Review Blog

Jun 03 2010

Wolven by Di Toft

cover image

Chicken House, 2009.
(Ages 9 +) Wolven has just been shortlisted for the Stockport Schools Book Award 2009, and is proving popular among upper juniors at my school.
Our hero, Nat Carver longs for a dog, but ends up with a scrawny looking mutt his Grandfather buys for a song. There is something distinctly odd about Woody, but Nat finds himself strangely drawn to his pet's soulful amber eyes and soon discovers the reason - Woody is actually a Wolven, a special breed of werewolf once owned by Richard the Lionheart.
Unfortunately Woody is being pursued by the evil werewolf Lucas Scale, whose boss Professor Gruber has almost wiped out Woody's clan in a series of dastardly experiments. It is up to Nat and Woody to try and defeat Gruber and discover whether any other Wolven still exist.
This is a fun read with touches of humour and a pacy plot with plenty of bloodcurdling werewolf action. Di Toft is an accomplished writer and her action scenes, set in the secret government lair, are a cinematic mix of raw excitement and great humour - I can just picture Nat's prim and proper elderly neighbour storming the top secret government location and firing rounds of silver bullets at snarling werewolves. Perhaps Wolven will get a DreamWorks makeover just like Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon! In the meantime this is a timely book for younger readers which will surely satisfy their current obsession with werewolves, vampires and all things ghoulish.
Claire Larson

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