Author: Thomas Emson
Rating: Four Stars
Maneater is infused with vice: greed, and power and Emson flexes his literary muscle to convey just that. He’s plausibly set forth a tale of two ancient bloodlines warring for countless centuries, waging their battle in flashbacks and in contemporary London. The chronicle of Laura Greenacre, the last full-blooded werewolf of the Greenacre clan is riveting as she butts claws with the Templeton’s, the distinguished society family responsible for massacring all the members of her vast clan. She’ll stop at nothing to exact revenge.
Shunning their lycanthropic side for generations, the Templeton’s finally realize the power they’ve denied themselves. Getting their hands on Laura’s pure blood and wielding it indiscriminately is the goal of the new patriarch intent on building up his clan’s strength and power once again. It’s a battle to the bloody, meaty death as the Templeton’s hire a team of mercs to take out Laura.
Emson is deliciously inventive, brutal and precise. Maneater is like no other werewolf tale you’ve read recently. A lonely werewolf girl, Laura Greenacre is not. She’s nothing like Millar’s character, or any other shifter you’ve been exposed to. Instead she is a ravening beast, ruled purely by instinct, and dead set on revenge. Emson does not trifle with wasted energy at times; we don’t get to really peer in depth into the minds of his characters to make an emotional connection with the exception of Laura and perhaps Thorn. And while there is a certain fragility to her, don’t be fooled, Maneater is meant to undiluted horror and that’s exactly what it is.
I purposely had to stop tearing so fast through the book in order to really savor each scene. This is because Emson’s paragraphs are honed with scalpel-like precision, like a surgeon slicing a neat red path featuring the diverse and believable pov’s of his characters. And those differing perspectives, coupled with Emson’s sparse language gives Maneater the overall feel of a rapidly paced film. The battle of Trafalgar Square, Emson’s climax to the book and by far the best treat is absolutely gripping as Laura goes head to head against the Templeton’s while tourists and police are caught within the bloody fray.
Maneater is a fresh infusion to the genre, ruthless, bold, and immensely entertaining. It ends on a deviously clever cliffhanger. A vial of Laura’s blood gets into the hands of a Templeton and with it a worldwide hunt ensues as alliances are systematically made and crushed. Prey, Emson’s coveted sequel is already queued up in my TBR pile and is expected to be just as engrossing and grisly.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review