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Lonely Werewolf Girl [Paperback]

Martin Millar
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 28 2008
As teenage werewolf Kalix MacRinnalch is pursued through the streets of London by murderous hunters, her sister, the Werewolf Enchantress, is busy designing clothes for the Fire Queen. Meanwhile, in the Scottish Highlands, the MacRinnalch Clan is plotting and feuding after the head of the clan suddenly dies intestate. As the court intrigue threatens to explode in all-out civil war, the competing factions determine that Kalix is the swing vote necessary to assume leadership of the clan. Unfortunately, Kalix isn't really into clan politics - laudanum's more her thing. But what's even more unfortunate is that Kalix is the reason the head of the clan ended up dead, which is why she's now on the run in London ...
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Complex family and social conflicts clutter the pages of this scattershot romp from World Fantasy Award–winner Millar (The Good Fairies of New York). Kalix MacRinnalch, a poorly socialized, laudanum-addicted teenage werewolf, has violently assaulted her father, thereby adding outcast to her list of defining traits. Suddenly and inexplicably supported by two preternaturally patient new friends, Daniel and Moonglow, the young werewolf skulks around London and struggles with anxiety and eating disorders while scores of subplots merrily explode around her. As Kalix's relatives bicker and backstab to establish a new leader, a cast of thousands shoehorns its way into the narrative, stealing story space for a sorcerous fashion designer with spy problems, werewolf twins with a terrible punk band that can't get a gig and a romantically mercenary transvestite. Overly reliant on luck and coincidence and populated by unsympathetic characters with unconvincing motives, Millar's urban fantasy epic swiftly dissolves into a tragedy of contrived errors. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Martin Millar was born in Scotland and now lives in London. He is the author of such novels as Lonely Werewolf Girl, Curse of the Wolf Girl and The Good Fairies of New York. Under the pseudonym of Martin Scott, he, as the Guardian put it, 'invented a new genre: pulp fantasy noir'. Thraxas, the first book in his Thraxas series, won the World Fantasy Award in 2000. As Martin Millar and as Martin Scott, he has been widely translated. Visit Martin Millar at: www.martinmillar.com www.facebook.com/martin.millar www.twitter.com.MartinMillar1 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Drama with extra fur and fangs Dec 11 2010
By Sharry
Format:Paperback
Kalix MacRinnalch is a lonely girl even when she was surrounded by family. She doesn''t understand them and they don't even try to understand her. There''s her arrogant, throat-grabbing, bully of a brother Sarapen with his paws set on the thaneship and a death threat on her head. Her other brother, the elegant mama''s boy Markus, couldn''t care less about his sullen younger sister except by throwing a few threats her way, too. There''s her sister Thrix, the Enchantress, too busy making a living for herself in the human fashion industry and appeasing the temperamental fire queen who happens to be her primary customer to have any time to babysit a confused adolescent. And there''s no point in even mentioning the nature of her relationship with her beautiful and intelligent cousin Dominil or her crazy self-absorbed twin cousins Butix and Delix. Kalix is troubled enough already without having to be embroiled in those sorts of clan politics. A half-empty bottle of laudanum and a diary seem to be everything to a melancholic, heart-broken, volatile werewolf hiding-out in rain capital, London. Until, one night, she meets two humans who open their door to the strangely scary but cuddly were-girl. After that, the Runaways and Sabrina the teenage witch get added on to that list, too. Just when Kalix starts getting comfortable, however, she suddenly finds herself in high demand by everyone, and much to their frustrations, nowhere to be found! It''s about time everyone turns their attention to the lonely werewolf girl.

I started reading this book a long while ago, and just slowly ate my way through it since then. Each chapter is on average two pages long - '236 chapters complete this crazy melodrama. This way of organizing the story sometimes worked well sometimes not so much, in my opinion.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too May 28 2008
Format:Paperback
The first thing that hit me about this book was the richness of backstory and the sheer size of the cast of characters.

Although the plot centers around the titular lonely teen werewolf, Kalix MacRinnalch, she lives in a rich world populated with numerous other characters whose actions interfere with or drive important developments in the story. Fifteen-year-old Kalix is the youngest daughter of the Thane of the MacRinnalch Clan of werewolves. She's strong and she knows it, and she doesn't get along well with others--she escapes from the clan stronghold in Scotland and makes her way to London after almost killing her father in a fight. Addicted to laudanum and in poor shape, she is set upon by members of her own Clan who think she should pay for what she did to her father. Her older sister and London-based fashion designer, Thrix, helps her as best she can, but when Kalix sells the protective amulet Thrix gave her, she's easily discovered by other werewolves trying to hunt her down.

Kalix's attempts to escape the members of her clan who are trying to kill her lands her squarely in the path of Daniel, a normal university student in London who's never thought about anything like werewolves before. He and his roommate, Moonglow, do their best to protect Kalix and convince her that there are things worth living for, but outside forces intervene and place Kalix directly in the middle of MacRinnalch Clan politics.

This sprawling narrative can be unwieldy at times, and the large numbers of characters and situations initially may seem disjointed, but when the plots begin to intertwine and work together, the many different storylines coalesce into a whole that is better than the sum of its parts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sneaky good... Oct. 11 2011
Format:Paperback
Curious at all the ravings this book attracted I was looking forward to a good read. It felt choppy, immature, awkward... what was going on? I mean I loved the premise, it was so original and that is hard to find once you've read the genre for a while. So I persevered, but puzzled.
Oh about 1/2 I started "getting" it.. at least I think I did. Whatever. Right or wrong doesn't matter cause after I got it - I loved this book! So my take on it was that he wrote it in Kalix's style, not as if the book was her journal (that would have been a short book!) but the way she was.
Anyhooo throughly enjoyed the book, loved the next one & hope for more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing, Bad Editing Sept. 29 2008
By Una - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's also the book with the worst editing I have ever seen.

The plot is wild and funny. The daughter of a werewolf Thane is being hunted by both her family (she tried to kill her father and quite nearly succeeded) and a guild of werewolf hunters. Worse, she battles her anxiety. Lonely Werewolf Girl has many, many characters. Sometimes it's difficult to keep track of them all. I enjoyed this book on many levels. I didn't finish this book quickly, not because it wasn't good, but the short chapters which jumped from character and place and did all sorts of funny acrobats which taxed my poor concentration. This was a good thing. I dragged the pleasure on for three days as opposed to finishing it in one swallow.

Millar, being at least as talented as Gaiman and Pratchett, would do himself well to find another editor. Or maybe the editor would do him or herself well by hiring a high school student to proof read the final draft before sending it to print. Obviously no human read the final draft, and any reasonably literary high schooler could do better than Microsoft Word at spelling and grammar. The sloppy editing did this writing wrong.

Regardless, I give this book a five. Reviews are generally seen as a reflection of the writer and not the editor. The writing was excellent.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars *chomp* Feb. 8 2009
By dizzyweasel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is such a bizarre book. I kind of expected to hate it for all its silly quirkiness. After a few chapters, though, I was completely drawn in. The characterization is great, and there are so many oddball players in this supernatural drama. I made a family tree on my bookmark as a cheat sheet for all the crazy pack politics. Every hero and villain is equally screwed up and flawed, which made some of them more lovable. If you enjoyed Kelly Armstrong's Broken or Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate, or even the movie American Werewolf in Paris, this crazy, goofy, drugged out, and comically violent book is for you.

The plot basically follows the various factions of this completely dysfunctional werewolf clan as they bandy for power, prestige, or the right to just be left alone by the other members of their family. The werewolf king is dead, the brothers fight to succeed. Everyone in the 'royal' family gets a vote, and one of the brothers is making certain they make the right choice...or die. The 'lonely werewolf girl', Kalix, is an exile from her family (and on its hit list) who wanders the streets of London until she hooks up with some dippy hippies with their own group dynamic and soap opera politics. Kalix is a misanthropic, strung-out, semi-literate, petulant, and perpetually angry werewolf...who happens to look like a waif-y, blow-your-mind, hobo-core, indie-model type. Her constant displays of attitude are more endearing than obnoxious, but occasionally you wish the constant battles she gets into would knock a little sense into her.

The books meanders from subplot to subplot with no real urgency, but the fun is in the journey, not the destination...which is a good thing, because not all of the plots are actually tied up by the end. But by the time you get there, you'll have had such a good time, I doubt you'll care. When I finished, I was tempted to flip right back to the beginning and chase the enjoyment of reading it again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Political Machinations of Werewolves--An Inspired Comic Riff About The Beast In All Of Us Sept. 20 2010
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Earlier this year, someone gave me Martin Millar's "Curse of the Wolf Girl" to read. I must admit that I had never heard of Martin Millar and that I was not particularly intrigued. When I found out that it was a sequel, that further complicated matters. As a completist, I felt compelled to check out the first volume before getting into "Curse." That book is "Lonely Werewolf Girl" and, in truth, it did seem a bit removed from something I might choose for myself. But what a surprise! "Lonely Werewolf Girl" is one of the most compulsively readable books I've encountered in quite some time. Chronicling a royal Scottish werewolf clan, Millar's massive entertainment is utterly delightful.

From the Scottish Highlands, to the taverns of modern London, to excursions into alternate realms--"Lonely Werewolf Girl" is an epic story of one family in crisis. When the head of the MacRinnalch clan dies, it is assumed that his oldest male heir will ascend to the throne. But with the Queen backing the second son, the family and their subjects are ripped apart in a blood-soaked battle for power. While Kalix, the ostensible lead and a family outcast, wanders the streets of London in drug induced oblivion--the rest of the family is gearing for War. Set as a comic and supernatural "The Lion in Winter," "Lonely Werewolf Girl" does an impressive job juggling an enormous, but distinctive, cast of characters. Millar's riff on werewolves living among us is sublime with surprising subplots involving cross-dressing, rock bands, fashion design and enough bungled romantic and sexual dalliances to fuel several novels! Oh, yeah, and there are plenty of attacks as well.

Millar's novel is an irresistible comic masterpiece. It is so absurdly funny, but not "jokey" or condescending, and that is why it is so special. With terrific character development and dialogue, "Lonely Werewolf Girl" succeeds beyond expectations due to Millar's respect for the story. Each and every character is drawn in full brush strokes. I enjoyed the satiric edge and, at the same time, was thoroughly engrossed in the happenings of the MacRinnalch clan. There, I said it! I actually cared about what happened to these wolves, humans and other supernatural beings. As the disparate members of the family come together for the ultimate showdown, it is as riveting and exciting as anything you might encounter. The fact that a comic novel manages to capture this tension without losing its slyness is very impressive. Now I can't wait to take on "Curse of the Werewolf Girl!" A surprisingly enthusiastic recommendation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Romp or Crashing Disaster? Sept. 17 2009
By Pharaoh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a HUGE book, and with simple writing, ornery werewolves (though Kalix gets better) and a plot that jumps around like a little kid after his Ritalin wears off, it's difficult to remain engaged until the end. Kalix, the lonely werewolf girl in question, is a disowned drug addict. After killing her father, the Thane, she becomes embroiled in a power struggle as her two brothers fight to become head of the clan. Surprisingly Kalix becomes one of the book's more sympathetic characters, and you root for her to come to her senses and find her long-lost lover, Gawain, similarly disowned. But there's also factors working against them, namely Kalix's homicidal brother Sarapen and a nasty group of werewolf hunters who are out to ruin everyone's day. And then there's the whole business of electing the new Thane, which involves talking, plotting and of course fighting. And throw in a fashion-obsessed fairy, her overworked designer, and an underachieving duo of punk rock sisters on top of that and you have the recipe for big fun. Too bad, then, that more attention wasn't paid to the plot. There's too much happenstance and characters doing things "just because" and the prose is inelegant and painfully on the nose, with lines like "He was angry", "she wanted revenge", etc. Thanks, narrator! I also could have done with more explanation, like what happened to Kalix to make her so bitter or why she's still on the Council after killing the old Thane. Or what the werewolf hunters motives are. Or how werewolves can still be in the closet despite living for hundreds of years. Or lots of things, really. Reading through it it was obvious the author was going for something original rather then good, but almost against my will I found myself turning pages to see what happened next. Weird, just like this book.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise, poor delivery April 16 2009
By Anna G. McMillen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was really excited to read this book. I purchased it while vacationing in Scotland so was looking forward to a fantasy book set in the same area though which I was traveling. Unfortunately, I was let down. I did finish the book, but only because I am a very fast reader and had a lot of spare time on my hands, and it only took me a few days. I was hoping for something twilight-esque, and did not get it. The story lacked a richness, and I found that I did not identify with or like any of the characters, especially the main character, Kalix. She had no personality other than being bratty and rude. The big question I wanted answered, was... what exactly happened in her life at the castle that left her so socially deprived? I thought it was intriguing at first to have a main character who was so psychologically not there, but this question was never answered. I never understood why she hated her brothers so much or why her sister was so unfeeling towards her, yet so friendly with a fire spirit. Honestly, I wish the author would have left out the fire spirit side plot completely. I found it boring and cliche.

I am normally a sucker for books that involve magic and legends, but the author only scraped the surface of a back story. More needed to be explained to create a world in which we could believe werewolves exist. The hunters motives and resources were never explained either. I kept reading because I wanted answers to my questions, but I was very disappointed with this book. I usually keep every book I buy, but this one will be sold as quickly as I can get it out of my hands. I wouldn't even recommend it to anyone. If the story didn't have unnecessary sex scenes in it I would recommend it to middle schoolers, because I think that's about where the writing level is, but there is too much adult material for it to be appropriate for someone that age. Maybe it would be a good read for a mentally disturbed or delinquent teenage girl with a middle school reading level, but that's about it.

If you are looking for a good fantasy book, check out The Name of the Wind by new author, Patrick Rothfuss. Best I've read in years!
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