When I picked up Canadian Werewolf in New York, by Mark Leslie, I must admit, I had visions of one of my favorite werewolf movies. But Leslie’s wolf isn’t one plagued by the spirits of his victims, as are the American versions. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I was wrong on that note.
Mark Leslie’s werewolf uses his more beastly senses like superpowers to come to the aid of the damsel in distress, making this story a cross between a pulp story and a werewolf cozy, as his writer turned wolf character goes about solving mysterious disappearances for the woman he loves, and fighting crime in a classic hero’s journey. Quite entertaining.
His main character, Michael, is a Canadian writer, trying to make it in the big apple, but of course he’s also a werewolf. The appearance of his old flame asking for his help finding out what her fiance is up to throws him into a mystery, calling his sleuthing skills into play. At the same time, there’s another wolf in town, and he must use all of his heightened wolf senses to sniff out his rival and protect the girl.
As an author, I know it can be very effective to use the senses to help put the reader in the story, but I also know it can be tricky writing in details of the senses other than those we use and think about most. But, Leslie has managed to skillfully craft in and use the sense of smell throughout this tale, taking the reader on an olfactory adventure like none I’ve had before. Brilliant!
I listened to this tale in the audio book form, and I must say that the narrator, Scott Overton, does a fantastic job, never once stumbling on difficult character nicknames like “Mr. Hyper-halitosis”. He also did a fabulous job with a Yorkshire accent and the female voice.
I truly enjoyed listening to Canadian Werewolf in New York. I found it fresh and entertaining, and I give it five quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
I’ve been reading a lot of modern fairy tales lately, what with being on the Gilded Glass editorial team with a slush pile of over 600 submissions, and the two WordCrafter Press by invitation only anthologies to come out later this year which are fairy tale themed and are comprised of many of the stories that didn’t make GG, which I couldn’t quite let go of, Once Upon an Ever After and Refracted Reflections. So many modern fairy tales are simply retellings of age-old stories without adding anything new. So, when I saw the opportunity to watch a film rendition of Red Riding Hood (2011), I admit that I was a bit skeptical.
But this was no simple retelling of the classic fairy tale. This was more of a horror story, complete with a big bad werewolf, whose secret human identity allows him or her to hide among the residents of the medieval village and carry on daily activities undetected, killing innocent villagers by guise of night. It could be anyone. Anyone could be its next victim.
Mix in a young woman, Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), forced into a pre-arranged marriage with Henry (Max Irons), and the woodsman whom she truly loves, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), for a classic love triangle. When a werewolf hunting priest with a personal vendetta shows up on the scene, suspicion is thrown in all directions and no one is safe from accusations. It could be Valerie’s creepy old grandmother (Julie Christie) who lives alone in the woods. It could be the village priest (Lukas Haas). It could be either of the two men vying for Valerie’s heart; each suspicious of the other; both determined to protect her when the werewolf claims her as his own.
Red Riding Hood was well executed, with just the right amount of fairy tale feel to it, and for me, it was a surprise when the werewolf was finally revealed. (No spoilers here.) It kept me engaged throughout. If you like fairy tales with a twist, I recommend that you see this movie.
Kaye Lynne Booth lives, works, and plays in the mountains of Colorado. With a dual emphasis M.F.A. in Creative Writing and a M.A. in Publishing, writing is more than a passion. It’s a way of life. She’s a multi-genre author, who finds inspiration from the nature around her, and her love of the old west, and other odd and quirky things which might surprise you.
She has short stories featured in the following anthologies: The Collapsar Directive (“If You’re Happy and You Know It”); Relationship Add Vice (“The Devil Made Her Do It”); Nightmareland (“The Haunting in Carol’s Woods”); Whispers of the Past (“The Woman in the Water”); Spirits of the West (“Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs”); and Where Spirits Linger (“The People Upstairs”). Her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets, and her short story collection, Last Call, are both available in both digital and print editions at most of your favorite book distributors.
When not writing, she keeps up her author’s blog, Writing to be Read, where she posts reflections on her own writing, author interviews and book reviews, along with writing tips and inspirational posts from fellow writers. In addition to creating her own very small publishing house in WordCrafter Press, she offers quality author services, such as editing, social media & book promotion, and online writing courses through WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services. As well as serving as judge for the Western Writers of America and sitting on the editorial team for Western State Colorado University and WordFire Press for the Gilded Glass anthology and editing Weird Tales: The Best of the Early Years 1926-27, under Kevin J. Anderson & Jonathan Maberry.
In her spare time, she is bird watching, or gardening, or just soaking up some of that Colorado sunshine.
Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.