Lonely Werewolf Girl Paperback – Feb 28 2008
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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.)
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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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