Author: Douglas R. Brown
Published: February 13th 2013 by Rhemalda Publishing
Genre: Adult Horror
Werewolves are real.
And they make excellent pets.
Owning one of the legendary creatures is the latest fad. The WereHouse insists their werepets are loyal, docile, and 100% safe, but what happens when these gentle giants turn on their masters?
While on a routine EMS call, paramedic Christine Alt is attacked by a rogue werepet. She escapes with her life, but the encounter leaves her with more than just scars. As her body begins to change, she discovers the WereHouse is hiding a terrible secret, and they will stop at nothing to keep her from exposing them.
Werewolves are discovered, and mankind’s reaction to this? Kidnap them, enslave them, break their humanity and turn them into pets. It’s certainly a new and intriguing spin on ye olde werewulfen story. And, sadly, something I can actually see happening.
That said, I had some difficulty suspending disbelief for this one. How are the Werehouse allowed to sell seven foot tall beasts with teeth that can take off heads? Werewolf bites are infectious. It doesn’t matter how “tame” a pet is, shit happens, dogs bite people all the time. Shouldn’t there have been some kind of health and safety testing that put the brakes on this venture? It’s mentioned once that PETA isn’t impressed, but I would have expected more to happen on this front. The company is pumping out full grown werewolves, and they are all male. Did no one step in to see why? Where are the females? Where are the little ones? Is it some sort of puppymill? Granted, the wolves are crazy expensive and apparently the Werehouse has representatives everywhere and a lot of money exchanges hands, but there should still have been something. Protesters picketing.
No wild animal is ever really tame, and it doesn’t take long for things to get completely out of hand. Considering the abuses the werewolfs suffered, I’m surprised it took even that long. At this point the story turns quiet gory and action packed, which I really enjoyed. Douglas R. Brown doesn’t hold back from really putting his characters through the grinder, mentally and physically. Somewhere in the middle there is one particular scene that had me reading with one eye closed and a permanent cringe, worrying just how far he would take it.
Character wise, we have the very resourceful Christine Alt, a paramedic who gets attacked by a rogue werewolf during a routine callout and accidentally gets some of its blood in her mouth. Then there is Steve, the homeless man who has turned to alcohol to numb his memories of war and losing his family, until mysterious strangers in a van turn up and take him for a ride he’ll never forget. There is also the love interest, whose name I am not recalling at the moment, who after witnessing his beloved childhood pet slaughter his family, is brainwashed into hunting down rogue werewolves like the animals everyone thinks they are.
Oh, and if you were wondering why no female wolves, it’s because they are too stubborn and difficult to tame. Which I found very amusing.
The ending of the story was on the predictable side, and it tied things up a little too neatly. I had questions about the hows and whys there as well, but in the interest of not spoiling things, you will have to ask them yourself. Also, it has a pretty smart villain at the heart of things, for the most part.
Douglas R. Brown is a fantasy writer who lives in Pataskala, Ohio. He began writing more than five years ago as a cathartic way of dealing with the day-to-day stresses of life as a firefighter/paramedic for the Columbus Ohio Division of Fire. Now he focuses his writing on fantasy, where he draws on his lifelong love of the genre. He has been married for 14 years and has a son and two dogs