Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan
Series: The Last Werewolf #2
Published by Knopf
Published on: June 26, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
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When I change I change fast. The moon drags the whatever-it-is up from the earth and it goes through me with crazy wriggling impatience . . . I’m twisted, torn, churned, throttled—then rushed through a blind chicane into ludicrous power . . . A heel settles. A last canine hurries through. A shoulder blade pops. The woman is a werewolf.
The woman is Talulla Demetriou.
She’s grieving for her werewolf lover, Jake, whose violent death has left her alone with her own sublime monstrousness. On the run, pursued by the hunters of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), she must find a place to give birth to Jake’s child in secret.
The birth, under a full moon at a remote Alaska lodge, leaves Talulla ravaged, but with her infant son in her arms she believes the worst is over—until the windows crash in, and she discovers that the worst has only just begun . . .
What follows throws Talulla into a race against time to save both herself and her child as she faces down the new, psychotic leader of WOCOP, a cabal of blood-drinking religious fanatics, and (rumor has it) the oldest living vampire.
Harnessing the same audacious imagination and dark humor, the same depths of horror and sympathy, the same full-tilt narrative energy with which he crafted his acclaimed novel The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan now gives us a heroine like no other, the definitive twenty-first-century female of the species.
Talulla Rising, as its name might suggest, is a different beast from that of its precursor, The Last Werewolf. Tone most fundamentally has been altered. Whereas before the protagonist, Jake Marlowe, seemed to be pulling at straws to continue the story, Talulla’s in a pickle from the get-go, which one could argue Jake was in something like this too, but Talulla is less inclined to pause and wonder if there is a story to be told than to tell a story. As such this latter novel is much more B-movie, except B-movie with a pretty gross level of XXX-rated material.
Kill sequences are frequently anatomical, which if you happen to be a doctor leaves little to the imagination but if like me your knowledge of human anatomy is working at best these descriptions are just a bit opaque. As before though these details complement the suspect Neo-Gothic style, which I believe I am arguing sort of drifts off here into more hokey and less-than-believable happenings, which makes little sense since very few new movers or shakers are introduced here. It is clearly a mystery.
Talulla’s XX insights are more than welcome however and bring a lot of fresh air (sometimes too much: too much childhood, too much incomplete sensory information). I am treating this and its precursor, perhaps unfairly, as very much a complete package because of the frequent allusions to the previous narrator and his deep insights.
The air of homage is very thick with this one and because of that I could see fans of the first being let down by this narrator who is more repetitive (I swear I saw the phrase mathematical silence, at least, ten times…and don’t get me started on the name, Delilah Snow) and less self-conscious.
The first had a lot of journal play in which the narrative would skip to reflect just when Jake had the time to write it all down. Unfortunately Talulla is not quite as thorough as her precursor but what do you expect from a narrator who is like thirty years old versus the magnanimous four hundred year old?
I was mostly pleased to return to the world and intrigued as to what plot twists would be unwound. The first was very twisty and the second happily is as well.
|Books in this series:|
|Recommended:||As hokey continuation with a lot more XX chromosome|
|Like this, like that:||Werewolves series by David Wellington and The Holloway Pack series by J.A. Belfield|