Wolf Island Paperback
by Darren Shan
Part of the The Demonata series
Grubbs Grady treads new ground in this, the eighth dramatic title in the Demonata.
But beware - Trespassers will be eaten! "We spot the werewolves as we skim the treetops. Mutated, vicious, hairy monstrosities, all fangs, claws and muscles.
The beast within me tries to force its way to the surface, howling silently at its warped brethren.
I've never rid myself of the wolf..." As the mysterious Shadow builds an army of demons, Grubbs and his team search desperately for answers.
But when they follow up a new lead, it takes them to an old, unexpected foe - the Lambs.
The curse of the Gradys has returned with a vengeance.
Werewolves are on the loose. And they're hungry...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 30/04/2009
- Category: Horror & ghost
- ISBN: 9780007260423
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Review by SamuelW
It has finally happened. Darren Shan, champion of page-turning action and self-styled ‘Number One Master of Horror’, has finally written a dud novel. The events of <i>Wolf Island</i>, the eighth instalment in his young adult horror series <i>The Demonata</i>, run parallel with those of the previous novel, <i>Death’s Shadow</i>, giving Shan a clear set of plot parameters to follow, and restricting his storytelling somewhat. His latest effort feels like it has been written to fill a predetermined gap in the series, rather than for any standalone merits.The novel flounders through necessary padding for the first eighty pages, as though Shan himself realises the need to fast forward to the stronger material ahead. His leaping over plot obstacles at breakneck pace requires the introduction of several disposable minor characters, most of whom feel one-dimensional and exaggerated, including a computer hacker named Timas Brauss who can solve far too many problems with far too little difficulty. Perhaps more thorough editing would have pruned away some of the unrealistic moments, but as it is, even Prae Athim’s character oversteps the suspension of disbelief, becoming too cold and calculating for her own good.Once the middle section is reached, <i>Wolf Island</i> starts to feel more like classic Shan: fast paced, non-stop action, perfect compromise between pace and description and, of course, the steady loss of all those annoying minor characters, one by one. Grubbs’ personal transformation is intriguing and lends the narration an unsettling coldness, taking the series into morally questionable territory reminiscent of Shan’s adult fiction debut, <i>Procession of the Dead</i>. The delicious mayhem lasts until we hit Juni Swan’s prophecy, at which point the <i>Cirque du Freak</i> fans will groan at the introduction of a plot device already used in Shan’s previous series. Just as the feeling of retreading old ground abates, <i>Wolf Island</i> ends with a disappointing set-up for the next <i>Demonata</i> book.The novel’s saving grace is its utterly readable prose; even if it is mostly a gap-filler, it will be easy for fans to rip through and move on from. Here’s hoping <i>Dark Calling</i> will be worth the dithering.