Samhain Publishing, $6.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-127-6
Wolf Land is basically a nice werewolf story that is unfortunately stuck with some of the whiniest, most unlikable twits ever. The author seems to have created his characters deliberately to be like this – they are described as losers in this story – so I can only chalk the whole thing up as some kind of experiment that misses the point where I am concerned.
Basically, werewolves have come to Lakeview. The story has a promising beginning, with a lore about three women who, long ago, managed to find a way to become werewolves and butchered everyone in their path. And then a werewolf crashes a high school reunion gathering and chomps on some people. And then… that whiny fat little turd Duane spends a lot of time whining about how he loves Savannah, but she will never love him back the same way so oh, the life of a neckbeard is so hard. His friends treat him like dirt, but he’s okay with that… until they get bitten and turn into werewolves. That’s okay, though, there is still plenty of time and chance for him to mope about how hard it is that a woman he loves wants him to sleep with her, but he can’t do that because he only wants to do it with someone who thinks he’s special! But when he wants to have sex, it’s okay if he doesn’t think the woman is special, because he’s such a nice guy, and we all know nice guys deserve to be drowning in honey pots. I’m sure you can tell that I can’t stand this whiny obese accordion, and my goodness, he just won’t stop.
The author really missed a chance when he lets his most well-developed loser character bite the dust first. The remaining losers are all either one-dimensional clichés – yes, there is the obligatory female victim of physical and sexual abuse here – or whiny turd balls who outlive their welcome.
The late third or so finally picks up the pace when the werewolves start turning on one another, but by that time, I’m so sick and tired of the characters that I just want them to be killed off in the most graphic and disgusting ways possible. Unfortunately, things aren’t meant to be. Or maybe I’m so tired of the crybaby wimp Duane and the stereotypical “girl who keeps sleeping with the wrong guys because she can’t help herself” Savannah, all the graphic violence can’t sate my need to see them suffer.
At any rate, Wolf Land has promise, but it loses the plot when it lets the neckbeards and the women who won’t put out to these neckbeards spend so much time acting like they are the most tragic victims of them all. Okay, yes, werewolves are after them, so in a way they are victims of sorts, but there is no reason why they shouldn’t end up being werewolf chow. The world is already so crowded anyway, some culling of the herd won’t be so bad.