Book Review: High Moor by Graeme Reynolds

Werewolves to me are the most tragic of the fairy tale monsters. The constant struggle between the beast inside and the human, the blood lust and the loss of control over the beast they are the cursed with. Of course the Freudian view is that the beast inside has something to do with sex, but that was Freud for you; everything was about sex.

High Moor is a werewolf story that attempts to pull the werewolf back to its core, the manic beast ready to rip your throat out for both the sport of it and to feed. It’s the story of childhood friends who survive an attack while out on a scouting trip and fall victim of the curse. They are saved by a police man and a hunter that had been called in to hunt down whatever had been killing animals on the moor and these characters are intricately connected for the rest of the kids’ lives. Add to that the “pack” a group of travelling werewolves who have learned to control the beast inside and can control their transformations and actions while changed who want the kids dead and anybody else who knows the existence of werewolves and you have the scene set for the story told in the book.

The first thing you will notice with this is we finally get back to the werewolf as it should be, the savage beast that rips people apart. These creatures are no pouty teenage fluffy puppies who pout that they can’t steal a vampire’s girlfriend away, the werewolves in this story go back to the idea of the wolf being the animalistic side of human nature, the one that loves to hunt and kill.

Of course to add some originality to the idea of the werewolf these beasts are not out of control, well not all of them. There is the idea that there are two types of werewolves, the ones that can control their transformations and their lust for destruction and the so called “moonstruck” the werewolf that has lost control to the beast that wants to tear the world apart. The law is that the moonstruck werewolf must be killed before it causes trouble for the “pack” who is of course the werewolves who manage to co-exist with their destructive side.

High Moor uses the idea of cutting the story into parts; these are what happen to the children in the past, the introduction of the Pack and then years later the reunion of the characters to investigate a new spate of werewolf attacks. It includes vendettas from the past and friendships reformed as well as a few secrets to spice things up. This all adds together to make an interesting story that I enjoyed. I did feel though that the ending felt quite rushed and there was a little too much time looking at the childhood part of the tale. There are signs though that there will be a second High Moor book so this can of course be forgiven as the follow on book can continue the modern day part of the story so we can find out what happens next.

I pretty much fair to say that I enjoyed this book a lot. If I like a story I can sit for hours and finish a book in a few days and take the story in, even wish that it continues and this book did manage to hook me like that. My only complaint as I already said was that I would like to have more of the story based on the adult side of the tale as it did feel rushed, to me there could be much more and probably is much more to come, something I will be looking forward to reading in the future.

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