Saturday, November 10, 2012


I've had trouble getting excited about the books I've read recently: one I liked more while I was reading it than after I finished it, and the other was just the reverse.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan - This adult (meaning: quite a lot of sex, but not like Anita Blake levels) urban fantasy about the last werewolf was pretty fun while it lasted, but afterwards I had trouble formulating any thoughts about it.  Jake is over 200 years old although he doesn't look a day over 35 (or so).  He manages his condition through decades of practice, knowledge and accumulated wealth.  He's the last of his kind, due to werewolves being hunted to near extermination, but ennui has set in and he can hardly muster the energy to care.  Until he learns that a couple of factions are interested in keeping the species alive - for different nefarious reasons - and until he meets Tallula.  Sex, violence, violent sex, longing - all written intelligently.  But I'm not sure I can muster the energy to care about the sequel, Tallula Rising.  Maybe.

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel - Wolf Hall is not at all about werewolves but is instead an erudite historical novel about Thomas Cromwell and his efforts to assist Henry VIII in divorcing Catherine of Aragon and hooking up with Anne Boleyn.  Written with Cromwell as the antihero protagonist (and referred to only ever as "he," which is sometimes confusing), Cromwell schemes and bullies and manipulates, maneuvering himself and his extended household, to whom he is completely devoted, into a position of wealth and power.  Cromwell is smart and ruthless and is determined to get Henry what he wants.  What Henry wants is Anne, that clever, bewitching, determined girl; what Anne wants is power.  Wolf Hall is not an easy read, not a page-turner.  After I turned the last page, however, I was eager to read the next book in line (just out), even though I know how this story is going to end - with Anne, unable to provide Henry with the heir he so desperately needs, on the chopping block.

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