In this era of horror where the tide of rotting zombies, and sparkly vampires is in danger of drowning the genre, it is always a joy when a author bucks the trend and producers a book that features one of horrors lesser used monsters.
Those of you who are long term readers of this blog, will know that I was blown away by the first volume of this series. High Moor was an adrenalin shot straight into the heart of of horror. An explosive thrill of a ride that brought a big grin to my face.
After a opening, setting the scene chapter, which serves to give some backstory to some of the main characters and firmly anchor the devastating emotional depth of the book. After the prologue, the story pretty much takes up right where High Moor left, and follows, and like the explosive prologue, the rest of Moonstruck will take you a one hell of a ride. This is the sort of horror that I was born to read. You know the sort of book that seems to create a barrier around the reader, that blocks out everything, creating a space where time has no meaning, only releasing the reader once this thrill of book is finished.
Where Graeme really excels in his writing is his ability to make this book transcend the parental lineage of novel. At first glance this novel of Werewolves battling Werewolves may sound like a big dumb novel, one devoid of any real substance. However Graeme has invested a lot in this book. From simple little things, like having some of his characters speak in a local dialect which serves to give the book a sense of place, to creating characters that aren't just one dimensional cardboard cuts outs. A special mention must go the character of Connie. In far to many horror books written by men, the female characters always feel like a hastily thrown together cypher, that one seem to be there to either get killed in the most brutal of ways, or as a love interest to the muscular hero. Despite being a vicious, psychotic murderous bombshell of a woman, she is written in such a way that you cannot help but empathise with her.
Have no doubt, this is a novel that is packed to gunnels with glorious over the top violence and gore. There are a number of scenes of almost beautiful violence that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page of the book. But this gore is balanced wonderful with an intelligent and emotionally packed narrative. That will tear out your heart, as the hearts of the characters are ripped out and devoured on the page.
Moonstruck builds on the excellent High Moor to deliver a masterclass in modern action horror. You will be howling at the moon with pure joy as this book reaches it's explosive conclusion.