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by Catherine Jinks

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-15-206615-4
Publisher: Harcourt

The satire isn’t all that’s biting in this darkly comedic sequel to The Reformed Vampire Support Group (2009). Archetypically sullen and uncommunicative teen Toby is thrown for a loop after waking up the morning after a full moon naked in a nearby wildlife park. He finds himself caught between the smothering attentions of his annoyingly smart adoptive mother and the bizarre but enticing warning delivered by a scarred, dangerous looking stranger named Reuben that he’s a werewolf. Barely has Toby begun to take that idea seriously than he’s kidnapped by promoters of international werewolf death matches and taken to an arena in the remote outback. Rescuers appear quickly; as it turns out, werewolves aren’t all that uncommon and even have organized self-help groups. Nor are they the only supernatural creatures around, as Toby discovers when Reuben shows up with a band of startlingly pale, sickly but uncommonly resilient helpers who display a sharp aversion to daylight. Jinks has a few other surprises in store too, but (in possibly deliberate imitation of a certain wildly popular penumbral series) she challenges readers first to slog through hundreds of pages of snarling dialogue, repetitive ruminations and aimless plotting. Not to mention unresolved issues and an unwieldy supporting cast, both of which are likely to spill over into further sequels. By the end it’s hilarious, but many teens may struggle to get that far. (Satiric fantasy. 12-15)