Saturday, 9 March 2019

Dark Book Review: Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery


Dark Book Review: Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery

Review by Casey Douglass


Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery


I’ve always been more of a werewolf fan than of those traditionally over-romanticised vampires. Give me the brute force, bestial power and probable risk of fleas over the daylight-shunning corpse-jockeys any day. That being said, I’ve not really read any decent werewolf fiction for a long, long time. Until I read Toneye Eyenot’s Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery that is, a collection of short stories and a novella, that all feature the hunt-fueled activities of lycan kind.

Book blurb: La Lluna Plena – the Full Moon – that beautiful and mysterious celestial body which stirs within us all those deep, dark emotions we do our best to subdue and control. For some of us, her influence runs deeper, much deeper. We all walk beneath her maddening rays, yet, while most may shrug off the notion that inside us all resides a beast – a savage wolf – there are those of us who embrace the monster within and ride that lunatic wave with abandon each time she casts her gaze upon us.

Some see it as a blessing, others…a curse. To be bitten, and fall prey to murderous urges beyond our control, or to have the good fortune to be born into the pack, or perhaps even to whisper words of spell in order to evoke the lycanthropic gift, there are more than a few ways to cast aside the human skin and let loose the wolf within. Those ways are explored throughout this collection of werewolf terrors.

Suspend disbelief, dear reader, because whether you care to admit it, or continue to live in ignorant bliss, we walk among you. We smell the blood as it courses through your veins and taste your fear on the breeze. We long to see the life drain from your quivering flesh as we gorge. Beware the Full Moon, as you are about to enter the world of the Werewolf.

Blood Moon Big Top is the title of the novella, and it’s the first tale you will come to as you delve into the book. It tells the tale of Marbles the clown, a loner who enjoys the thrill of being someone else when he is in full costume and performing for the circus punters. An unlucky crossing of paths with a feral youth soon gives him the chance to become someone else in a more literal sense, his body and mind changing into something more bestial and less easy to manage.

The story follows his adaptations, and the gore, when it comes, is quite sudden. After the initial baptism of blood, the reader can tag along with Marbles as he struggles with the slaughter, but he all too soon warms to the thrill of the hunt. There are lots of nice descriptions of the physiological changes he goes through, and the pacing of the tale soon builds to the feeling that, if he carries on in this way, his days are numbered.

Next up is Hunter’s Moon, a short story revolving around a werewolf pack and their preparations to celebrate the glorious Blood Moon. Naturally this entails a rough time for any humans unlucky enough to cross paths with them, and the exclamation of “Run!” could very much be a one word description of the general mood of this tale. A nice build-up and frenetic at its peak.

Dire is next, and is a snapshot of misery for an unfortunate criminal. A cat burglar gets more than he expected when he is paid to steal the massive fossilized paw-print of a dire wolf from a museum. It’s a classic tale of there being more than one kind of payment, and to beware the price of dealing with strange people...

Human Skin relates the experiences of Alex and Jason, a private investigator and his protégé, as they study the body of a dead woman, and attempt to get to the bottom of who, or what killed her. The “who or what” angle is quite the cause of disagreement between them, but in the end, they do get to the bottom of things, however inadvisable that turns out to be.

The final story is The Tomb of Legion, a tale in which vampires also make an appearance. The two species are in a state of truce, until powerful vampire Legion is broken free from his prison, and the werewolves find themselves having to face a vampire threat once more. This felt like a more typical, classic tale of werewolves against vampires to me, the rustic setting and gothic overtones enjoyable and fun none the less. Pack against clan, but there are also other forces afoot too.

Rounding the book off is an excerpt from another of Toneye’s books: Wolvz: Whispers of War. I didn’t read this as I wouldn’t want to judge a story from an excerpt, nor already be familiar with the tale if I ever read it in its entirety.

What we have in Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery are five werewolf tales that give the reader a dose of that claw-and-tooth loving vibe, the kind of enraptured appreciation of how terrifying (and thrilling) it would be to actually be a werewolf, or to even be hunted and chased by one.

The humans involved all come to gain an understanding of the law of the tooth, whether as victim or convert, and the gore, when it happens, is vivid and visceral. If I had to choose a favourite tale, it would probably be Hunter’s Moon, in part due to its swift escalation, and also due to its brutal ending.

View more about Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery here.

I was given an advance review copy of this book.

Book Title: Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery
Book Author: Toneye Eyenot
Publisher: Luniakk Publications
Released: 21 March 19

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