Welcome back Wrecketeers, to the fourth instalment of ‘Top Fantasy Reads’.
As mentioned in the third instalment, this issue will also be focused on just one book series, again by Anne Rice… The Wolf Gift Chronicles.
First let me reiterate what I previously stated when reviewing Anne Rice’s more well known series, “The Vampire Chronicles”. Cast off your doubts, that modern day horror/fantasy books and films have filled you with, trust in your King! I cannot stress enough that these are nothing like that hideously awful “Twilight”, this series is about Werewolves, yes, but not werewolves as we know them. For one, these guys don’t have an aversion to wearing any form of clothing on their upper torso, they don’t have the ridiculous broody aspect that every single person in the Twilight series has, and even better, they’re not teens.
Shit, even talking about how bad Twilight is literally makes me want to break things, what an utter fucking pile of-
Sorry. Apparently I get side tracked easily, never would of gues- Oh look a fly.
So, to recap so far. Yes, the series is about werewolves. No, the werewolves arent broody teens that weirdly bond with babies in a totally non-consensual creepy way then become obsessive on a stalkerish level which apparently, is totally okay and even enviable behaviour in the modern day and age.
I literally can’t stop myself, as soon as I get going about the absolute purified pile of shite that Twilight is, my fingers just hit the keys with a life of their own. To be honest, I might as well just get it out there.
If you think about it logically, the film and the books are essentially about a girl who indulges in bestiality with topless brooding wet flannel-like teens, then gets greedy and dabbles in necrophilia with an even broodier, sulky un-dead guy with ridiculous hair, and oh let’s not forget, glitters like a diamond studded dildo in direct sunlight. Come on, even teenage girls have to realise this shit isn’t worth reading.
Right, I’m done with the moan now I swear. Moving on – The Wolf Gift Chronicles.
The main character in this series is a young man named Reuben Golding, a journalist by trade. Upon his visit to an ancient estate home, Reuben is attacked by an unknown creature, left alive although hurt and confused in its wake.
This is when Anne Rice begins to work her magic. Forget everything you think you know about werewolves, Lycans, Lycanthropes, whatever the hell you want to call them. What you know means shit. Rice rewrites the entire werewolf legend, just as she did with the Vampire’s in Vampire Chronicles, she reinvents what it means to be a werewolf from the ground up in such a stunning way that werewolf-hater’s will be spun on their head and left speechless.
I know this first hand as I was one of those haters. Think about it, what do we really have to go on for werewolves in the modern media? Sure we have the Underworld films, they’re good, but if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, they’re cliché as hell. Not to mention the fact that the wolves in it are just straight up boring.
There’s that “Bitten” show on the TV also, which if I’m going to be honest I don’t even really know what it’s about, I gave up trying to get into it after the men followed in Twilight’s footsteps and started randomly stripping, the story’s pathetically cringe worthy, and overall it just pretty much sucked.
The only thing that does werewolves justice, in my own opinion, was the Supernatural TV series, although again they had their own take on Lycanthropy. (On a side note, if you haven’t watched supernatural, go get it and watch the fuck out of it. 12 seasons of gloriousness.)
So, basically what we have to choose from is this:
Overly brooding, whiney, half naked teenage boys from Twilight, The cliche’, smelly, shaggy dog type with no control over their own actions of Underworld, or the overly brooding, whiney half naked man-childs of Bitten.
Not really much to sway you in favour of the moon howlers now is it?
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that when I picked this trilogy up, I most definitely did not have very high expectations. I hated werewolves, they were boring. Who in their right mind would want to turn into what seemed to be an oversized glorified poodle. What if you got wet whilst in poodle form? As an ex-canine owner, wet dog is one of the most horrific smells there is, and it’s persistent as hell… Ergh.
Boy was I surprised. Even from the start of the book, I knew it was going to be something great. There was none of the shit I had come to expect, but plenty of the intellectual type used in the Vampire chronicles. This was one of those series, both the first book “The Wolf Gift” and the second “The Wolves Of Midwinter”, that had me unable to resist the next page turn, I’d start reading at 9PM, shit its 5AM. How the hell?
The character development within this series is flawless; the effect the “Gift” has on each individual, unique. Even the descriptions within the story are beautiful, true works of art… Rice turns werewolves from blathering frothy mouthed oversized dogs, into majestic immortal creatures. And she does it with style.
The key point of these new wolves that Rice has created is that they are in full control, it can be hard to maintain yes, but essentially, they are still themselves even when they turn… another major point is that Rice’s wolves are essentially good. They can smell evil, and it drives them insane, murderously so. For example, around a good natured innocent, they are fine, but should they encounter a murderer or a rapist etc. They go into a frenzy, a blood wrought fury. It’s difficult to explain more without ruining the story, but the intricacies that Rice implements in this book will leave you stunned, every minute detail is covered and elaborated on.
Oh and best of all, they don’t turn into big shaggy wolf/dogs.
Basically, what I’m saying is you need to read it. Now.
On a final note, it may be worth mentioning that the third book in the series has not yet been released, so if you prefer to wait and check it out once it’s out, by all means… although my personal opinion would be to just get in there asap. You won’t regret it.
P.S Fuck Twilight.
Don’t forget to check out the previous editions of “Top Fantasy Reads”.