|Posted by Gilbert Stack on October 18, 2020 at 8:05 AM|
Occultober Day 18 Night of the Hidden Fang by T. James Logan
Werewolves are one of the legs of the tripod that comprises modern urban fantasy (together with vampires and zombies) but it’s really difficult to write a good werewolf story focused on high school kids—at least it looked that way before I discovered Night of the Hidden Fang. The problem isn’t that the high school kids often live a very separate life from their out of touch parents, they do. It also isn’t a problem that no one would believe the high school kids if they started talking about werewolves prowling the neighborhood, they wouldn’t. No, the break down usually comes when the high school kids insist on solving the whole problem by themselves and somehow get away with doing it without the adults ever finding out. That isn’t the way T. James Logan handles this problem in Night of the Hidden Fang and as a result he was able to surprise me again and again throughout the novel. At times it felt like he was “breaking the rules” and that was very good for his story.
Mia is a believable high school girl who never feels like she fits in. Because her dad was in the military before he joined the FBI, she hasn’t lived in any one place very long and she doesn’t have many good friends. She’s bullied by some of the more popular girls and suffers endless amounts of teen angst over the boy she likes but feels like she could never have. Then strange things start happening—disappearances, body parts appearing, unsettling men, some mysterious boys—and suddenly we’re not in high school anymore. (Except, Mia is, of course, and manages to never lose all her angst no matter what terrible things are happening around her.)
After a slightly slow beginning, the plot starts charging forward and never stops until the end of the novel. There were a couple of very big surprises for me—shocks that I just never believed would occur—and one very obvious plot line that fortunately never happened. Both the shock and the author’s restraint greatly enhanced the novel.
If you’re looking for a new take on the werewolf story, you should give Night of the Hidden Fang a try.
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