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"Worth a look but disappointing"
on 4 July 2013
Having thoroughly enjoyed Queen Victoria Demon Hunter I was looking foward to the next "A E Moorat" novel. I'm afraid it really is not as good.
It is linked to Demon Hunter by the idea of demons being a threat to the monarchy that must be negotiated with or fought and is in the same vein. The vein however has been opened rather more widely here.
There is a ton of gore describing characters having their throats ripped out by werewolves and it gets a bit stomach churning e.g. "he looked like he was trying to vommit a hairy parsnip!"
There needs to be a fair amount of gore admittedly for the werewolves to be taken seriously as a threat. Laced with humour like in Demon Hunter and built up to properly, gory descriptions can have a visceral shock efect. But when it's just layered on it becomes merely unpleasant instead.
There are hardly any sympathetic characters but the portrayal of Henry with allowance made for these extraordinary cirucmstances is an authentic one. He's a man capable of being very generous or very vicious who is obsessed with the idea of a male heir.
There's a bit of 1941 Wolfman Laurence Talbot guilt at the attrocities but mostly he likes being a werewolf.
Moorats' werewolves are fully self aware and while they cannot control the transformation, remember who they are in wolf form. This is a good idea for wolfmen and the gradual increase of wolfish thoughts in Henry's mind is well conveyed.
However innaccurate this may be, I felt reading it that Moorat's heart may not really have been in it.
The best I can say it that if you really loved Demon Hunter, it's worth a read & has its moments but does not live up to its pedigree.