Title: The Last Werewolf
Author: Glen Duncan
Series: Bloodlines Trilogy #1
Received for review from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads)
Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you’d never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you–and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.
Jake’s depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide–even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.
I picked this up on NetGalley a while back, but what prompted me to read it was being able to loan the audiobook from the library. I was looking for something new to listen to in the car, and when I saw this on the shelves, I figured it would kill two birds with one stone.
I mention this only because the audiobook is awesome. I love the guy who read it – he had a really rich and refined voice, deep and sexy. He read in a languid, almost bored kind of way that was just perfect for the character. I’ve listened to audiobooks before, but I don’t think I’ve heard one that really added another dimension to the joy of the story.
But, back to the story. The Last Werewolf wasn’t a typical werewolf story. Visceral (in both senses of the word), erotic and poetic, Jake’s diaries take you on a tour of all the ins and out of werewolfism that’s so detailed, it’s almost pedantic – only the beauty and the utterly convincing voice prevent it ever reaching that point.
I’ve seen criticism of Jake as an overly verbose character. And while I agree he’s verbose – it suits. This is a guy who’s 200 years old. He’ll have done a lot of reading, travelling and experiencing in his time. He needed to be superior to be convincing, so it totally worked for me.
I loved the mythology – the physical effects of the transformation on the body, WOCOP and the hunters tracking down and killing the supernatural population, the ‘spirits’ of Jake’s human victims sort of existing inside him, Vampire population control and many more little details that were really interesting and leant a great deal of credibility to the world.
The plot was long and wending, but ultimately satisfying. Little details that you noticed at the time, but got left alone long enough for you to think you were reading too much into it, are brought back into play later – so many little details building up to much bigger payoffs. The ‘everyone wants Jake’ conflict provided lots of excitement, as well as almost political intrigue.
Overall, an excellent book that I’ve really enjoyed listening to over the past two weeks on my commute. Highly recommended.