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
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