Review Blog

Nov 29 2010

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781742373638.
(Age 13+) Recommended. Toby Vandevelde is horrified to wake up in hospital with no memory of how he got there. When he is told that he was found in the dingo pen at Featherdale Park, he is even more terrified. After a priest and a strange looking guy show up telling him that he has a rare condition, he finds himself involved with an anaemic looking group of weirdos who inform him that he needs their help. And he certainly does - when he is kidnapped and imprisoned!
Told in the first person by Toby, the reader is taken on a thrilling ride when Toby is incarcerated in an underground prison and discovers another boy there. Together they go through many adventures in their bid for freedom. With evil kidnappers, underground goals, car chases, vampires biting people and shooting incidents, it is a thrill a minute once the chase is on.
Strong characterisation brings all the people alive, and I was enthralled with the development of Toby's understanding of his rare condition and his attempts to bring about a non-violent solution to his plight. The antics of his two companions, Fergus and Amin, provide many laughs in the book and Reuben plays a strong role, trying to convince Toby that he needs to be locked up once each month at the time of the full moon.
With a surfeit of werewolf books around, it is wonderful to find one that is totally absorbing, humorous and well written. The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group is a companion volume to The Reformed Vampire Support Group, but can be read alone. Fans of the first book will welcome the return of members of the vampire support group, and will love the addition of more werewolves to the mix. Boys will also identify with the pranks that Toby and his two friends get up to and should enjoy the action adventure. The introduction of a zombie at the conclusion of the book leaves an opening for another companion volume in the future.
Pat Pledger

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