Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Wolfsangel by M. D Lachlan: Toothless

Boredom is Coming
Recently I've found it tough to read fantasy novels. Game of Thrones seemed derivative and boring. Sexually perverse bad guys that dress in gold; Stoic and stern heroes; A random girl that gets some dragons; A stupid  girl who dreams of being a fairy tale princess; A sword with a daft name; Regular bad descriptions of sex; Implausible buildings that make no sense...

I could go on.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just not interested in reading about people whose character is illustrated through a description of their armour rather than their thoughts, words and actions. So maybe everything bad I say about Wolfsangel is down to me seemingly not liking fantasy books any more...though character isn't developed in Wolfsangel through armour descriptions.

Wolfsangel is a fantasy story about VIKINGS! How can this go wrong? The cover has a picture of a wolf and some VIKINGS! It's a great cover, it makes me want to pillage.

Unfortunately the first 60 pages of Wolfsangel are weird and confusing. There's head jumping galore, usually to someone who is about to die, there are some weird turns of phrase, 'patrolling witch' was the one I found particularly funny.  I just imagined a bunch of witches on patrol in Vietnam. Why would a witch go on patrol? WHY? There's so much back-story it's shoved into every one of your biblio-orifices. I was on the cusp of chucking the book away.

But then it got better. The story jumped to the main characters at a much more interesting point in their lives. One is the adopted son of a king who loves a farm girl. The other is a wild wolf man who spends a lot of the time saying, "I am a wolf" and loves the same farm girl. Ohhhh, tension.

The farm girl gets kidnapped, they both go after her, one of them turns into a werewolf...

It's got an interesting premise. But its major (though not the only problem) is that it suffers from a similar malady to A Game of Thrones. The point of view that the story is told from is so remote and jumps around so much you never make a real emotional attachment to the characters. When they die I just go, 'meh'. If I cared for the characters I could have forgiven it.

But I didn't care for any of them. The finale lacked any kind of tension. Actually the finale wanders back into the same sort of weirdness the the book begins with. It feels like it was a single story that's been fiddled with to make a series.

So if you're a fan of werewolves or weird fantasy that's weird you might want to give Wolfsangel ago. Otherwise I'd try something else.