I mentioned in my last post that ‘The Last Werewolf’ was going to be the next book I was reading. As my previous review was for a teen werewolf romance Juliet Marillier commented that readers should be aware that this book is definitely not for teens. All I can say is boy was she right!
At first I did not like this book. I couldn’t work out what it was I didn’t like. It was well written, although, again, another first person point of view (which in a recent writing workshop I was told never to write in as it doesn’t sell). It was intriguing, with a rich mythology and a cast of interesting characters. It was bittersweet, the death knell of the last of his species, the culmination of 200 years of monsterhood. But finally I worked out why I was having trouble liking it, it was written for adults.
For the last few months I have been reading a lot of YA fiction. Whether it be supernatural romance or high fantasy, it seems most of the fantasy fiction being released at the moment is aimed at the YA audience. There is nothing wrong with that and in fact a lot of what I read was incredibly good and some of them are favourites of mine but there is something about a book written for adults. The no holds barred approach to morality and the adult concepts are certainly missing from YA fiction. After I realised that what I was reading wasn’t making any presumptions about me, about needing to put issues in the book, about worrying whether a school library is going to purchase it, the result is quite freeing.
Again, a warning, the content of this book is not YA. It is a dark relentless, ride of a book, with no care whether you like the protagonist or not. It is written diary style, with the protagonist Jake Marlowe learning that he is the last werewolf. He has lived for 200 years and has had enough. He learns that WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena) is gunning for him, and he is quite okay with that, thinking that it was time to die. He decides to let them kill him, but his nemesis, Grainer, wants him to put up a fight so puts various obstacles in his way to make the final showdown a fight to the death.
The book starts off a little slow but after a few chapters the action hots up and things start moving quickly. I can recommend this only to adults. There is strong language, dark themes and high level sex scenes. Just the thing for a night in!