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”Life's generally artless ... but it does get these occasional hard-ons for plot. It connects things, nefariously, behind your back, and before you know it you're in the final act of a lousy movie.”

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Talulla is eight months pregnant, on the run from an organization called World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP), and trying to stay under the radar of a nest of vampires. Yes, vampires, which would be weird enough, but what makes things even weirder is:

Talulla is something special, something rather wild.

”Meanwhile, the freak biology show. My lungs expand, threaten to burst against the ribs--but never do. My spine elongates in three, four, five spasms and the claws come all at once, like speeded-up film of shoots sprouting. I’m twisted, torn, churned, throttled--then rushed through a blind chicane into ludicrous power. Muscular and skeletal wrongness at an elusive stroke put right. A heel settles. A last canine hurries through. A shoulder blade pops.

The woman is a werewolf.

And she is starving.”

She is also a pregnant werewolf, something that wasn’t supposed to be possible. WOCOP wants to examine her and her offspring, and not in the take a few test tubes of blood variety of health check up sort of way. The vampires, strangely, have been infected with their own religious cult ideas and want her child for a sacrifice to their god. To top it all off Jake, who at one time thought he was the last werewolf, has gotten himself killed just when she needs him the most. The bastard got her pregnant and absconded permanently. (Actually, I’m a little pissed off at Glen Duncan, too, for killing Jake off in book one. He was damn cool. This might be a good time to mention that you REALLY should read book one before reading book two.)

Jake left behind some journals chronicling his four hundred years of knocking around the planet which Talulla is delving into anytime she needs to hear Jake’s voice in her head. His more philosophical musings, while somewhat annoying to ponder, were also proving to be an endearing life raft.

”Did you ever have a dream you were dreaming? You know. In your dream ... you're having a dream. Dreams are the nearest parallel universe. Like the universe next door. So when you dream, you're really entering the universe next door. But if you dream you're dreaming, that's the universe NEXT to the universe next door …”

Talulla goes to Alaska to disappear as best she can, to safely give birth. It doesn’t work. The moment that her son Lorcan is born, the vampires attack. In her weakened state, Talulla can not even go all wolfie to protect her son. This forces her to make uncertain alliances with uncertain agendas as she works to get her son back. She also has to deal with her own conflicting emotions about how she really feels about her son and how much should she sacrifice to save him. Is he worth dying for? Her wolf side and her compromised human side contend for control of her actions which produces confusion when she needs clarity.

”You kill for two reasons. First, because it’s kill or die. Second, because it feels good. In the human court of appeals the first reason buys you theoretical mitigation. The second buys you a silver bullet.”

As Glen Duncan weaves in Jake’s writings and Talulla’s own reflections, I really did start to see them as more than just someone who goes all fur and claws once a month. Most of the time they are those other persons, influenced by the virus floating in their bloodstream, but not necessarily dominated by it. The book is frankly a quote machine, with lots of great thoughts and observations about being human and about being something else. The book is also humorous, sometimes unexpectedly so. I enjoy Duncan’s free flowing writing style. He is fairly irreverent; everything is on the table from anal sex to the existence of god. He even makes an Updike reference, talk about endearing himself to me. ”Updike would have rhapsodised about her oily skin and long fingers and freckled boobs.”

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Glen Duncan looking WOLFIE.

The reason I knocked it down a star is because of the amount of time Talulla spends being tortured. The moment she escapes she is captured by someone else. Each group brings its own creative way to inflict pain on the werewolf. They lob off hands and breasts, and remove organs just to watch them grow back. I’m always amazed at the amount of thought that has been put into how to torment and abuse another human being. Of course with Talulla’s regenerative powers, even more heinous things can be devised. As I mentioned earlier in the review, do read The Last Werewolf first because you really must meet Jake before you get to know Talulla.

I did write a review of The Last Werewolf, but it was an early effort so forgive the lack of pertinent details. :-)https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

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