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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mark of the Werewolf (Jeffrey Sackett)

I've been looking for a decent werewolf novel to help balance all the vampire ones that are currenty proliferating the bookcases.  While cruising my favorite store, I found one that promised to be interesting.
Janos is a man who can not remember his past- he's not even sure Janos is his real name.  All he knows is that he's a werewolf... and wants to die.  Soon however, he'll learn that he's more than just a werewolf.  He's going to discover that he's part of a neo-facist plan to bring about the domination of the world...
I was really hoping that "The Mark of the Werewolf" was going to be a really intense, and suspenseful book about a werewolf as he eludes capture and wreaks ferocious revenge upon those that wish to do him wrong.  What I got was an interesting look at what it might be like to be immortal, with a dash of theology in the mix.
The story isn't bad, but not great.  It kinda reads like a werewolf version of "Forrest Gump" in that Janos seems to somehow be involved in so many important moments in history.  The style is simple and easy to follow with very little in the way of mood enhancing ornaments.  I didn't really feel that much suspense or tension while reading this book.  Some of the concepts and ideas put forth are interesting to ponder, but aren't really intregal to the plot.  In fact, the main plot is more or less a framing device for the historical vignettes that Janos takes part in.  I DID however, like the scene where Janos is talking to the vampire Vlad Tepes.  There was some nice humour in that scene on the part of Tepes.  The epilogue though, I found to be a little cliched, and unnecessary.
The characters lacked depth, and I could see early on in the story what would happen to them.  While they were believable, I found it hard to like or care about ANY of them- including Janos.
To be honest, "Mark of the Werewolf" felt incomplete and shallow... as if the writer was missing the cues by just a hair's breath.  This book had potential, but fell far short of being a piece of fiction that could seriously engage my imagination and emotions.  I'm going to have to put it in "The Bad".

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