It’s that time of the year. The Christmas cards were out for sale since October. There are rampant cries of “Black Fridays” afoot. And retailers indulged in materialistic lust, whilst the Nativity story (birth of Christ) stood in the backdrop. Yes, it was the sounds of Christmas in the air. Twenty-first century style. But enough about me being snarky and cynical about the season.
When we last left our hero, Reuben Golding (in the Wolf Gift), he had just inherited a sizably mansion on Nideck Point and he was with his new love Laura … both having received the Chrism that would make them full-blown werewolves. Though Reuben has grown into it, Laura is still merely fledging getting to know her new-found abilities. Under the watchful eyes of Thibault, Margon, Sergei and Felix (also known as the Distinguished Gentlemen), they are slowly guided into this new life as Morphenkinders. But in the supernatural world the dust never quite stays settled. Soon, Reuben is being troubled by the sudden emergence and visitings by Marchent’s ghost. To add to this poor sod’s misery, his ex-girlfriend has announced that she is pregnant with his child – a child that was conceived prior to his turning. What’s werewolf to do? I’m afraid a stint on the Maury Show is not in the cards on this one. Sorry, couldn’t help that. The main focal point, however, was the Yuletide celebrations that was orchestrated by Margon, for the entire Nideck Point. This was something that was so exquisitely described by Ms. Rice with such extravagance that it made most red carpet parties sound mere bollocks and surprisingly put me in the spirit for Christmas. I know what you’re probably saying: “how in bloody hell does a book on werewolves, put you in the spirit of Christmas?” Trust me, a considerable amount of pages (mostly in the central part of the book) was devoted to what could possibly the most decadent Yuletide celebration ever described that it is enough to solicit nostalgic drooling or the longing Christmas celebrations like it. We also introduced to the Forest Gentry; forest spirits that haunt the forest that are close Reuben’s mansion in Nideck Point. Though seemingly malevolent, they are actually quite gentle … that is until someone tries bollocks up around them, as was demonstrated in one of most chaotic and cataclysmic moments involving a bunch of foreign Morphenkinder (or werewolves). Apparently, holiday grinches extend beyond humankind, though most grinches don’t feel the need to rip you to shreds (or at least the few that I’ve ever encountered). Not your typical werewolf reading, but Rice’s world of werewolves are ever so richly woven and alluring enough to trap you into its intertwining. There are some touching, surprising twists that will delight rather than shock the readers and even shed a few tears.
A pure delight and another book that adds to the rich interwoven tapestry of the world of werewolves according to Rice; one of many more, I suspect, to come. And yes, I shall await them … patiently (just don’t take to long, luv). And yes, I forgot how mesmerizing Mary Fahl’s voice is in October Project’s “Return To Me” … 1996 and studying in college library with a certain Greek girl. I miss those giggles.