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Talulla Rising (The Last Werewolf 2) (The Last Werewolf Trilogy) Paperback – 6 Feb 2014
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"Wickedly entertaining" (The Times)
"The horror genre at its best - wildly imaginative" (The Times)
"Best described as a gleeful three-way between Raymond Chandler's entire oeuvre, Anne Rice's vampire novels and Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum . . . A high-calorie blast" (New York Times)
"Sexy, funny, blisteringly intelligent." (The Times)
'Duncan is the cleverest literary horror merchant since Bram Stoker' The TimesSee all Product description
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This is a perfect, guilty-pleasure book. After finishing a huge, historical tome, I needed something dark, funny, gory and dare I say trashy. That isn't meant as a criticism in any way, as I think the narrative revels in the full knowledge of what it is. From rutting, riotous werewolf action, to deftly deaths and kill scenes, you will be in no doubt that this book is fast, frightful and fang-tatsic, and doesn't pretend to be anything else.
As Talulla wrestles with her need to hunt and kill a human being, and how the wolf demands balance, so she can't always kill bad guys, her humanity seems raw, even animal-like as you might perhaps expect. This makes even her worst acts at the very least understandable, if not less horrific. You go with her on journeys that fill you with terror, and just as she does, you urge her to go back and turn around. Luckily, I think Campbell has perfectly placed the line most readers are prepared to go, and leads them with trepidation and dread right up to it, letting them look into the darkness that beckoned, but never fully engulfs. She never crosses the line where there'd be no return from, and for that, I'm grateful.
Each new twist and turn in the story was a genuine surprise. Characters that made a fleeting entrance in the first book returned to make a weighty impact on the plot. Obvious cliches were hinted at, then dropped and ignored, or pointedly exposed.
Without smiling any of the fun, the climax was for me, easily the best part of the book, and the revenge of one character was brilliantly delivered. Most of the scenes that featured the werewolf gave me an extra thrill, and did a perfect job of describing the animalistic senses and raw strength. I honestly can't think of anything I disliked about the book - and Talulla's perspective was a refreshing change to Jake's, who told the last tale. I look forward to the next!
If anyone had told me I would happily read this kind of book, I'd have baulked. But then one of my favourite writers, Glen Duncan, decided to write a horror story called The Last Werewolf and Tallulla Rising is the sequel. It turns out that Jake, the hero of the first book, is not, after all the last werewolf, but Talulla may be, until the birth of her twins. A warning, however, there is bad language and sex scenes within. If such offends you, do not read this book.
So, why isn't Jake the last werewolf? In fact, due to some of the activities in this book, there are more werewolves than we started out with. Talulla, as a new and somewhat bewildered werewolf has read The Occult Phenomena journal which tells her:
"Werewolves do not reproduce sexually... If you haven't had kids by
the time you're turned you're not having any, get used to it.
Lycanthropic reproduction is via infection: survive the bite and
the Curse is yours.
But here's the thing, the old news, the stale headline: no one
Is surviving the bite any more."
"Thanks to a virus. For which WOCOP has found a cure. A cure they'd shot into me the night I was bitten."
Why has the World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena found themselves facing an insurgent offspring dedicated to the Creation of occult phenomena? And how come Talulla holds the key to these strange developments? The book will tell you very entertainingly, without dissimulation and at satisfying length. I'm half-horrified to find myself enjoying this kind of thing, but enjoying it I am. Glen Duncan is an unusually versatile, unaccountably wonderful and accomplished writer.
Five stars for Talulla Rising. Book 3 is already waiting.
I loved the first book, The Last Werewolf, it was clever and well written. This is still well written, but something didn't quite work. I'm not sure if it was the increase in the number of characters, Talulla herself is a great character and her story arc was brilliant, but there just seemed a bit too much going on.
Enjoyable though and glad I read it.