19 Werewolf Reading Recommendations for World Book Day

Pennington Beast — Mar. 3rd 2016

photo by naixn

Today is World Book Day, and to celebrate, here’s a guest post from Pennington Beast, featuring her personal list (and accompanying commentary) of books essential to any Lycanthrope Library collection.

1. The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon

A Russian-born werewolf spy working for the British Secret Service is recruited to foil a Nazi plan to unleash a secret weapon on invading American and British forces. Picture James Bond, only much more hirsute. The film rights to this 1989 novel were purchased by Universal Studios in 2014. Let’s keep our claws crossed!

2. High Moor (The High Moor series) by Graeme Reynolds

John Simpson and his childhood friends have an unfortunate run-in with a Moonstruck werewolf, one who has lost all control of their wolfen side and becomes a ravenous monster stuck between human and beast every full moon. What follows is a decades long struggle for John Simpson to control his own affliction while maneuvering pack politics and government agencies that want them all exterminated.

note from AQ: Tah the Trickster wrote a glowing review of High Moor for Werewolf News last year

3. Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

Werewolves are common in this universe and are a class subject to persecution. A group of lycanthropic terrorists plot a devastating attack on America in order to divide the population and create a new territory where werewolves can live free. With unfortunate results, of course.

4. Bad Wolf (The Bad Wolf Chronicles) by Tim McGregor

Portland, Oregon detective John Gallager and his partner Lara Mendes get a call to investigate a dismembered body found by the riverbank. The killer is a drifter who travels with a pack of feral dogs and declares that he, himself, is a werewolf. The weirdness only escalates from there…

5. The Frenzy Way (The Frenzy Cycle series) by Gregory Lamberson

A little similar to Bad Wolf in that it’s also a detective story, but this time the bodies start popping up around New York City. An elderly professor with a research history in human-animal transformation methods is found dismembered in his Greenwich Village apartment with a strange relic belonging to the Catholic Church in his possession. NYPD captain Anthony Mace is put to the investigation. Mace is unfortunately somewhat of a celebrity, haven taken out the notorious “Full Moon Killer” several years prior. Now he must speculate if this murder spree is a copycat, coincidence, or something more supernatural.

6. SAAMAANTHAA by D. T. Neal

Samantha Hain is a Chicagoan dilettante belonging to a group of painters, poets, and performance artists who call themselves the Horrorshow. When a one night stand with a beautiful stranger leaves her with a chunk of flesh missing from her shoulder, strange things start happening to Samantha’s body and mind. What follows is an orgy of hipsters becoming werewolves and eating other hipsters.

7. The Devourers by Indra Das

A young history professor in modern-day Kolkata, India is approached by a charming, yet strange, storyteller who declares himself to be a half-werewolf. Enraptured by his tale, he agrees to transcribe several ancient scrolls the man claims were passed down to him by his father, a ravenous werewolf from Scandinavia. And the other by his mother, a young woman from the Mughal empire who was raped by his father as his pack was passing through her village, fleeing persecution from the werewolf hunts in Europe. The story transitions back and forth from past to present in a visceral exploration of love, sexuality, violation, gender, friendship, humanity, and identity. Currently available in India, a North American release date is set for June 2016.

8. Autumn Moon by Slade Grayson

Tanneheuk, Montana is a small town kept safe from harm by a pack of werewolves who call themselves The Elders. Their only demand for their protection racket is to be able to hunt a human being once a year -one of the town’s teenagers in a Hunger Games-esque obstacle course. If the child manages to reach the river and cross it before the hunt is over, they are allowed to live. So far, none of them have made it. This grisly tradition has been the norm for years, until a new minister named Drake Burroughs is relocated to Tanneheuk and tries to rally the townspeople against the Elder’s diabolical regime.

And finally,

9. The Hyde Effect by Steve Vance

Savage animal attacks begin terrorizing a small Southern California town. A teenage girl named Meg Talley miraculously survives and claims that the killer is no natural beast, but a werewolf. Together with a team consisting of journalist Douglas Morgan, horror novelist Blake Corbett, and private detective Nick Grundel they hunt the suspect down. What follows is one of the most horrifying depiction in literature of the sheer force and power a werewolf is capable of. The novel has a slow momentum in the beginning that eventually explodes in an orgasmic cataclysm of visceral terror. No wonder so many (including myself) consider The Hyde Effect to be the quintessential werewolf horror novel. I have but one caveat, avoid the sequel. It’s absolute rubbish.

These are only a fraction of the amount of werewolf novels I’ve read over the past decade and a half. I tried to choose the ones that left the most memorable clawmarks on my psyche, and tried to pick a few that might not be as well-known as others in the genre.


Not enough for you? Here’s some bonus recommendation from our mutual friend Viergacht:

10. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

A vicious, gory, beautifully written deconstruction of classic fairy tales with a definite feminist slant. Basis for the movie “The Company of Wolves”.

11. Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson

An early example of urban fantasy and “scientific-ish” werewolves. A boozy reporter interested in an archeological discovery that proves the existence of supernatural creatures is seduced by a beautiful werewolf whose entraps him in a cult of monsters awaiting the rebirth of the Child of Night, the first pureblood to be born in centuries. Pulpy and stereotypical in some respects (it was written in 1940), it nonetheless has some amazing set pieces and a really cool backstory for its werewolves (who can also turn into other animals, like sabretoothed cats and pterodactyls!).

12. Wilding by Melanie Tem

A multigenerational family of female werewolves struggles to cope with the matriarch’s senile dementia, a mother’s inability to become either fully a wolf or a woman, and a rebellious teen who fails her transformation trial and runs away, pregnant and defiant, while another branch of the family plots to take them over.

13. The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

Werewolf traditionalists might moan about the lack of “onscreen” lycanthropic action, but they’d be missing one of the cleverest, most offbeat werewolf stories ever, and puts it in perspective: the bloody actions of a single monster pale to insignificance compared to the atrocities humanity commits in wartimes. A bestseller during the Great Depression. Adapted into the movie “The Curse of the Werewolf” starring Oliver Reed.

14. The Jaguar Princess by Clare Bell

Ok, technically not a werewolf, but this novel about an artistic, headstrong young Olmec woman desperately trying to suppress her urge to transform into a jaguar and fit in with the oppressive Aztec society she lives in is rich in emotion and fascinating historical detail.

15. Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King

A collection of twelve short stories chronicles the depredations of a werewolf on a small Maine town, this book is mainly notable for the fantastic illustrations by Bernie Wrightson. (note: he spells it Bernie now but it was Berni when this was published)

16. Operation Chaos by Poul Anderson

Those who like all-wolf werewolves who retain their own personalities will like this one! It takes place in an alternate history where magic is real, and the United States are fighting a very different WW2. Anderson very cleverly combines magic with practicality – the main character uses a Polaroid “Were-flash” to shift back and forth (it’s designed to be used without thumbs) and because of the conservation of mass, he makes a big wolf but a were-tiger is a 600lb man!

17. The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf by Gene DeWeese

An easygoing teen finds himself suddenly turning way hairier than puberty would account for, to the delight of his horror-film-loving best friend Cindy, who promptly starts researching lycanthropy and trying to figure out a way it could be “useful”. One of my favorite werewolf books when I was a kid, I reread it and still enjoyed it as an adult. (Don’t worry, he ends up being a werewolf for much longer than 2 minutes, and he discovers he can take either a cinematic Wolf Man form or a 4-legged that looks like a huge, bristly bulldog faced monster that startles him with his own reflection!).

18. How to Care for Your Monster by Norman Bridwell

A charming tongue-in-cheek kid’s book by the illustrator best known for Clifford the Big Red Dog.

19. The Werewolf’s Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten by Rich Duncan and Bob Powers

So, you were bitten by a large, mysterious canine while walking though the woods or a dark alley during the last full moon? You suddenly are a lot stronger, with keener senses, a short temper and an odd craving for steak? You need this exhaustively researched and complete self-help book.


Have a howling-good #WorldBookDay!

  • Joel Anderson

    Here are some I’ve read and love from the last 3 or so years. All except the last 3 are available on Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle, most are available as audiobooks as well. The last 3 books are the Werewolf: The Apocalyse novels and anthologies (old fans of the game should be happy to see that new novels are still being produced) are available in paperback, epub, mobi, pdf, or all 4, your choice at http://www.driverthrurpg.com

    Jeff Strand’s “Wolf Hunt” series

    Wolf Hunt

    Two thugs. One innocent woman. And one VICIOUS frickin’ werewolf.

    Meet George and Lou, thugs for hire. The kind of
    intimidating-yet-friendly guys who will break your thumbs, but be polite
    about it.

    Their latest assignment is to drive across Florida to deliver some
    precious cargo to a crime lord. The cargo: a man in a cage. Though Ivan
    seems perfectly human, they’re warned that he is, in fact, a
    bloodthirsty werewolf.

    George and Lou don’t believe in the supernatural, but even if they
    did, it’s daytime and tonight isn’t the full moon. Their instructions
    are straightforward: Do not open the cage. Do not reach into the cage.
    Do not throw anything into the cage. And they don’t.

    Unfortunately, Ivan doesn’t play by the usual werewolf rules, and
    the thugs find themselves suddenly responsible for a ferocious escaped
    beast. One who can transform at will. One who enjoys killing in human
    form as much as he enjoys killing as a monster.

    If George and Lou want to save their careers, dozens of people, and
    their own lives, they need to recapture him. Because Ivan the werewolf
    is in the mood for a murder spree…

    From Jeff Strand, the three-time Bram Stoker Award nominated author
    of PRESSURE, comes 75,000 words of action-packed, blood-soaked werewolf
    terror!

    Wolf Hunt 2

    George and Lou used to be thugs for hire. Now they’re living in a shack
    in Costa Rica, hiding from the crime lord who wants them dead. Their
    last job, to deliver him a werewolf in a cage, went…badly.

    But they can’t hide out forever, and when they’re finally captured,
    it seems as if George and Lou’s ultimate fate will involve being doused
    in gasoline and set aflame. Instead, they’re given a second chance.
    There’s another werewolf out there. This time, it’s Ally, a
    fourteen-year-old girl.

    Kidnapping a teenaged girl is a major conflict with George and Lou’s
    moral code, but they also aren’t fans of being brutally executed, so
    they agree to the job. After all, the crime lord doesn’t want to kill
    Ally–he just wants her to bite him. They’ll snatch her, deliver her as
    promised, and then do everything they can to return her home safely. She
    doesn’t even know she’s a werewolf; it’s not as if she’ll create any
    complications by transforming.

    Of course, this is George and Lou, so there are many, many complications.

    The worst of which is that they’ve now enraged three other extremely nasty werewolves…

    Chris Fox’s “Deathless” series

    Deathless 1: No Such Thing As Werewolves

    A pyramid predating all known cultures appears without warning. Its
    discovery throws into question everything we know about the origins of
    mankind.

    Inside lies incredible technology, proof of a culture far more
    advanced than our own. Something dark lurks within, eager to resume a
    war as old as mankind. When it is unleashed it heralds the end of our
    species’ reign.

    A plague of werewolves spreads across the world. A sunspot larger
    than anything in recorded history begins to grow. Yet both pale in
    comparison to the true threat, the evil the werewolves were created to
    fight.

    Deathless 2: No Mere Zombie

    The sun has wiped out nearly all technology in the largest coronal mass
    ejection in history. In its wake comes the zombie apocalypse. The dead
    have risen, and they are hungry.

    Yet there are greater threats than the walking dead. The deathless
    have returned, slumbering in the same Arks that carried the werewolves
    into the present. If they are not stopped they will build a massive
    necropolis in the remains of San Francisco, and the entire continent
    will pay the price.

    Only the few werewolves created before the apocalypse stand between
    humanity and annihilation. Yet they are outnumbered and alone. Their
    only hope comes from the very enemy that sought to stop their creation,
    Mohn Corp.

    Deathless 3: Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle

    The world is without power. The dead rule. Yet only now does the true
    struggle begin. Osiris, Ra and Isis each jockey for position, fighting a
    war as old as mankind.

    Steve and Irakesh escape the Ark of the Redwood, but Trevor and
    Jordan are dispatched to bring them to justice. Blair and Liz attempt to
    build a new civilization from the ashes, but quickly realize they face
    larger problems.

    For the true enemy of the ancient world has Risen, the vicious god
    Set. With him comes an army more powerful than the world has ever seen.

    Jason McKinney’s Dog World series

    Dog World

    It is the summer of 2005, near Tikrit, Iraq. Captain Paul Demarti is the
    executive officer of communications when a report is received from a
    patrol that is incredible, at best, or ridiculous, at least. The patrol
    begins to report hostile contact with giant canine-like creatures when
    the communication is suddenly cut off. Little does Demarti know that
    these transmissions will change the course of his life and commence
    events that will threaten humanity’s existence.

    In Jason McKinney’s furiously fast-paced and viciously fanged Dog
    World, it’s werewolves versus soldiers stationed in Iraq, with no less
    than the fate of humankind hanging in the balance. In a werewolf action
    thriller like no other, bloodlust reigns and battles rage as a few of
    America’s bravest struggle to suppress an enemy who is stronger,
    crueler, and, at the onset, far hairier than any terrorist they have
    ever known.

    Anti-human lycans, or werewolves, see humans only as food. To them,
    man is nothing more than cattle and certainly less intelligent. However,
    in their ultimate mission of world dominance, it’s crucial to turn a
    few good men into lycan killing machines, to ensure the ruination of the
    human race.

    The carnage committed upon the patrol is just the beginning.
    Suspicions run high at Demarti’s base, so a helicopter escort is called
    in to oversee the returning compromised soldiers. The destruction
    continues when the escort is viciously attacked and Warrant Officer
    Brenda Walinski suffers more than heinous wounds. In the aftermath of
    the attack, she finds that she is seriously wounded and has two new,
    unwanted shades of herself sharing their opinions. To add insult to
    injury, she also discovers that she has the ability to sense if people
    are lycanthropes. As the next morning wears on, a company of U.S.
    Marines is sent to Demarti’s forward operating base to investigate the
    events of the previous night. Major Omi Kunpai, the officer in charge of
    the investigating company, is then drawn into the world of
    lycanthropes. He is skeptical at first but comes to realize that there
    are more things in heaven and hell than can be dreamt of in human
    nightmares. With these developments, the military learns how problematic
    “large dogs” can be as their own men and women are turned and the
    borders between ally and lycan blur, causing paranoia and anxiety to
    mount for Demarti and the survivors.

    Along the way, others join Demarti; including Cameron Mitchell, a
    more than 125 year old werewolf and human sympathizer; Brenda Walinski;
    the surviving Apache pilot; Gloria Tan, a soldier with keen ambition;
    and Patrick Lewis, Demarti’s right hand man. These soldiers must band
    together if they are to thwart the werewolves’ agenda.

    From the moment of the first lycan attack, the survivors’ lives are
    forever altered, forcing them to endure events they could never have
    imagined. The further they delve into the ancient world of werewolves,
    they discover a plot against humankind dating back to the Black Plague
    that ravaged medieval Europe. Amidst the bloodshed and betrayal, they
    discover things about themselves and what makes the human soul good or
    evil. Readers craving a compelling, craven story that is coursing with
    humor will relish sinking their teeth into Dog World.

    Dog World: Gone To Hell

    During the Dark Ages when the Black Death ran riot over Europe, a
    mutation in the deadly disease created something far worse; werewolves.
    In the centuries following, adversaries of humankind plotted to take
    their perceived place as the planet’s dominate life form. The 2003
    invasion of Iraq provided the proving grounds to make that hellish dream
    a reality. The result was an unbridled success.

    The war of lycan dominance has been started with a nuclear bang. The
    Aberration forces, led by centuries old werewolf Karl Vance, have
    overrun the world’s population. Major cities lie in radioactive ruins;
    millions are dead or dying, while more have been enslaved to serve as
    nothing more than food for the lycan war machine.

    Even though the world’s militaries are augmented by the human
    sympathetic forces of the lycan Underground, it appears that humankind
    has little chance for survival.

    Vance’s former lycan ally from the days of the plague, Timothy
    Hughes, works to rally what’s left of mankind and its allies to bring
    human civilization back from the brink.

    US Marine Corps Major Omi Kunpai, US Army infantry Captain Paul
    Demarti and other survivors of the initial attacks in Iraq join Hughes
    in taking a stand against Vance’s Aberration. Together they hope to take
    back what is theirs and take the fight to Vance. It’s their world now,
    but hopefully not for long.

    T.J. Piperbrook’s “Outage” series…books 1-3 free on Kindle for now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011J6PTBS

    Outage

    When newlyweds Abby and Rob awaken, the power is out, the neighborhood
    is covered in snow, and the house is freezing. They’ll soon find out
    that the storm is the least of their worries. Somewhere outside,
    something else is lurking. Waiting for the chance to strike…

    Outage 2: The Awakening

    Tom Sotheby has escaped the forest, but he is far from safe. His wife
    has been butchered. The town he once knew is a barren white wasteland.
    And the beasts won’t rest until he’s dead. His only hope is to get to
    town, to safety he isn’t sure exists…

    Outage 3: Vengeance

    Beaten, bloodied, and stripped of those he loves, Tom Sotheby is
    determined to ward off the beasts. As he prepares for the final hours of
    the night, he’ll need to summon every ounce of strength and courage he
    has. Will he survive the Great Storm, or will the beasts claim his
    life?

    Outage 4: The Reckoning

    “I’m at the hospital…it’s over.” When Tom awakens, he is greeted by law
    enforcement, medical treatment, and a sense of normalcy—all the things
    that have been missing for the last day. What Tom doesn’t know is that
    some nightmares are meant to be relived, and The Great Storm is far
    from finished…

    Outage 5: The Change

    Survival is just the beginning…

    Having escaped the hospital, Tom must face a new enemy: himself. New
    questions arise as he travels through the white wasteland. Will he
    survive the remainder of The Great Storm?

    More importantly, does he want to?

    Werewolf The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree by Mike Lee
    Available at drivethrurpg.com as an ebook or softcover

    Savannah is under siege.

    For 20 years the minions of the Wyrm have threatened the Coastal
    Empire, checked only by the courage and cunning of the Shadow Lords.
    Every year, the septs of the Southern Protectorate send young warriors
    to aid in the defense and to prove their mettle in the pressure cooker
    of the port city.

    It’s not enough.

    Every night, the Wyrm grows stronger, its forces more bold. Now,
    young cubs are dead and a hidden foe reaches out its claws to exact
    revenge against Savannah’s Garou.

    Ingrid Stormwalker, war chief of the Coastal Empire, must defy her
    sept’s law, her family, and her pack to uncover the root of the rotten
    vine that chokes her beloved caern.

    Time is running out for the historic city — and the entire Southern Protectorate.

    Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Rites Of Renown: When Will You Rage 2

    The Garou’s ancient struggle against the corruption of the world
    continues on, year after year, blow after blow. The names of the fallen
    outnumber the living. Their enemies are legion: vile subsidiaries of
    Pentex, Inc.; mutated Black Spiral Dancers; creatures warped beyond
    imagination by the taint of the Wyrm; and even, tragically, their own
    pride, long-held vendettas, and explosive rage.

    They are warriors, but they are also monsters, shadowing cities and
    forests. Born of humans and wolves, they are exiled from both worlds.
    They fight on, unheralded by human history. They have their own songs,
    tales of the mighty deeds and fearless trials of Gaia’s Own and their
    unyielding rage.

    Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage 2 is an anthology of 19 original short stories of savage horror and noble sacrifice in celebration of 20 years of Werewolf: the Apocalypse.

    Featuring stories by:

    Bill Bridges, Brian Campbell, Jackie Cassada, Rick Chillot, Sam
    Chupp, Richard Dansky, Devin Grayson, Jess Hartley, Sam Inabinet, John
    D. Kennedy, Mike Lee, Matthew McFarland, James A. Moore, Rustin Quaide, Aaron Rosenberg, Ethan Skemp, Eddy Webb, Stew Wilson, Teeuwynn Woodruff.

    Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Songs Of The Sun And Moon: The Changing Breeds Anthology

    Songs of the Sun

    Each dawn reveals new wonders to Gaia’s
    shapeshifting children. Each time Helios rises above the horizon, they
    face a new day of uncovering secrets, unveiling duplicity, and standing
    strong for the good of Gaia and those she claims as Her own.

    Songs of the Moon

    Each dusk brings new dangers well. The
    Changing Breeds do not have the strength of numbers of the Garou Nation,
    and often must contend with the werewolves and their kin just as much
    as with Gaia’s enemies, in order to perform their sacred duties. They
    must rely upon each other, on their wits and Gaia’s sacred Gifts, if
    they are to have any hope of completing the tasks She sets before them.

    Songs of Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds
    is an anthology of seven short stories of cunning, intrigue, and guile
    in celebration of 20 years of Gaia’s oft-forgotten Fera children.

    Featuring Stories By:

    Jason Andrew, Bill Bridges, Matthew McFarland, Andrew Peregrine, Aaron Rosenberg, Ree Soesbee, and Eddy Webb