Saturday, 7 May 2016

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones: Review

3 stars
Arc provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

A solid novel that successfully blends commentary on family life with werewolves. 

Our narrator is surrounded by werewolves. His grandfather, aunt and uncle: the only family he has left, are all a little more lupine than most people. All this boy wants is to be a werewolf, to be like the uncle he idolises, but as the years go by it seems increasingly likely that he is not destined to be a lycanthrope. We follow his childhood and adolescence as he learns to accept his own identity. As well as getting to read about grave-robbing werewolves and roadkill-chomping action!

I liked this book, although I did not have strong feelings about it. The family dynamic between the narrator and his near foster-parents Darren and Libby was well-established by Jones, and their love for each other was palpable. They could be viewed as a dysfunctional family: always on the move to avoid the consequences of their identity being discovered, and the fact that they are simply meat-eating werewolves. But their bonds are so strong that their family seemed more functional to me than many families.The writing was OK: it was as nothing fancy, but it worked well. 

Overall, this was a good book that I'd recommend if you enjoy the horror genre, or are looking for literary fiction with a bit more 'bite'!

Thanks to Harper Collins and NetGalley for providing me with this arc

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