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HIGH BLOODS by John Farris


by John Farris

Pub Date: July 21st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-86696-9
Publisher: Tor

Hard-boiled urban fantasy set in a near-future Los Angeles infested by werewolves.

Best known for his supernatural thriller The Fury (1976) and its three sequels, Farris (Avenging Fury, 2008, etc.) ventures into new territory here. “There were at least four upscale Lycan hangouts within a quarter-mile of one another on Santa Monica Boulevard,” he begins. Lycans, those affected with lycanthropy disease, are controlled with surgical implants that knock them out with drugs around the time of the full moon; they are monitored by the International Lycan Control agency. But ILC agent Rawson sees a werewolf beheading the owner of an upscale club—and it’s not a full moon. Trying to solve that mystery brings Rawson into contact with colorful characters like a Lycan rock star and even Lycan-rights advocates. Many elements feel familiar: The concepts of werewolves as an accepted social minority and of lycanthropy as a manageable disease have analogues in numerous vampire novels, and the term Lycans appears to have been lifted from the film Underworld. But what the novel lacks in originality, it makes up for with a fast pace and action-packed fight scenes with silver bullets flying.

Entertaining, if somewhat derivative.