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Saturday, December 11, 2010


Author: David Wellington
Plot Type: Horror Fantasy 
Ratings: Violence5, Sensuality2-3, Humor2-3
Publisher and Titles: Three Rivers Press
      Frostbite (2009)
      Overwinter (2010)

     David Wellington tells terrific paranormal stories, and he chooses spectacular cover art that graphically portrays the horror of his supernatural creatures. I enjoyed his LAURA CAXTON vampire series, with its gruesome vamps and plucky heroine, and this series is just as great and just as horror-filled.

     In this world, werewolves have many of the usual characteristics: moon-related change, allergy to silver, blood lust, and super strength. These werewolves, however, don't change just once a month. They change every time the moon rises, and in the northern winter the moon-rise time can be very long.  Essentially, then, they spend half their lives in wolf form. 

     When werewolves are in their animal form, they hate humans and live only to kill them. When they are human, they do not remember what they did as wolves. They are descended from the dire wolf, a massive North American wolf that is now extinct. 

     Humans know about the existence of werewolves. The villains of the series are some secretive Canadian government operatives who want to use the North woods for their own purposes. They need the werewolves to be wiped out ASAP, whatever the cost.  

                    NOVEL 1:  Frostbite                    
Publisher's Blurb:
     "There's one sound a woman doesn't want to hear when she's lost and alone in the Arctic wilderness: a howl. When a strange wolf's teeth slash Cheyenne's ankle to the bone, her old life ends, and she becomes the very monster that has haunted her nightmares for years. Worse, the only one who can understand what Chey has become is the man—or wolf—who's doomed her to this fate. He also wants to chop her head off with an axe.

     "Yet as the line between human and beast blurs, so too does the distinction between hunter and hunted...for Chey is more than just the victim she appears to be. But once she's within killing range, she may find that—even for a werewolf—it's not always easy to go for the jugular."

My Comments:
     The series heroine is Cheyenne (Chey) Clark, an American woman who hates werewolves with a deep and abiding passion. At the beginning of Frostbite, Chey is on foot and alone in the wilds of the Northwest Territories in search of something or someone unknown to the reader. After getting caught in a flash flood, Chey's trip goes from bad to worse when she meets up with a fierce werewolf and her life is changed forever.

     Eventually, we get Chey's back story and learn the reason for both her werewolf hatred and her solitary trip into the woods. We also meet Montgomery Powell, a lone Canadian werewolf who has done his best to stay away from humans in order to keep himself from killing them. 

     The first novel takes Powell and Chey through the beginnings of their relationship as Chey resigns herself to her new life and the pair manages to defeat the first group of villains. In Overwinter, a third werewolf turns up at their campsite wanting to renew her old acquaintance with Powell, while a vengeful and a colorful new hunter with bluish-gray skin sets his sights on all three of them.

     The subtle humor in Frostbite comes from Dzo, a person...or spirit...or something else who seems to live in the forest...or in the lake...or somewhere else and appears seemingly out of thin air to assist Powell and Chey with various tasks. Dzo's humor comes from his apparent cluelessness about many aspects of human culture (e.g., Chey's modesty when naked). 

                    NOVEL 2:  Overwinter                    
Publisher's Blurb:
     Cheyenne Clark—a woman whose hatred for werewolves has turned her into the very beast she most despises—prowls the Arctic Circle on the trail of an ancient secret, hunting for the one thing that could remove the lycanthropic curse and make her human again.    

     "Yet standing between Chey and her goal are a werewolf hunter armed with a diabolically brilliant weapon, a centuries-old werewolf with her own mysterious agenda…and Chey’s own complicated feelings for the man who doomed her to this existence but on whom her life now depends. 

     "Worse, with every hour that passes, the wolf inside Chey becomes more powerful.  It won’t be long before the woman disappears completely, and only the beast is left." 

My Comments:
     In the more humorous Overwinter, more of Dzo's fellow creatures from Inuit mythology turn up, adding to the humor before a not-very-happily-after ending resolves the plot line. Wait until you see who rescues the werewolves from the snowmobiling hunters. I laughed out loud!

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