Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Review: Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free, bite-sized book reviews.

Lonely Werewolf Girl is this thick, intimidating tome but when one actually starts reading the book, it goes down smoothly. Millar's writing style stands out the most in this novel. Not only does he use simple language and sets a quick pace, his chapters are very short and most of them end at just the right beat. The author doesn't spend much time describing unnecessary details, instead focusing on the motivations, action, and dialog of the characters. Millar is someone who manages to break the "show don't tell" rule and makes it work.

As for the story itself, Millar surrounds his comedy with tragic and deviant characters such as an anorexic protagonist and cross-dressing werewolves. The plot starts out simple--an outcast on the run from her family--and soon spirals into a complex tale of politics that later evolve into a sitcom (that involves supernatural creatures) of sorts. This was an addicting read and easy to follow despite the huge cast involved. Each character has a distinct voice and remain consistent through the entire novel and perhaps my only complaint is that some of these characters aren't as sympathetic as I might like (you can only take so much whining)--although Millar does make them compelling.

One peculiar element is the ending for while Millar gives us closure, there are still some threads left open. Whether this is sequel-worthy or suits the "sitcom atmosphere" is best left to the reader. Lonely Werewolf Girl isn't exactly the great literary novel but it is a funny and enjoyable read that remains exciting all throughout. Anyone can pick it up and don't let the page count fool you: you'll finish this book in no time.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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