I really don't know what to say except this book was not at all what I expected, and I freaking loved it. It's a definite must read.
Original review posted here: http://www.yourentertainmentcorner.com/2011/10/book-review-the-last-werewolf-by-glen-duncan/
Wow. That about covers how I feel after finishing The Last Werewolf. There are so many things I want to say but can’t find the words to convey the emotions the book left behind. The title leads me to believe one thing, when it actually points to another. I’m pleasantly surprised by the outcome. The hero, as I like to call him, Jacob Marlowe, is a werewolf. He’s tired of life after having lived for about 200 years. He wants nothing more than to give in to the fate that awaits him, which is death at the hands of Grainer, head of the Hunter operation known as the World Organisation for Control of Occult Phenomena or WOCOP (whose father Jake killed many years ago), and his protégé Ellis (a psychopathic Hunter extraordinaire). So you fall into the book thinking Jake is going to die at any moment but then you’re pulled and twisted in various ways with the words “and then what happened next…” It’s kind of a tease I think. The suspense is almost too much to handle and I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the next section which would reveal what happened next.
The narration is refreshing. Not only is Jake blunt, but he doesn’t mince words when it comes to describing something. He—I think—loves the word “cunt” and uses it a lot. And I mean, a lot. Almost to an obscene amount. But it fits in only one instance, which I thought would lead to the end of the word being used. No dice. However, I did have a problem with one aspect of it. Jake’s narrative switches to another person’s point of view, yet it still reads like Jake. As a writer, I understand the difficulty of switching voices between characters when they are your protagonists, but I’d like to think Duncan would have made the appropriate adjustments to fit the narrative to the other character. Who is this other character, you’re wondering? I’m debating about spoiling it because it’s a big deal. It relates not only to the book’s title, but it’s the reason Jake decides he wants to live and the pains he go through to make sure he doesn’t meet his end.
You’ll be surprised to find (as I was) the chapters are short. I liked that aspect because it broke the action up a bit and fit with the mode of the book. There is one chapter that’s one sentence, and another chapter that is only three sentences (about three words each). I have to be honest, those chapters hold a lot of weight and the brevity of each puts forth more emotion and purpose than you might imagine.
I was sad to reach the end of this tale. Not only because of the ending (which is a bit predictable), but the need to know what happens next just won’t go away. I’ve read other books with werewolves in them, but none like this. Duncan delves into the heart of what it is to be a werewolf. He describes the build-up to the change—the metamorphosis from human to werewolf—and what it’s like to run free in werewolf form. It’s very evocative and opens the reader to a different side of the mysterious supernatural being. It’s probably the most exciting thing about The Last Werewolf. You uncover things about the person behind the wolf you didn’t know before—their libido fluctuations, hunger, and mental capabilities—while in wolf form.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, even overlooking the few things that bugged me. The story was good enough to want to continue no matter how many times I read about Jake being tailed and having difficulty avoiding the Hunters (i.e. Grainer), who seem to know his every move. There are surprises aplenty, hopeful moments, and undeniably exciting scenes that pull you into the throes of the Wulf. I recommend this one for a change of pace in the supernatural genre. You won’t regret it.