Monday, February 23, 2009

Review: Howling Mad (Peter David)

What do you call a wolf that turns into a man during the night of a full moon? Why, what an amusing concept! So I read to find out.

The book layout was very strange. It starts out with the author consulting an interview with a "were-man." This person tells the author the mindset of a wolf and how he viewed humans ("...I am Self..."). Then he mentions a human named Darlene and how he met her. Now the story begins.

Howling Mad, by Peter David, takes place in two places - a small village in the great northern wilderness (Canada) and in the heart of New York City: Manhattan. Josh, a timberwolf, was bitten by a werewolf. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a metropolitan zoo in New York City. Meanwhile, Darlene is disappointed with her love life. She wants to have a romantic relationship. She works for a local animal rights group. One day, she walked through the zoo and saw Josh a.k.a. "Self" in the wolf cage.

On the night of the full moon, the wolf turns into a man who has no foresight of American culture OR human capabilities. Darlene, startled by this weird discovery, names him Josh. This was not an easy task. Teaching Josh about American culture was similar to teaching a city dweller about life on a farm. Nonetheless, Darlene and Josh start to develop romantic feelings for each other.

Josh faces trials and tribulations as he adjusts to human life and desires to return back to the forest with his pack. Unfortunately, the werewolf and Duncan, his vampire "brother-in-curse," want to kill Josh. Can Josh escape from these two supernatural creatures? Or would there be only one creature left standing?

I found this book in a thrift store just waiting for me to buy it. I was in a state of boredom because the small town where I was residing that night was quite dull. I read it in just two days. There is a lot of humor (who reads about wolves turning into humans? this is very original) and the plot development is excellent. This could easily be adapted into a made-for-television science fiction show.

Overall, I found this book to be exciting and worthwhile to keep in my collection. Full of humor, suspense and plot, it had me wanting to read more. There should be a sequel on the relationship between Josh and Darlene. This is one of Peter David's earliest and best works. I believe it is currently out-of-print but you may find used copies by browsing online bookstore websites such as Amazon and by visiting independent bookstores.


Anonymous said...

"There should be a sequel on the relationship between Josh and Darlene"

There is short-story sequel that was published in the anthology OtherWere: Stories of Transformation.

Wicked Melody said...

Thanks for the information! I should check out the anthology and update this post with my views.