In first-time author Greene’s paranormal young-adult thriller, Ethan survives a beast’s attack only to realize that he’s slowly turning into a werewolf.
High school can be tough, but it’s even harder for young Ethan. He’s bitten by a wolf that also somewhat resembles a human; oddly enough, his wound has already begun to heal before the ambulance even arrives. The ensuing days are peculiar: His eyesight sharpens, his hearing is impeccable and he resorts to shades and colored contact lenses to hide the fact that his eyes now glow in the dark. Ethan also fears that he’s responsible for a string of recent murders, since the victims all seem to have been mauled by a wolf. When he suspects that he’s being followed, Ethan does what he can to protect his family, his friend Anthony, and his new girlfriend, Marie. Greene’s novel moves at a rapid pace that manages to retain tension. The relentless suspense continues to build, with Ethan repeatedly glimpsing a pair of seemingly omniscient, unmistakably fiendish black eyes. There’s mystery and intrigue, too, as when Ethan wakes up covered in blood with no memory of the previous night. The only element of the story adversely affected by the book’s brisk flow is the relationship between Ethan and Marie, who fall in love a little too quickly. However, the fact that the characters are teenagers is effectively integrated into the lycanthropic storyline; there’s an amusing comparison between the late stages of puberty and Ethan’s developing werewolf side. In an exploration of drug use, Ethan and Anthony concoct a “potion” from monkshood to subvert Ethan’s transformation; it’s undoubtedly the wrong choice for Ethan. Clear anti-alcohol, anti-bullying messages are present, too. The novel occasionally treads on familiar terrain—the names of Ethan and his rival, Jared, are reminiscent of Twilight’s Edward and Jacob—but the characters and plot have a life all their own.
Young and old readers can sink their teeth into this one.