Rich characterization and sharp writing turn just another werewolf tale into something special.

The One You Feed

From the Shadow Tales series , Vol. 1

A teen’s shocked to learn that not only is a werewolf running loose in town, but it may be his best friend, in this debut novel and start of a supernatural series.

Toby Hoffman’s been a heavy-hearted recluse since losing his mom in a car accident when the young man was behind the wheel. Silver Falls, Oregon, may have a bright spot, however, with 16-year-old Rachel Chochopi as Toby’s new neighbor. Rachel’s friendly but despises bullies, convincing Toby’s best friend, Nate Schaffer, at school to defy browbeating Mike Mulligan and not give the jock his homework. Mike and his goons later retaliate against Nate, chasing him in the woods and leaving him trapped in a cavern. Luckily, a worried Toby and Rachel find Nate relatively unscathed in a torn, bloody shirt—but the stains aren’t his blood. There’s also a mutilated body out there, just like the one Toby’s sheriff dad, Walter, investigated earlier. Rachel’s uncle, Bimisi, wants her to return to the Umatilla Indian Reservation, fearing a legendary shaman is hunting the “white intruders.” Toby’s more concerned about Nate, positive his buddy’s new heightened senses—hearing, for example—and strength are indicative of a lycanthropic state. Not surprisingly, parents, including the sheriff, are reluctant to believe a werewolf’s responsible for a string of savage murders, so Toby and Rachel may have to stop the creature themselves. The brisk novel retains a straightforward plot by going the traditional route: a wolf-attack survivor inevitably becomes a lycanthrope, while silver bullets offer the best defense. Drummond aims for young adults, though there are dark moments. A few characters blurt obscenities, and gory parts abound—there’s definitely a lost limb or two. But it’s more exhilarating than horrific thanks to a speedy tempo and humor both subtle (potential wolf Nate loves monster-hunting games) and gleefully unsubtle (Wolfy’s Diner?). Drummond’s prose is likewise crisp and witty, with Nate watching a “pink lemonade dawn,” followed by “one of his sporadic, hypochondria-induced Internet searches.” The ending teases a sequel, but one that could expand Toby’s world, as well as the series, in curious new directions.

Rich characterization and sharp writing turn just another werewolf tale into something special.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-5007-2447-4

Page Count: 388

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2016

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.


Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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