I…meant to write this review sooner. Actually I meant to write it the week this book came out. But I kept putting it off, because it’s hard to think of what to say about a book that is a) a sequel and b) awesome in ways that are difficult to convey in words. And now here it is already out, and I still have not written my review.
In brief: Go and buy Lonely Werewolf Girl and read it. When you inevitably love it, go buy Curse of the Wolf Girl because it’s just as funny, sweet, and delightful as its predecessor. Scottish werewolf Kalix MacRinnalch, who cannot live with her family, struggles with depression and self-harm, and is addicted to laudanum, has come to stay with two London students, Daniel and Moonglow. She is allowed to do this as long as she attends college in town, where she must learn to read properly and do math. Joining her is Fire Elemental princess Agrivex, whose guardian Malveria needs a break from her maddening good cheer and thoughtlessness. There are also other MacRinnalch werewolves, werewolf hunters, sorceresses, and fairy queens with lipstick that never wears off.
(Or, I presume, comes off on cups. I do not mind popping into the ladies’ room to apply fresh lipstick, but I hate getting it on coffee cups or water glasses.)
As with all of Millar’s books, Curse of the Wolf Girl proceeds at a rapid pace, leaping from one set of characters to the next with careless abandon. In a way this is a shame–I love Vex, for instance, and was always sorry when the scene shifted away from her multi-gold-star remedial college experiences. But it’s what I’ve come to expect from Millar’s books, that slightly frantic shifting of the scene that allows for so many interlocking plotlines, and it was good when slightly less interesting characters were around. Like Kalix’s mother. I got bored of her, though fortunately she was not around much.
I have probably said this before, but one of the things I admire about Millar’s plots is that he can give equal importance to fighting off werewolf killers and throwing a successful fundraising event. Although the werewolf hunters are of more interest to some characters, many of them have little attention to spare for this as they are planning outfits and performers and lipstick. The climactic scene, which is perhaps a smidgen too reminiscent of the climax of Lonely Werewolf Girl, at Beauty and Delicious’s gig, has werewolf hunters and opera singers. Which, I was going to say you can’t miss with that combination, but actually I think you could rather easily. Let me say instead, Martin Millar can’t miss with that combination. Because he is great.
Go forth and read Martin Millar! If you require added inducement, be aware that Neil Gaiman also loves his work. So. I am recommending him, and Neil Gaiman is recommending him. What could you possibly be waiting for?
Many many thanks to Ana, who kindly sent me her ARC to read earlier this summer.
Wands and Worlds
Alone and Unobserved
Did I miss yours? I will add a link if so!
This sounds like I would like it a lot. A Scottish werewolf sounds way more charming than some other kind! I will look for the first book however!
Do! It is far less angsty than much of what’s being published in this genre these days. I was laughing all the way through this one!
I keep hearing such great things about this book! My library does not own it, unfortunately, but I have put in a request. 🙂
My library has been slow to acquire Millar’s books too. And when they do, the books invariably get shelved in the wrong place. One of the M shelves ends right in the middle of Miller, and I guess to avoid dealing with the situation they shelve his books under Martin. :p
I think I need to read the first book then I will come back to this review! From what I’ve seen, the series looks fantastic.
p.s. It is rather difficult to write reviews for sequels, isn’t it??
It is! You can’t say too much about the plot without spoiling the first one, and plus if you’ve reviewed the first one you always feel you’ve said everything already.
Cool! I’ve had Lonely Werewolf Girl on my shelves for a scandalously long time. I always want to read it, but ya know the chunksters scare me.
If it helps, Lonely Werewolf Girl flies right by. It’s a very quick read for a book of that length. You could just decide to read it for fifteen minutes, and then if it still seems too chunky you could desist. I do that with books I am not sure I want to read.
Your review has been plagiarised:
Just thought you should know!
Thanks for letting me know! I have stopped by and asked them to take it down.
Weirdly enough, I’ve been saving my review all these months because I thought it only came out on the 15th? 😛 Anyway, you’re most welcome, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Okay, I think the source of the confusion was different release dates for the UK and US editions 😛 Also, YES about Vex’s poetry!
Oh, which came out first? I assume it would have been the British one, but I definitely had the notion the book wasn’t out until August 15th, and the American one seems to have been out since late July. So I do not know what is going on. 😛
I don’t know how much werewolves appeal but a Scottish werewolf, now you’ve got my attention. I love anything where the main characters are Scottish or anything set in Scotland.
The first one spends more time in Scotland than this one, I think–although there are signs of a third book being written eventually, and of the events of it taking place more in Scotland. At least that’s what I think.
I also read Ana’s review on this book today as well, and think that I am going to have to try the first in this series. It sounds like it’s got a lot of stuff going on, but that it’s juggled really well. I am looking forward to these books now!
I hope you like them! In my opinion they are the strongest of Millar’s books, but that may just be because they are the longest. I never want to leave his characters behind when the books are over!
This is the third time in less than 24 hours I have seen this book mentioned! I really really need to read this!
I hope you do! But read the first one first, or the second one will be confusing. 🙂
“Go and buy Lonely Werewolf Girl and read it.”
Done. Well, I put a library hold on it, which is as close as it gets for me. You have me well trained.
Hahahaha, I hope your library can find it. Mine never could, that’s why I bought it without reading it first.
A favourable review, though I disagree with your opinion that the climactic scene is “perhaps a smidgen too reminiscent of the climax of Lonely Werewolf Girl” – I thought it was completely different!
I can’t fully explain the details of how it’s different without giving away the plots of both books, but the setting was different, the events surrounding the climatic scenes are toally different, the outcomes are totally different, not to mention the events involvinging Malveria and Agrivex!!!!!!!!
Oh, yeah, contextually it was completely different. But the structures of the book felt similar to me, and I noticed that most strongly at the climax. I still loved it though!!
Vex’s “gold star!”s were the highlight of the novel for me. She made me laugh so much. I am going to look for the first book since I only have the sequel as I received it for review. I certainly want to read the first one (which I think will be easier now that I know the characters from the second one. ha!)
The first one was such a surprise for me. I was expecting to find it sort of cliche-y and standard-issue werewolf, but it’s become one of my favorite books. 🙂
Hey! What a coincidence it is that two of my favorite series happen to be in your 5 star category. I absolutely loved the “Lonely Werewolf Girl” duo and “Devices & Desires” trilogy.
The concluding events at a gig in the sequel were definitely reminiscent of the first book, but I felt the climax of CotWG definitely had a bigger emotional impact. I even got teary eyed over Thrix and Vex. Definitely hoping that a third installment is in the works!
And since we seem to at least enjoy these two series–coupled with the fact that you appear to read quite a lot more than me–maybe you have some suggestions on authors or books similar these? I enjoy authors that can take on a serious yet humorous prose like MM and KJ P.
Well, they’re for a slightly younger audience, but have you ever read Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series? The Thief is the first one, and then The Queen of Attolia – the books just get better as they go along.