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Monday, July 23, 2012

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan


Title: Talulla Rising
Author: Glen Duncan
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780307595096
Publisher: Knopf
Twitter: @AAKnopf
Format: eBook from NetGalley for Review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Well, no one is more surprised about me liking Talulla Rising than I am. The Last Werewolf may top the list of books I've read recently that I thoroughly disliked, but I had been sent an eBook copy of the follow up, and thought I'd at least read the first couple of chapters to see if it was still as bad, in my opinion, as the first book. Jump ahead 3 hours later, and I hadn't put it down yet, and then finished it today. It's like Talulla Rising is written by a completely different man. Different storytelling technique; different pacing; different everything to me.


I think what really did it for me was the fact that Jake was just sitting around, waiting to die in the first book, and in this book, Talulla actually has a purpose in trying to rescue her children. Her life has meaning, whereas by the time Jake meets her in his book and has meaning in his life again, I just didn't care if he lived or died. I'd spent so much time in the first book just slogging through him whining and whining and whining about being old, not caring, blah blah blah, that I didn't care for him. At all. I know I probably should have felt for him and his plight, but I didn't.

The action is fairly non stop in this book. It picks up roughly 9 months after The Last Werewolf, and Talulla and Cloquet have hidden themselves away in Alaska, waiting for the birth of her child. The vampires discover their hideout and attack, only to have Talulla go into labor, where they subdue her and take her newly born son right from her. However, the vampires escape before they realize there are two children, and Zoe is born shortly after. What follows is a whirlwind adventure across the globe as Talulla tries to rescue her son from the vampires and the Helios project.

I now have to take back what I said about Glen Duncan's writing before. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and if there is a follow up to this story, I'm sure I'll be picking it up. I know this is quite a reversal of attitude, but that's the amazing thing about books; they can reform your mind and opinions constantly, and that's why I love reading.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan


Title: The Last Werewolf
Author: Glen Duncan
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780307595089
Publisher: Knopf
Twitter: @AAKnopf
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2/5 stars

Words commonly used to describe The Last Werewolf: "sexy", "quirky", "brilliant", "glorious", "witty,"... the list goes on and on, and I'm left wondering if I actually read the same book as everyone else. There wasn't one thing that I found in the book that made me think this was something even remotely warranted the kind of praise listed above.

Jake is the last werewolf alive, and after nearly 200 years of living, and knowing he is now the last of his kind, he's ready to die. He is being hunted by an organization that wants to see him dead, and he's ready to let them have their way. The ennui in this book practically drips off the page, and I actually found myself wishing he'd just commit suicide and save everybody, me included, the trouble of having to finish the story. The first part of the book was absolutely tedious reading, but I stuck with it, thinking there was something that was going to grab me and pull me in, since so many people are just batshit over this book.

Unfortunately, it wasn't until the last 1/3 of the book that anything picks up, and by that point, I just didn't give a shit what happened to Jake anymore. I found the ending fairly predictable and nothing shocked me about it.

Needless to say, I don't know that I'll be picking anything by Glen Duncan up any time soon. I'm giving the book 2 stars, only because if the first 2/3 of the book were written like the last 1/3, I think I may have enjoyed it more. Maybe.