Four Seasons of Full Moons and Lycanthropes: Cycle of the Werewolf

Hi, I’m Skye from BookRain, where I usually ramble about YA fiction and swoon worthy heroes. I was given a challenge of sorts to read a horror book of some kind, and this is really a challenge for me cause I tend to be a “happily ever after” sort of girl who enjoys reading about princesses and really non age appropriate stuff considering I’m a twenty something. It took me a while to pick something but I finally settled upon a Stephen King novella called Cycle of the werewolf.    

 

Yeah you know that movie depicting a different stage of life as a Buddhist monk (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring,) well Cycle of The Werewolf is ten times more exciting.I mean you’re following a werewolf not a monk for one. Each chapter takes place on a full moon of one month (usually some kind of holiday) comprising a whole year of werewolf attacks, and forming a single narrative. The small town of Tarker’s Mills, Maine doesn’t know what hit them. Is it a wolf? A man? A man in costume? And the one eye witness is a kid, and no one wants to believe a story from a kid in this town despite their gut feelings.

What I love is that the protagonist, Marty Coslaw turns out to be a ten year old boy in a wheelchair that everyone seems to treat in a patronizing sort of way. He’s a paraplegic; he’s not dumb despite people treating him differently. Except for his Uncle Al who buys him fireworks for the Fourth of July when the town cancels their usual celebration. Up until then we had six months of deaths: a railroad employee, a seamstress, a drifter, a small kid etc. Up until July the plot was sort of boring to be honest, but everything changes in the later half.

In July Marty is able to take out one of the wolves eyes by throwing a packet of firecrackers in it’s face (how cool is that?) Fearing some retaliation Marty’s family sends him to Vermont for three months, and while he’s gone law enforcement ignore his deposition and the killings keep happening (really?! He just told you the killer is walking around with one freakin’ eye, and you choose to ignore that?) It gets really exciting in October, because when Marty returns and goes trick or treating he figures out who the werewolf is. And he is pretty courageous about it. Really, he seems like a boy on a mission. Unshakeable.

The wolf stars receiving anonymous letters

I know who you are.

Go someplace where there are animals for you to kill but no people.

End it.

Why don’t you kill yourself?

Yeah guess whose sending them, and in his last two notes he even signs his name. This is like the rated R version of Home Alone, I mean no one believes him so he takes matters into his own ten year old hands. I won’t spoil the ending by saying who the werewolf is but when he is human he has no memories of what he has done. Just evidence, a scratch here, a dream there…an eye blasted out all of a sudden.

The last six months of this story was when I began to notice the brilliance of Stephen King’s storytelling. It painted the story, and drew me in. Now that it wasn’t just following killings, but getting to the point of solving the problem, was it exciting. I didn’t like all the deaths (although I was happy when a man slut, wife beating, librarian got the axe,) but I like that it did have a happily ever after of sorts.

Overall if you haven’t read King before, than by all means try this short novella. It has the bonus factor of being illustrated by Bernie Wrightson who is known for his horror illustrations and has collaborated with King before on Creepshow.  Plus you can see the 1985 horror film Silver Bullet (based off this novella) staring the late great Corey Haim (R.I.P) at the beginning of his career. As my first foray into horror, I’d say it was pretty entertaining. Don’t be scared.

–A big Thanks to my Friend Skye at BookRain for guest hosting my blog, for going outside her comfort zone and reading a horror novella.  Ya’ll should check out her blog.  Skye writes awesome book reviews.  Her drug of choice is Youth Adult…don’t worry it’s nothing like Twilight, she’s got good taste. –uncoolghoul

4 thoughts on “Four Seasons of Full Moons and Lycanthropes: Cycle of the Werewolf

  1. Pingback: Cycle of the Werewolf « BookRain

  2. I am so jealous!!! Give me something to read Kristina!! I like realistic stuff, but I’m squeamish when I think about reading actual horror. Great JOB SKYE!!

  3. Pingback: X-Files/30 Days of Night « BookRain

  4. The original concept for “Cycle of the Werewolf” was that it was going to be a twelve-month calendar with art by Wrightson and short text pieces by King which would tell a story about a werewolf. But in the writing, the story expanded too much to work as a calendar.

    It’s a pretty cool concept, though.

    I love Wrightson’s art. I had a chance to meet him at a convention a few years ago, and he was awesome.

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