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I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

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Maggie O'Farrell
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High Moor 2: Moonstruck

Moonstruck - Graeme Reynolds I thought long and hard about writing a review for High Moor 2 especially as I had previously read and awarded a 5* rating to the original High Moor. I have also noted that reception on the whole for HM2 has been positive but this does not mean that I must concur, and any star rating system to be of value should always contain honest reviews. In short I did not enjoy HM2, I thought the story had little merit and was more reminiscent of a B horror movie than a tightly plotted thriller. The story, for what it is worth, concerns a pack werewolves hunting "rogues" in order to hide and deny the existence of "The Lycanthrope" This involves much dashing around and gnashing of teeth and tearing of flesh, as the main participants indulge in bloody conflict. I particularly disliked the character of Connie (but equally I am sure some reviewers loved her) with her irritating and strong Glaswegian accent, however if the purpose was to give her presence more prominence then I suppose in that respect it did succeed. When I think of The Wolf's Hour by Robert R McCammon and The Wolfen by Whitley Strieber, I begin to understand just what it is that I demand from a werewolf novel. The Wolf's Hour is an amazing epic 2nd WW adventure and the werewolf element is secondary to the main plot....but it works beautifully. The Wolfen is one of those rare reads that certainly demands a lot from the reader and invites him to understand and in some ways be sympathetic to the desperate plight of the lycanthrope...just look at this amazing description of a werewolf family at play, living their lives and surviving as a unit in a world out to destroy their very existance..........

“Now she was down, she was pushing her nose past cloth, slick hot flesh, feeling the vibration of subvocal response in the man, feeling his muscles stiffening as his body reacted to her standing on it, then opening her mouth against the flesh, feeling her teeth scrape back and down, pressing her tongue against the deliciously salty skin and ripping with all the strength in her jaws and neck and chest, and jumping back to the wall with the bloody throat in her mouth. The body on the bench barely rustled as its dying blood poured out….Now her job was over,she dropped behind the wall and ate her trophy. It was rich and sweet with blood. Around her the pack was very happy as it worked….Then the pack ate in rank order. The mother took the brain. The father took a thigh and buttock. The first mated pair ate the clean organs. When they returned from their duty the second mated pair took the rest. And then they pulled apart the remains and took them piece by piece and dropped them in the nearby lake…When this was done, they went to a place they had been earlier, a great meadow full of the beautiful new snow that had been falling. They ran and danced in the snow, feeling the pleasure of their bodies, the joy or facing headlong across the wide expanse, and because they knew that no human was in earshot they had a joyous howl full of the pulsing rhythm they liked best after a hunt…..

Maybe HM2 is a different type of story and perhaps it is somewhat unfair of me to compare it to established bestsellers....nevertheless a good story is a good story and I would not be honest with myself if I did not share with you my truthful thoughts. I do not deny that those readers who awarded 5* where totally honest in their enjoyment but I beg to differ and show a different interpretation, I did not enjoy and to that end I have submit this review.