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Thursday, September 03, 2009

WOUNDED (The Wereling Trilogy 1) By Stephen Cole. London: Bloomsbury,, 2009

I haven’t come across any of the books in this trilogy before. They were originally published in 2003, but this edition has only come out recently. The cover features a pair of sinister-looking eyes and a silhouette of a wolf, howling in a dark green landscape.

Kate and Tom are thrown together when her family kidnaps him from his camping family and turns him into a werewolf. In this world, werewolves can both be born and made. Kate’s family are born ones. Her mother is the worst of them, a killing junkie who is addicted to turning wolf and killing humans. Kate is not a werewolf yet, She won’t become one until she has been mated with a male werewolf. Werewolf women are usually raped to turn them. Or, as Kate puts it, the girl is locked into a room with a crazed male werewolf and if her parents feel romantic, they might even put a bed in the room.

Kate’s mother, Marcie, has plans for Tom. There’s a prophecy to do with a human-turned-were which will usher in an age of werewolf dominance. After Kate rescues Tom from her brother, the two of them go on the run, hoping to find a Native American shaman, last heard of in New Orleans, who can cure him. But Marcie is powerful in the werewolf community. They find they can’t trust anybody...

It will be interesting to see how this one goes with the girls who come to my library. Right now, the fashion is for darkly brooding, Byronic vampires. Whether a not-especially-Byronic werewolf will be of interest, I don’t know, but I suspect that, like the recent spate of vampire novels, this book will appeal more to girls than boys. It’s a good enough road story and ends with the quest unfinished, so the reader needs to wait for the next volume. It’s not very long and I think it might work best in an omnibus edition.

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