.
Kalix is easily the loneliest and most depressed little werewolf ever. She is also the exiled princess of the royal werewolf clan MacRinnalch of Scotland. Despite her wispy frame and emo exterior, Kalix is among the most powerful werewolves in existence. She wanders the streets of London, drowning her numerous sorrows and avoiding death at the hands of werewolf hunters or family members who seek to shore up their claim to the throne after their father's death.
She is befriended by a pair of human students, Daniel and Moonglow, who are sucked into the world of werewolf political assassinations, high fashion espionage, and rock and roll.
The cast of characters numbers in the dozens. There are treacherous werewolf aristocrats, noble outcasts, would-be rockers, powerful warlords, fashionista fairy queens, seedy supernatural relic dealers, and a cross-dressing werewolf warrior-prince. The vast majority of these players are morally ambiguous. They each experience flashes of good and moments of pure evil that keep the story moving. Their goals may be simple, but their motives, alliances, and actions are anything but.
Though the book is quite lengthy, the text is broken up into chapters of usually two to three pages. This structure is ideal for reading in five or ten minute stretches if you are like me and are forced to resort to guerrilla reading sessions as time permits.
Lonely Werewolf Girl is my new favorite werewolf novel. I’m trying to get away from stars, but if you need one for this review, I give it the Super Mario Brothers invincibility star as follows: