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Werewolves ed  by Ann Keeran and Kevin J. Kennedy

KJK Publishing, ebook, £2.49

Reviewed by Sarah Deeming

Werewolves are a staple in the horror genre. What is more frightening than the monster hidden in us that is only one full moon away from losing control and killing everyone? They are primal and unrestrained, and in this collection of short stories, werewolves run wild. This is not a collection for the faint-hearted, with graphic descriptions of sex and violence. One story includes kidnappers looking for children for sex trafficking, which is very violent but justifiably so.

The stories fall into three categories; the main character either discovers they’re a werewolf, or that they are real or are hunting one, but no two stories are the same, and this variety keeps the collection fresh.

The scene is set from the start with Elena by Kevin J. Kennedy, which is a substance and sex-fuelled nasty about a couple on holiday who end up camping in the wrong place and going to the wrong bar. It has very graphic sex scenes, drug use, and violence, and may seem gratuitous, but it is all within the context of the story and makes it clear we’re not reading a collection of Twilight-esque werewolves, thank goodness.

Like Vampires, also from KJK Publishing, the quality of storytelling is strong, with representation from some big names in the horror industry. My favourite is Wetware by Tim Curran, whose work I have enjoyed before. Told from multiple points of view, it weaves voices and timelines into a seamless narrative of shady army projects and disposable soldiers. It reminded me of a more serious version of the film Dog Soldiers, which is one of my go-to movies.

Another clever story that looks at the werewolf mythology in a different light is Rug by Graham Masterton, in which a boy finds a wolfskin rug, which is more than it appears. I liked this because it sets a different tone from the others and is more sad than gruesome. It was a decent change of pace in what is otherwise a collection of dark, bloody tales.

Werewolves is the second in a series on classic monsters, following on from Vampires, which I have also reviewed. I am looking forward to seeing where we will go with the other books in the series, especially as they are a bargain at the price. If you’re a fan of horror short stories and werewolves, then this collection deserves a place in your library.

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