Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

Talulla Rising

Talulla Rising is the sequel to The Last Werewolf.  It picks up nine or so months later with Talulla giving birth to a son and a daughter.  The former is ripped from her arms and the rest of the book is more or less about Talulla searching for and trying to get her son back and keep both her children safe. 

My reaction to Talulla Rising was all over the place.  I liked it.  I didn't like it.  Duncan doesn't write women quite as well as he writes men.  I mean Jake's world weary voice in The Last Werewolf was near perfect, but he was less successful writing the female Talulla.  I can't put my finger on it but there was something missing with Talulla; she was just a bit flat.  That being said, the book was best when Talulla was on her own figuring out her next move.  For the most part it moves pretty quickly with lost of action, which for the most part kept me wanting to read more, except when Talulla was plotting with other characters then things got a bit slow. 

Speaking of other character, in the first book of this planned trilogy we were led to believe that Jake Marlowe was the last werewolf.  Then suddenly there was Talulla, and in this second book even more werewolf characters are introduced.  The species appears to no longer be in danger of extinction.  Even though there was an explanation for the jump in werewolf numbers, the change was a bit jarring.  Further, werewolves, we were told in The Last Werewolf, are solitary animals but here they quickly form a pack.  It seemed a little bit too easy how everyone became friends and family so quickly.

It should be noted that Talulla Rising contains loads of violence, really violent violence.  There was one point when I had to stop reading because I was so grossed out by the many ways the author came up with to describe the torture that can be inflicted on a human body (and I'm not even talking about the werewolves eating people thing).  I suppose this falls into the horror genre so the violence shouldn't be a surprise but as someone who hasn't read many horror novels, I was surprised.

In sum, I liked Talulla Rising and at times I didn't, and I will definitely be reading the next novel in Glen Duncan's werewolf series.

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