Audiobook Review: Hair Raising by Kevin J. Anderson

9 08 2013

Hair Raising (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, Bk. 3) by Kevin J. Anderson

Read by Phil Gigante

Brilliance Audio

Length: 8 Hrs 41 Min

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Quick Thoughts: Hair Raising is another monstrously hilarious trip to the Unnatural Quarter where Bearded Ladies can find true love and Cockatrice Fights can turn you into statues. If you have yet to visit this world, Hair Raising is the perfect point to jump into the rumble, whether you are a full time monster enthusiast or just like your paranormal creatures once in a blue moon.

Grade: A-

I often hear people say, "Hey Bob, you’re a funny guy! You should be a comedian." I guess I can be funny. I like to make jokes ranging from the ridiculously corny to the highly offensive, and often said unthinkingly at socially inappropriate times. I have been know to make people snort out in laughter, or complain to an authority figure about my insensitivity, both of which I am quite proud of. I even managed to get my brother Dave to laugh so hard that my aunt thought he was crying. Unfortunately, this happened to occur right in the middle of my Grandfather’s funeral. Yet, it’s not easy to be funny. My ability to come up with a well timed quip can often seem natural, but I often give my eternal editing process a real run for its money. Yet, this doesn’t mean I should be a comedian. While it’s not easy to be truly funny, it is really, really hard to write funny. It’s tough to find something that is universally humorous, and not just funny it the right (or absolutely wrong) situation. Sometimes I try to be funny when I write my reviews. Sometimes, I think, I even succeed. But it’s not easy. For example, after reading Hair Raising, I thought the perfect way to open this review would be a hilarious zombie joke. I like jokes. I like zombies. How hard would it be to pull those two great loves of my life together and tell a really awesome zombie joke? Hell, Kevin J. Anderson has filled this series with some of the corniest and obvious zombie jokes ever, so I should be able to pull off one gut buster. Nothing. Nada. Zip. It’s not easy to think up jokes, or zombie puns, or even take popular jokes and twist them into hilarious plays of our beloved shambles. I just couldn’t pull it off.  Oh, I came up with some strange ideas. Things that resemble jokes, just lacked the one essential element. They weren’t funny. Luckily, this isn’t something that Mr. KJA suffered during the writing of Hair Raising, another joke filled entry is his fantastically fun Zombie detective series. This book, my friend, is funny.

In Hair Raising, our favorite Undead Detective finds himself embroiled in a squabble between full time Werewolves and their monthly counterparts. Both sides claim to be the TRUE werewolves, and it doesn’t help matters that someone is going around, drugging and scalping full time werewolves. Yet, despite being dead, he still needs to make a living wage, so Dan Chambeaux must also work other cases, including a mad scientist who keeps getting defective body parts for a used parts Emporium and another zombie who is being sued for Child support yet denied access to his son. This should be enough, but Dan is suddenly a celebrity when the book, Death Warmed Over, a fictional account of his cases becomes a hint. With all these distractions, can Dan, his partner and his ghost girlfriend prevent a full stage werewolf riot? Kevin J Anderson once again unrestrainedly unleashes every corny joke, monstrously bad pun, and twisted monster trope as he guides us though another adventure in the Unnatural Quarter. I really cannot think of a better way to spend 9 hours of your life. In a would crowded with over serious fiction, dealing with world altering topics, it’s nice to have a series that just lets you sit back and have a good time. Hair Raising is full of so many awesome colorful characters, from biker werewolves to a magical tattoo artist with a “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” mentality. These characters, on top of Anderson’s regular rotation of series regulars, make every moment of this book jump off your preferred listening device. One of my favorite things about Hair Raising is they very meta nature of Dan Shambles new celebrity. While I felt the case this time around was a bit weaker, and sort of obvious, the peripherals situations in this edition of the series make it highly worthwhile. Dan Shamble gets to visit the world horror convention where he is now a star. Anderson gives fandom a mild spanking, but it’s all in lighthearted fun. And despite the fact that the major twists were a bit telegraphed, there were a bunch of little bonus twists along the way to make up for it. There were so many moments to love in this book, with rumbling werewolves, simply horrid customer “service”, zombie flatulence, cockatrices and the world‘s worst hairstylist, and it all comes together in a action filled finale. Hair Raising is another monstrously hilarious trip to the Unnatural Quarter where Bearded Ladies can find true love and Cockatrice Fights can turn you into statues. If you have yet to visit this world, Hair Raising is the perfect point to jump into the rumble, whether you are a full time monster enthusiast or just like your paranormal creatures once in a blue moon.

Phil Gigante continues to do some of his best work in bringing this series to life. While it’s known that his voice can make the ladies swoon, and his pacing puts the thrills in thrillers, what originally turned me into a huge Phil Gigante fan is his sense of comic timing. He delivers the funny like the most seasoned practitioner of all things jovial. He managed to turn some of Anderson’s groaners into full bodied howlers. One thing I really loved about this edition was how descriptive Anderson is with his characters and how Gigante nails them EVERY FRACKIN’ TIME. For me, one of the highlights of this performance was a minor peripheral character describe to be like Edith Bunker. I swear it was like the man channeled Jean Stapleton. I couldn’t stop laughing. In fact, I think I would be willing to pay real American cash money to hear Gigante perform both parts of Those Were the Days by himself. And this was just one of many awesome moments, including a pretty killer mad scientist maniacal laugh, and a menagerie of otherworldly characters. This is one of those series that people just need to experience in audio. I know I could never read a Dan Shamble mystery and not hear the dulcet voice of Phil Gigante in my head, so might as well go for the real thing.

Thanks to Brilliance Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.

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Audiobook Review: Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

3 06 2013

Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

Read by Benjamin Percy

Hachette Audio

Length: 21 Hrs 43 Min

Genre: Literary Horror

Quick Thoughts: Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon tells the tale of the afflicted, the demagogues and the victims that this world of werewolves has created. It combines the detailed political and social alternate history of Harry Turtledove or Robert Conroy with the gut level horror of Stephen King told with a literary flair that escalates the novel beyond its influences.

Grade: A

I have always been fascinated by what motivates protest movements. I consider myself politically moderate, and have never felt the need to take to the streets over any issue. It’s not that I don’t have passionate beliefs, because I do. I will sign positions and write my legislatures, but I have trouble taking protest movements seriously. Maybe it’s a product of my conservative and religious upbringing where extreme political actions, even for things we cared about were looked down on. Maybe it’s a product of my age. My formative years were in the late 8o’s early 90’s. I remember the first Persian Gulf War and while people objected to it, there wasn’t the sense of outrage the second war brought about. I went to high school in the first Bush  years and college in the time of Clinton. We were more worried about the state of the economy than terrorism, human rights abuses by our government and social inequalities. Or maybe I was just lazy. Maybe I was so obsessed by my own personal struggles that I never looked outward. I’ll be honest, part of me still looks at the anti-war protests, the occupy movement and the modern social movements as a reflection on the desire of kids to have a 60’s like experience, than any true reasoned objection. It’s not that I don’t agree with them, it that I remember my politics at that age and how transformed I am now, and I can’t help but wonder if there will be some sort of reverse process for them. I have always been a “work within the system” type of guy. I think it fits my personality, and even though I have become much more liberal than the young republican college student I started out as, I still can’t see me grabbing a sign and joining the movements.

In a modern version of America where a prion infection brings about a lycanthropic change, those infected have been regulated to second class citizens, feared and hated by many aspects of the populace. When a gruesome terrorist attack leaves only one survivor, the country is up in arms letting their fear reign. The government cracks down on activist werewolves and begins to place restrictions on all lycans, while the war in the plutonian rich lycan home nation rages. Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon tells the tale of the afflicted, the demagogues and the victims that this world of werewolves has created. It combines the detailed political and social alternate history of Harry Turtledove or Robert Conroy with the gut level horror of Stephen King told with a literary flair that escalates the novel beyond its influences. Percy has created a political charged narrative ripe with modem day analogues, yet tells it a well paced, accessible story that doesn’t force an agenda down your throats. Fans of alternate history will appreciate the complexities and details he built into his world. Percy explores many area with a sociological authority that allows the readers to see the many shades of an issue that is far from black and white. Horror fans will have trouble getting their blood pressure down after an opening that will suck your breath from you lungs and fans of literary fiction will appreciate the well drawn characters, the lush prose and well told story. I loved every minute of Red Moon, yet, I do have one bit of hesitation when it comes to offering recommendations. As someone who truly loves alternate history and horror, this novel was right in my wheelhouse. Fans of horror may struggle a bit with the long trips into world building, wanting to get right back into the blood and gore. Yet, I reveled in it. I enjoyed the sprawling storytelling that took us from characters to character with an almost epic flair. While the story focused on three main characters, you truly felt you got a glimpse of the greater world within Percy’s intimate story. This isn’t really a werewolf tale, but a tale of humanity living with, adapting to and using fear. Percy even creates a limited apocalyptic scenario, ripe with dark images and tales of survival that truly rounded out one of the most satisfying reads of the year for me. Red Moon is one of my favorite novels of the year, offering something for everyone, and maybe a bit of extra for readers of my proclivities.

I am often hesitant about author narrators, but from the moment Red Moon started I knew I was in for a special listening experience. Thomas Percy has a deep sonorous voice that just made my hair stand on edge. He created such an oppressive, claustrophobic mood in the opening of this novel, that I was hooked. He has the perfect voice for horror, and while he lacks some of the polish in pacing that professional narrator may have, he captures his words with a raw beauty that causes them to leap off the page. He also managed to show a wide range of character voices. I did struggle with his voice for Patrick. Percy uses his narrative voice for this character, which was so deep it didn’t totally fit with the young naive juvenile  but this flaw was soon forgotten as he swept you up in his world. Surprising, his female voices was some of his best voice work. Percy shines mostly when things are happening, the flow during the expositional moments is where sometimes the pacing failed, but then you were sucked right back into the tale. If Red Moon isn’t nominated for an Author Narrated Audie next year, then a will take up a sign and march on the mysterious mansion of those who decide such a thing.

Note: Thanks to Hachette Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.





Audiobook Review: Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

29 05 2012

Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

Read by Fred Berman

Macmillan Audio

Length: 6 Hrs 48 Min

Genre: Supernatural Horror

Quick Thoughts: People looking for a unique, clever and highly entertaining supernatural tale will find Gil’s All Fright Diner fits the bill. It’s a great change of pace book for when you’re stuck in a bit of a rut, and are looking for something which is simply pure entertainment to clear your palate.

Grade: B+

I think we as a society tend to stereotype our monsters. All too often our vampires are displayed as eccentric and fascinating, with more than a touch of sexiness. They are pale and mysterious, often with European roots, and a seductive tone. Also, unless they are teenage boys who sparkle, they tend to be evil. While I can accept this for the most part, sometimes I look for a bit of diversity in my monsters. We are living in a society that teaches us to embrace our different cultural heritages. We shouldn’t fear that which is not like us. So, shouldn’t we celebrate diversity in our monster fiction? While, in essence, vampires and werewolves are monsters, can they not also be heroes? I feel it’s time for us to remove the stigma from the word Monster. There are many things that may be hiding in our closets or under our beds. When we walk down a dark alley, wouldn’t running into a petty criminal or rabid raccoon be just as frightening as encountering a Wendigo or chupacabra? We like to put the label of monster on our most heinous criminals, yet wouldn’t this be like mythical creatures labeling their evil doers humans? We also place such a value on beauty, while ogres and ghouls are considered monsters, other mythological creatures like unicorns and fairies are heralded, despite their potential for devastation. Should we really be judging mythological beings based on their looks, or what they like to eat? Well, maybe if what they like to eat is us… but I digress. Monsters, maybe it’s time to rise up and… well, maybe I need to think about this a bit more.

Gil’s All Fright Diner introduces us to two weary travelers named Duke and Earl who are just looking for a quick bite to eat before heading back on the road. Yet, they are not surprised while eating some of Loretta’s pie to find themselves under attack by zombies. You see, according to Earl, they live under the Law of Anomalous Phenomena Attraction where supernatural events are drawn so supernatural creatures, and Earl is a Vampire and Duke a werewolf. Gil’s All Fright Diner reads like a southern fried comedic version of Being Human. Duke and Earl are instantly likeable and the antitheses to the mysterious emo-monsters that all too often occupy our supernatural horror tales. These two everyman stay on to help the robust Loretta solve her zombie problem, as well as the other strange events plaguing the town of Rockwood, before the local Sherriff, Marshall Kopp is forced to close down Loretta’s business. So, quick aside, I totally had one of those embarrassing, "is he crazy" audiobook moments when snorting out loud when discovering the local Sheriff’s name was Marshall Cop. In fact, Gil’s All Fright Diner is full of clever comedic gems, as well as lots of action, a touch of romance, and zombie cows. It’s sometimes hard to remember the dark Lovecraftian, potentially apocalyptic danger the Rockwell is in, because of all the great characters and hilarious moments the book is full of. Yet, Martinez pulls it all together with world bending, unconventional ending that doesn’t fail to thrill. People looking for a unique, clever and highly entertaining supernatural tale will find Gil’s All Fright Diner fits the bill. It’s a great change of pace book for when you’re stuck in a bit of a rut, and are looking for something which is simply pure entertainment to clear your palate.

I really enjoyed Fred Barman’s performance in Gil’s All Fright Diner, and this was definitely a performance. Berman hit’s all the right notes and you can tell he just goes all out in bringing this tale to life. In fact, I would say that it is worth the price of admission just to hear Berman’s Zombie Cow moan. It is an audiobook highlight for me that I won’t soon forget. Berman handles all the characters well, bringing about the distinctiveness in their personalities in the voices he crafts for them. He paces the narrative crisply, bringing the weird and wild aspects of Rockwood to light. This is the third audiobook I’ve listened to from A. Lee Martinez, and it won’t be my last. Each of his novels has such a distinctive tone and unique, wonderfully drawn characters that translate so well into the audio format with the right narrator, and here, Berman was definitely an excellent choice.





Audiobook Review: Pavlov’s Dogs by Thom Brannan and D. L. Snell

8 05 2012

Pavlov’s Dogs by Thom Brannan and D. L. Snell

Read by Jonathan Davis

Audible Frontiers

Length: 10 Hrs 3 Min

Genre: Zombie Apocalypse with Werewolves

Quick Thoughts: Pavlov’s Dogs has a lot of good things going for it. It’s a unique story with a fascinating scientific tint that does a good job assigning a pack mentality to genetically altered Soldier-wolves. Yet, uneven character development and plotting had me struggling to become fully engaged in the tale. Yet, if you are looking for a different take on the Zombie Apocalypse, with tons of action and werewolves, well, let loose the Dogs of War.

Grade: B-

I’m a huge fan of the versus. Throw one little word between two awesome things, and somehow it makes it even better. Peter Clines did it with his Ex series, placing the versus between Zombies and Superheroes. Marvel has done it especially well, particularly when placing that word between Wolverine and The Hulk. This is the reason I was instantly interested in Thomas Brannan and D.L. Snell’s Pavlov’s Dogs. It’s no secret that I love zombie literature. Heck, I am dedicating an entire month to in honor of Zombie Awareness Month. Yet, my fandom of Werewolves is much more tenuous and unknown. I have enjoyed stories involving werewolves. I enjoyed Al Sarrantonio’s Moonbane, where apocalyptic wolf creatures fall from the moon, and Glenn Duncan’s gritty, often disturbing The Last Werewolf was brilliant. Heck, George is my favorite character in the original Being Human, and I love the werewolf aspects of that series. Yet, beyond that, I haven’t explored the Lycanthrope mythos in fiction much beyond the occasional appearance in some urban fantasy series, like The Dresden Files. So, a novel where we have Zombies, werewolves, and that word versus thrown in between these two killer monstrous staples, well, I believe I may have been legally required to check this one out.

On his Island Compound, possibly unstable Dr. Crispin has developed genetically altered werewolves with cyber controls that may just change the way we wage war. Then the apocalypse comes in the form of the ravaging undead. While safe in their island bunker, Dr. Crispin butts heads with Donavan, the new head Neurotechnician over whether to use the "Dogs of War" to save any survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse. While they fight, two friends, Ken and Jorge must try to lead a band of Survivors to safety while fighting off the infected. Brannan and Snell do a lot of thing well in Pavlov’s Dogs. The science behind the Werewolves, as well as the social structure of the pack is fascinating, and the author’s ability to shift and change the narrative often had me surprised and impressed with the story. Their ability to set up often overused literary stereotypes, manipulating the reader into engaging their preconceived notions, then smashing them created some interesting twists and turns throughout the tale. Yet, sadly, I had trouble fully engaging in the tale. There are a few reasons for this. I feel that a few of the characters were developed well, yet, many are underdeveloped, and then suddenly are thrust onto you as a major player in the tale. This was often problematic because there is no true main character in this tale, and I never felt I fully got to grasp onto any of the key players. Sure, I liked them, and often cheered for or jeered against them, but I never truly understood their motivations, or could truly justify their actions with the type of people I believed them to be. Also, while the focus on the Werewolves, and the internal power struggles of the island was well done, the other aspects of the stories, from Ken and Jorge’s travels, and the actual Zombie Apocalypse, felt a bit glossed over. There were things hinted at and implied about these aspects of the story, that I was hoping would get further explored, yet never were. Pavlov’s Dogs has a lot of good things going for it. It’s a unique story with a fascinating scientific tint that does a good job assigning a pack mentality to genetically altered Soldier-wolves. Yet, uneven character development, and plotting had me struggling to become fully engaged in the tale. Yet, if you are looking for a different take on the Zombie Apocalypse, with tons of action and werewolves, well, let loose the Dogs of War.

Jonathan Davis is a veteran narrator who I have listened to plenty of times in the past. I have found his narration to be hit and miss and Pavlov’s Dogs is definitely a hit. I think one of the tougher things for a narrator to do is to take on a novel with a diverse ensemble cast, and Davis pulls it off here with ease. I loved his interpretations of many of the characters, particularly to more defined one like Dr. Crispin or Jorge. In fact, I found his performance of Jorge to be a highlight of the reading, balancing the characters emotional journey with his biting wit in a way that caused me to wish the authors gave this character a bit more screen time. As with any tale full of action, pacing is key, and Davis found just the right rhythm to deliver the action scenes in a crisp visual manner. If you decide to check out Pavlov’s Dogs, I highly recommend you do it in audio. While I had some issues with the book, the audio production was top rate and highly listenable.





Audiobook Review: Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia

4 08 2011

Monster Hunter Alpha by Larry Correia

Read by Oliver Wyman

Audible Frontiers

Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Quick Thoughts: Although different is tone and scope, Correia has created another winning entry in Monster Hunter series, which while not immersed in the typical trappings of the series, adds much to its overall mythos.

Grade: B+

Vampires and Zombies may be the current rulers of the paranormal roost, but a new contender has entered the fray, the mighty werewolf. Well, not exactly new, werewolf mythology has spanned centuries, yet recently has been overshadowed by the Vampire and Zombies as central characters in novels, often regulated to supporting characters. Yet, there is a sort of special place for the werewolf, who unlike Vampires and other paranormal creatures, split time between their human and wolf nature. Recently, Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf has received a lot of acclaim, praised for its vivid prose, and gruesome portrayal of the life of earth’s possible last werewolf. Larry Correia’s latest entry of his monster hunter series, Monster Hunter Alpha,  takes a break from his normal lead, Owen Pitt, and its normal huge cast of characters, to focus on Earl Harbinger, leader of Monster Hunter International, and secretly a werewolf. When Harbinger receives word that former KGB assassin, and fellow werewolf has been seen on American soil effectively breaking their truce, he heads out to find him. Arriving in rural Michigan, to a small mining town called Copper Lake, strange things begin to happen that seem to break all the laws that has governed his werewolf nature.

In many ways, Monster Hunter Alpha is the antitheses to The Last Werewolf. It is a straight-forward third person tale full of action and dark humor. Correia explores not just the strange happenings in Copper Lake, but fills in Harbinger’s back-story, working for a secret government agency that used magical creatures as weapons in various wars, earning the creatures exemption from the hard line policies that the government has towards unearthly “so called” Monsters. Correia has fun with the werewolf mythology, which seems hard and fast at the beginning of the tale, but becomes more malleable as the tale progresses. As usual, government bureaucracy takes the brunt of his Correia’s biting humor, represented by corrupt and cowardly Agent Stark of the Monster Control Bureau as well as the upstart and inept rival Hunter outfit. Yet, where this novel truly excels is its relentless pacing. The action comes fast and often, as Harbinger and the locals of Copper Lake deal with one seemingly impossible situation after another. The progression of action, from a single unstoppable werewolf, to an organized pack, to a nearly zombie like swarm keeps the listener constantly on edge. Correia has also created some intriguing new characters, a few of which are assuredly destined to become fan favorites in later novels of the series. Although different is tone and scope, Correia has created another winning entry in Monster Hunter series, which while not immersed in the typical trappings of the series, adds much to its overall mythos.

Oliver Wyman again handles the narration of this series. I have listened to a lot of Wyman’s performances, and he is always entertaining. You would think that listening to a narrator often, you would become familiar with his range of voices, and while Wyman uses many of his standard character voices, he also pulls out some surprises. His voicing of Nicolai, the seemingly schizophrenic Soviet Werewolf is as amusing as it is brilliant, and worth the price of the listen. Instead of a stereotypical Ruski accent, he paces his voice with an almost Christopher Walkenesque cadence, countering it with a brusque gravely alter ego. Wyman does well to match Correia’s, at times, frantic pacing, without ever losing his audience. While Monster Hunter Alpha wasn’t my favorite Monster Hunter novel, it brings some freshness to the series, as well as to the overall werewolf genre.





Audiobook Review: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

29 07 2011

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

Read by Robin Sachs

Random House Audio

Genre: Literary Horror

Quick Thoughts: With language that is at times harsh and crude, but always beautiful, The Last Werewolf has both style and a fascinating plot that should make it  accessible to a wide audience.

Grade: A-

When it comes to the debate about “literary fiction“, AKA serious fiction and genre fiction , also known as popular fiction, I tend to come down on the side of what I read, which is I guess is deemed popular fiction. Yet, I never really understood the true, non-academic difference. Most people tell me that literary fiction puts an emphasis on stylized writing, while genre fiction contains more straightforward plotting. I usually then ask if the book is accessible, well written and entertaining, and if it is why do we need to classify it. I mean, the most stylized writer wants the book to be accessible enough that people will read it, and the most straightforward plotter, believes he plots with style. So, who decides what is literary, and what is just popular? The New York Times? Some, faceless critic with an MFA and the great American Novel half finished on his computer? I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal talking about how some summer releases are blurring the lines between literary and genre fiction. I found the article a little strange in its examples. One being Daniel Wilson’s Robopocalypse, which I find odd that people would even consider it on the literary side. Another being the beautiful and chilling Graveminder by Melissa Marr, whose previous novels were young adult. Yet, what really interested me was The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, proclaimed to be a literary Werewolf novel. Although, I haven’t read too many Werewolf novels, I was intrigued by the idea. What makes this novel different than those popular fiction-ish Werewolf tales?

The Last Werewolf is the first person account of Jacob Marlowe, a 200 year old werewolf, and quite possibly the last of his kind. To be perfectly honest, I had trouble getting through the first hour or so of The Last Werewolf. It seems the first hour was basically just a grumpy old Lycanthrope, waxing poetic about the pointlessness and boredom of his existence. Jacob is ready to throw in the towel, and let the hunters take his life. He seems to truly value nothing, not his loyal human familiar, nor the prostitutes he uses to sate his hypersexual werewolf libido. At this point, he is quite unlikable, and pretty much vapid. Yet, as the plot begins to fill out, the beauty of the language, and its idiosyncratic style begins to pull you in. Duncan writes with a lush poetic style, full of harsh imagery. What really makes his language stand out is his ability to keep you off balance, peppering the poetic with literary and biblical references, and then dropping crude scatological terminology. In one breath he is talking about “the inrushing night’s symphony of smells” then in the next breath he describes his bowels as “disencumbering a piping hot turd.” Yet, Duncan is not standing on style alone, Jacob is a well developed character, who never truly becomes likable, but does become vulnerable. Duncan doesn’t offer a lot of dialogue, keeping the story squarely focused on Jacob for most of the book, yet the plotting is well done and the story is accessible for those “genre” fans that are willing to give the stylized writing a try. Unlike a lot of books that start of with a bang, than cannot maintain the pace, Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf slowly builds upon itself, steadily gaining tension and entangling the reader more and more in Jacobs Marlowe’s tale.

For the audiobook version, the right narrator was essential for The Last Werewolf to work. Because this novel is told almost entirely through Jacob’s voice, with little dialogue, it was important that the reader’s narrative voice encompass the character fully. Robin Sachs was simply brilliant is his reading. His idiosyncratic British voice was the perfect match to our lupine protagonist. Sachs truly seemed to understand the 200 year old character, offering an almost Victorian tone and cadence to Jacob’s speech with deliberate pronunciations and a slower, classic style. With Duncan’s off balanced poetic style, the wrong narrator could easily lead the readers to miss the point of the descriptive language with poorly placed emphasis, yet Sachs never has this problem. Duncan and Sachs are a perfect match of literary artist and performance artist, and makes The Last Werewolf a standout listen for fans of all types of literature.