Written by Anne Rice
Peel: Set in present day California, the story begins with a young reporter is sent to cover a story on an old house for sale. The reporter, Reuben, is enchanted by the house, its history, and its current inhabitant. One bite shifts Reuben’s life, character, and interactions with his family and friends.
This novel was very slow moving and built up a thorough storyline. It didn’t read like a fast-paced crazy paranormal story, and I enjoyed that. After a few chapters, the story hooked me in; the characters, dialog, and reactions all felt very realistic. Rice’s language was light and pretty, and rather conducive to lovely imagery. The book flitted between feeling historical to erotic to violent.
There is a bit of religious preachiness at times. Especially towards the end, the book goes into the explicit origin story, and potential philosophical and religious ramifications. I would have preferred more moral ambiguity in the character’s view of himself. One of the powers he develops is to smell the difference between innocence, evil, and being neutral. This made it far too easy to establish the moral standing of any character. He does bring up some interesting questions in a few of the articles he writes on werewolves, but we never see him grapple with them. Instead, the main character is a nice handsome guy who takes everything in stride. As a warning there is quasi-bestiality and lots of violence.
All in all, she’s a wonderful storyteller and it was an interesting take on the werewolf tale.
Nibble: “As for his father, he saw death in the falling leaves.”
I would recommend this to anyone with a love for werewolves.
My Rating: 8 out of 10 bitten apples
I received an advanced copy from the publisher, Knopf Doubleday, via NetGalley.