Publisher: Corpus Press
Publication Date: 31st May 2016
A copy of Where Wolves Run by Jason Parent was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Corpus Press, in return for an honest review. This is said review.
My old friend Jason Parent has a new one out! And I get asked to review it! How could I say no? Well I could have but that would have been stupid on my part because I always love his stuff. Well, Unseemly wasn’t my favourite of his to be honest, and after seeing this one was to do with werewolves, I went at it with a little trepidation. I have never read anything to do with werewolves from Mr Parent before. I didn’t really think it was his bag but you live and learn.
This is what I thought anyway.
Konrad lives with his mother. His father is never around.
Hasn’t been for years. He flits in and out of their lives sometimes but never stays for long. Konrad resents him a lot because of this.
When a tragedy hits Konrad and his mother, his father returns and fills his head full of tales of ancient evils and explanations for why he is never around that don’t really ring true to Konrad.
He doesn’t really have a choice but to believe him and have faith. Faith that he will survive when the evil comes for him.
I normally follow my own template of characters, plot then writing. I am scrapping that for this review only. I just need to talk about the story as a whole.
This is a short story at about ninety pages. You will finish this in one sitting I can guarantee it. Why? A number of reasons.
Konrad and his Father are the only characters apart from the evil. Father is always referred to as just that. Father. No name so you would therefore think no emotional attachment. Konrad is Konrad. Again no big emotional back story as to how or why they came to be where they are today.
You already know what the evil is so I’m not giving anything away there. I have read many a werewolf tale but not one like this.
This is so different to anything I have read from Jason Parent in the past that I had to double check I was reading the right book. I honestly didn’t think he could write like this. From the outset, the story is bleak. It is set in a time where people struggle with obvious hardship. No technology or fast cars around in this time. It’s a period that Mr Parent sucks you into expertly. You have a perfect vision of just where the house may sit within the dark forest. It’s almost like a fairy tale although this story certainly does not go the happy Disney way.
In terms of the atmosphere, I can’t think of anything that would truly get across just how dark this felt. I think the only thing I can think of visually is the film The Village. Especially the creepy bits in the forest.
You want blood and guts and gore? You got it. Not in an extreme way but it certainly does the job. This story’s big strength though is what it doesn’t say. It plants little seeds inside your head that get you thinking about every little aspect of it. It will get you scared by suggesting something to you and letting your mind do the rest. It will make you emotional by painting a sad picture in your mind and letting your mind frame it.
Emotion is the most descriptive word I can think of for this one. It is very deep, but not while you read it. It’s the sort of story that will have you thinking about it long after you finish it. It certainly did with me.
To summarise: a short werewolf story concentrating on two people and the trials they have faced in the past and may face in the future. Full of fear and emotion, this will definitely keep you riveted to the pages until you hit the end.
★★★★ nearly perfect for me.
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THE BEASTS WILL FEED.
The dense Bavarian forest outside the town of Rattenberg has long been rumored to harbor something sinister, something wild — mythical beasts that vanish into the shadowy woods after each attack, leaving carnage as the only evidence of their existence. Many villagers turn a blind eye to what is happening, but those who believe tremble at the mere whisper of the word: werewolf.
There are those who stand and fight, however. Konrad is one such boy. Too poor to live in the village, he and his mother fend for themselves in their forest hovel alone for months at a time, his father preoccupied with mysterious business abroad.
After a vicious assault on their homestead, Konrad finds himself buried beneath his mother’s mutilated body, escaping death only due to his father’s chance return. Alive, but taking no comfort in the presence of the man who had left him and his mother to face death on their own, Konrad soon discovers that his father’s work has followed him home…
…and it’s hungry.
CONFESSIONS REVIEWS JASON PARENT
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in on knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.
And for more about Jason, visit his site or find him on social media: