Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: The Wolf's Hour

I've been reading Robert R. McCammon for years now and he's delivered some of the creepiest horror and most wonderful fantasy I've ever read. Right now I'm working my way through his complete works in publishing order and after reading his 1989 novel The Wolf's Hour, I knew that I had to share this book with as many people as I could.

The novel, at it's core, is a World War II espionage story wherein an Allied agent must travel across Germany to discover what the Axis has planned to counter D Day. The agent is clever, passionate, dangerous, and a werewolf. The novel works a lot like Richard Mathesons "The Incredible Shrinking Man" in that it switches back and forth from the current conflict to the characters history, showing us how he got in this predicament in the first place.

The hero of the novel, Michael Gallatin, is a British citizen who originally emigrated from Russia. The story of how he became a werewolf fills about half of the novel and the mission to figure out and prevent the German plan code-named "Iron Fist" fills the rest. The book is filled with action, almost to an Indiana Jones level, although I will say that the violence and sex is described explicitly enough that I might not recommond it for kids. The pacing of the book is incredible. Although the book is a thicker one, it was a quick and action-paced read.

The novel feels a lot like some of the bigger Hellboy stories, in that villains are doing some sort of giant plan and our hero has to do everything he can to stop it, after all, the world is depending on him. Some of the violence is extreme, but usually the more gruesome things happen to the more terrible people in the novel, so it feels justified.

I started reading Robert McCammon (pictured right) ages ago with his novel "Swan Song," an end-of-the-world book that rates as one of my favourites to this day. A lot of his earlier fiction is horror, but this book comes across more as adventure, and I loved that fact that although the hero is a literal monster, the villains (Nazis) are shown to be so monstrous that they definitely deserve what's coming to them.


  1. Good review. I really dug this book as well. People have been asking McCammon for a sequel for a long time. I am also reading all his books, Usher's Passing, Bethany's Sin and Mine are still in my queue in between other books. My first McCammon was the Blue World anthology, very cool.

  2. I am a new fan of Robert McCammon after meeting him at a writer's conference. I started with Gone South, which I thought was brilliant, and am just starting Swan Song. I am excited that I am just at the beginning of a wonderful time reading each of his books.