Drama with extra fur and fangs

So I finally finished this book! I don’t know what it is about these past few months – I’ve been sadly very unproductive in the book blogging and reading realm. I have piles o’ books and not enough time to start digging into them. NaNoWriMo is plodding along, too… I seem to be stuck in a rut at 31,200 words. So close! Deadline approaching….. must read for inspiration! Onwards with the review:

Title: Lonely Werewolf Girl

Author: Martin Millar

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 558 hefty ones

Days to read it: Um, a whole year of slow, gradual reading and speedy reading near the end!

Synopsis:

Kalix MacRinnalch is a lonely girl even when she was surrounded by family. She doesn’t understand them and they don’t even try to understand her. There’s her arrogant, throat-grabbing, bully of a brother Sarapen with his paws set on the thaneship and a death threat on her head. Her other brother, the elegant mama’s boy Markus, couldn’t care less about his sullen younger sister except by throwing a few threats her way, too. There’s her sister Thrix, the Enchantress, too busy making a living for herself in the human fashion industry and appeasing the temperamental fire queen who happens to be her primary customer to have any time to babysit a confused adolescent. And there’s no point in even mentioning the nature of her relationship with her beautiful and intelligent cousin Dominil or her crazy self-absorbed twin cousins Butix and Delix. Kalix is troubled enough already without having to be embroiled in those sorts of clan politics. A half-empty bottle of laudanum and a diary seem to be everything to a melancholic, heart-broken, volatile werewolf hiding-out in rain capital, London. Until, one night, she meets two humans who open their door to the strangely scary but cuddly were-girl. After that, the Runaways and Sabrina the teenage witch get added on to that list, too. Just when Kalix starts getting comfortable, however, she suddenly finds herself in high demand by everyone, and much to their frustrations, nowhere to be found! It’s about time everyone turns their attention to the lonely werewolf girl.

Impressions:

I started reading this book a long while ago, and just slowly ate my way through it since then. Each chapter is on average two pages long –236 chapters complete this crazy melodrama. This way of organizing the story sometimes worked well sometimes not so much, in my opinion. There were many times when I got frustrated because the chapters would end so soon without telling very much, and then I had to cycle through the viewpoints of all the other characters before coming back to the viewpoint of said character and sometimes, still being frustrated after the wait. There were some points where I kind of got mad at the author, too, because he would repeat things he had already mentioned in other short chapters, so there were all these scatterings of short chapters, some of which didn’t really add much to the story.

That said, I still ended up enjoying how the tale unfolded. Reading this book is similar to watching soaps. It reads like a miniseries, where there are tons of love triangles and back-stabbing and death threats. But no, this is not a depressing novel. Martin Millar writes with humour and honesty, despite the crazy situations he puts his characters in. He writes humanity into these supernatural beings, making them at turns hilarious, at turns pitiable, at turns hateful. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to wring Sarapen’s neck or hug Kalix or slap sense into Vex. The best parts of the story were the dynamic relationships between the characters. Who becomes who’s enemy then becomes who’s friend then becomes who’s lover then becomes who’s enemy again? That in itself entertained me to pieces.

For those of you who’ve read this book, I think I might have missed something in my readings about the werewolf hunters – why did they think it their mission to kill werewolves (aside from the obvious fact that they can be dangerous killers)? Mr. Mikulanec was starting to get on my nerves after a while. Him and his Begravar knife. Grrr.

So, they might make a movie out of this? It looks like one’s due out in 2011, but there’s next to no info about it. It would be cool if they made it into a miniseries!

Excerpt:

The Fire Queen, whose extreme beauty existed somewhere  between a Babylonian death goddess and an Asian supermodel, advanced towards Thrix’s desk, fire smouldering in her eyes.

“Prepare to suffer appalling and dreadful torments, you treacherous werewolf!”

Thrix raised one eyebrow.

“What exactly is the problem, Malveria?”

The Fire Queen reached back into the depths of her nether realm and dragged forth a pair of red high heeled shoes. She slammed them onto Thrix’s desk.

“These shoes you sold me!” yelled the Fire Queen, “The heel broke! One moment I am walking up the volcano with a ceremonial knife in my hand, sacrifice at the ready and subjects bowing down before me – I was looking fabulous, of course – the next I’m hobbling up and down like a servant-girl with ill fitting boots!”

Thrix pursed her lips.

“Well, Malveria, these are clearly intended as dresswear only. You can’t expect a fashion item to stand up to ritual sacrifice on the volcano. I’ve told you before about choosing the right footwear for the right occasion.”

The Fire Queen exploded in a furious rage, cursing Thrix with deadful oaths never before heard in the mortal world.

“You expect me to appear at the most important sacrifice of the year wearing some dull but sensible footwear? What sort of fashion advisor are you?”

Random fact I learned: The primary source of Laudanum and otherworldly goods in London is at the MacDoig establishment. Good to know.

Rating: 4 bottles of the strongest MacRinnalch Malt

Thanks to Jenny from which I frequently steal must-read-book ideas from!

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6 comments

  1. Considering it took you a whole year to complete this book, I somehow don’t get an impression that this is one of those thrilling, stay up in the night sorta books 🙂 …and yet the plot sounds like it should be thrilling, or it has simply failed somehow!

  2. You are more than welcome. 😀 I am not sure how this would work as a film, but yes, I’m on board with the miniseries idea. British television would do it brilliantly, I’m sure. I love Martin Millar for having girl werewolves, it seems like werewolves are always dudes for some reason.

  3. Nishita – Haha, well, it took me a while to get into it, probably because of how Martin Millar organized the chapters. They were a little too abrupt for me to get used to any one character at a time, and there were so many plots in the beginning that I was a little overwhelmed by them. After I got into it, though, it got much more enjoyable! I still think it was a worthwhile read.
    Jenny – A film would be atrociously too short to cover even a quarter’s worth of what’s going on in the book. And you’re so right about the werewolf thing. I remember, though, there was a movie about a werewolf girl that came out a long time ago – Blood and Chocolate. It was also based on a book about a teenage weregirl. I remember not enjoying the movie so much. I haven’t read the book either, though.

  4. I love the idea of a female werewolf! The only book I’ve read that included a girl werewolf was the Twilight Saga, and that series was so utterly ridiculous that I don’t think it should count.
    Based on the excerpt you provided, the book sounds sort of like a fantasy-mocking-fantasy thing. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just has this tone that sounds very familiar, even though I have never read anything by Martin Millar. Strange…

  5. Allegra – I never read that far into the Twilight series myself! And you have it right in thinking it’s a bit of a parody of the fantasy genre. Martin Millar definitely has fun with his characters and his setting. If you like stories that poke fun at itself, you might like this one!

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